Moving Tips&Tricks January 22, 2020

How to Move Abroad – the Ultimate Guide

Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

Have you made up your mind about leaving the US and going somewhere overseas? The next logical step in the process of international relocation is figuring out how to move abroad. From finding the best movers at reasonable prices to taking care of the paperwork, there are a lot of issues and concerns that need to be settled before you say goodbye to your friends and family and take off.

Packing up a suitcase and relocating to an unknown destination takes courage, an adventurous spirit, but, most importantly, highly-developed planning abilities. To help you out during this whole process, we’ve created this ultimate moving abroad guide with all the information needed to start your international adventure of a lifetime.

How to Move Abroad – Topics You Should Think About Beforehand

Tackling such a complex and lengthy task such as a relocation overseas is a long and at times tedious process. So, arm yourself with patience and the power of will.  You will have to think about every single detail of the trip, but with a few tricks up your sleeve, even the most tiring and boring assignments can be bearable.

If you want to catch a break, consider hiring a trustworthy moving company to handle your belongings while you are looking for work and gathering all the necessary documents.

Go Over All the Documents Needed for an Overseas Move

Bureaucracy can be a bore, but it still is a fundamental step in the international relocation process. All of those Americans that dream of living in a foreign country should know that each state has its own rules and regulations. Before you pack up your bags, know that there are some essential documents that will allow you to go from here to there:

  • A valid passport that won’t expire in the next six months
  • Visa that will enable you to enter the country
  • International drivers license if you are planning on shipping your car overseas
  • Health insurance is needed because some countries don’t accept American healthcare

Additionally, think about a phone plan, and would you like to keep your old number or get a new one? Since roaming fees can get pricey, that’s why it would be smart to get a number from a local provider. Also, consider opening a bank account in the new place; it will be simpler and easier for you to access your funds.

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Consider Finances Before Your International Relocation

Financial stability is important no matter where you live, but the fact that you are going overseas, to an unfamiliar place, adds to its importance.

Several factors can make your life more expensive, or cheaper in your chosen area, but they depend on the country you choose to live in. Take into account housing, bills, and overall cost of living. You might be relocating to a more affordable location, but those first few months are bound to take a hit on your budget, at least until you get on your feet.

Finding a Home Before Moving to a New Country

Finding a place to call home in an unknown environment can be overwhelming. To avoid stress, make a list of priorities, write down everything your new home should have, and start searching.

Make sure you find out if there are some additional permits you as an expat should obtain before you can rent or buy a house. If you find the whole process of house hunting tiresome, consider hiring an agent to help you. After all, they know the market the best.

apartment building
Hire an agent to help you look for an apartment.

Find the Right Employment Options

When packing and moving overseas, you should probably think about your employment status. The question of how to find work in a new location should come up even before you actually get there.

When you decide to relocate, start networking. Freshen up your LinkedIn profile, join a few online local business groups, and check out the biggest employers in the field you are interested in. Making connections might land you the job of your dreams that much faster.

Get to know the job market and see if there is actually a demand for the qualifications you have. Your heart might be set on a specific country, but picking the right town should be strategically planned. After all, if you want to work in the tech industry, you’d want to settle down in a tech hub, right?

Also, think about hiring a recruiting agency to assist you with the job hunt. Having somebody who knows the market can be a real blessing in disguise in the long run.

If you want to live as a freelancer, go over the basic facts about self-employment before your departure.

taking notes
Right employment is just around the corner if you know where to look for

Get in Touch With the Expat Community and Learn About Their Perception of Life Abroad

The Internet is a gold mine of information. That’s why even before you relocate, go online and expat groups from the country you are going to be living in. Ask them how they are satisfied with life there and what are the biggest challenges. Knowing people that went through what you are going through now can help you and speed up your adaptation process. Also, it doesn’t hurt to have acquaintances in the unexplored location.

Learn From Expats About Intercultural Differences

Every place has its own story, culture, history, and customs. Even before you set foot there, ask other expats how exactly is the culture there different from the one in America.

Some countries have a particular set of cultural traditions. That’s why you should think twice before you pick the right flower to give to a person in Russia, or how you greet people in Japan and Germany. If you are still not sure how to conduct yourself after all the information you gathered, watch how locals behave; it will tell you exactly how you should act.

If You Want to Become a True Local – Watch and Learn

When you finally unpack all the boxes and put everything in the desired place, it is time to adjust to the local lifestyle. Go out, take a long walk around the area, and watch how people act around you. There is no better way to learn about the environment than by being a part of it.

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