Travelling abroad isn’t always enough. Some people want to experience living in another country so that they can really immerse themselves in another culture. Of course, living abroad is a big decision and involves a lot of planning. Here are just seven things to consider before becoming an expat.
How long will you stay?
Living abroad could just be a temporary thing – you may only desire a few months in another country. Alternatively, you may be considering making a permanent move and applying for citizenship.
It’s important that you know how long you’re planning to stay so that you can apply for the appropriate visa if needed. Most people like to give living abroad a taster before staying for any long period of time, so a six month visa could be all you need at first – this can then be extended if needs be.
What accommodation will you stay in?
Next, you need to know what kind of accommodation you’ll be staying in. Renting could be cheaper and more secure if you’re only living abroad for a short period. Those wanting to move permanently meanwhile may prefer to buy property.
There are many sites online where you can find property abroad such as these Tropicana Metropark apartments. It’s possible nowadays to do viewings via Skype and even handle paperwork, however you may prefer to visit and sort this out in person.
How will you financially manage?
Having a way to fund yourself whilst you’re there is important. It’s possible the idea of moving abroad may have been spurred by a job offer – before accepting, research into the salary and the cost of the living in that country to ensure that you’re still making enough. If you haven’t got a job lined up, you can always try looking at international job listing sites where you can find listings for jobs abroad such as these hotel jobs in Ibiza. Some employers will allow you to take an interview via Skype.
Do you need to learn the local language?
If you’re not planning on moving to another English speaking country, consider whether English is widely spoken enough for you to get by. Learning some of the local language could be useful before going. You could do this by using online language learning tools or by taking up lessons.
What are the different laws and customs?
It’s important to read up the laws so that you don’t commit any criminal activity without knowing – what may be acceptable in one country could be totally illegal in another. Reading up laws could also help you to stay protected (it could be important when dealing with employers and landlords to ensure they’re following the law).
As for customs, these can vary widely by country. Whilst not illegal, going against these customs could be highly frowned upon (a good example is failing to cover up flesh in a country where it is not religiously accepted).
Will you be bringing over many belongings?
You also need to consider which possessions you’ll bring with you to your new country and how you’ll transport them over. Bringing them over by air is the fastest method, but it is expensive. As a result, you may prefer to ship them over. Most people buy bulky items like furniture and cars abroad rather than shipping them over.
How will you make new friends/stay in contact with old friends?
We all need friends. Stop yourself from getting lonely by planning to make some new friends in your new country of residence. As for your old friends, decide how you will keep in contact with them so that you don’t lose touch.