Making a move can be stressful enough even if it’s twenty minutes away. When it’s across the ocean, to another country or even another continent? Then things can get really tricky. People fail to plan, fail to prepare themselves, and fail to recognise that they might get very homesick, and all of it can mean disaster.
I moved to France when I was 21 for a year and although that’s probably considered short term, it was still stressful and scary!
So, whether you’re moving to take a job overseas, to go get some education, or for any other reason, here are a few ways to make it a little easier.
Know where you’re going
Of course, figuring out where you should live will be the very first thing that you do. But how can you make sure you’re living in an area that suits you without taking a first-hand look? Anyone planning to move abroad should take a trip over to get the lay of the land. Even if you’ve visited before, you should organise another visit. Not only can it get you pumped up for moving, but it’s your chance to look a little closer at how people live over there. A little sneak peek can help you avoid the culture shock that so often comes with such a big move.
Get the process rolling early
Otherwise, as soon as you know that you’re moving, you should begin to organise the legal and administrative process of it all. Moving without a visa (if necessary) is a big no-no, so get that sorted out first. But there’s a lot more that goes into it, too. Having your medical history prepared so that when you use the healthcare abroad, you’re not missing vital information. Getting your finances ready by setting up a bank abroad so you’re not relying on services from another country is crucial, too. Finding out how you have to report your taxes and if an overseas job changes that process any. The embassy for your home country in the region you’re moving to can provide you with more specific information depending on where you’re going and where you’re coming from, so make sure you get in touch with them.
Don’t leave your stuff behind
Some people prefer to pack light when moving overseas, taking only what they can fit in two bags. Indeed, they do likely have stores over there so you might not find it wholly necessary to bring all you own. If you’ve invested in furniture, appliances, and more that would be expensive to abandon or replace, then you should think about using services like 1st Move International Removals Company. It’s no longer quite as much of a hassle to get all of your belongings from country A to country B. But, you should try to organise it as soon as possible. The closer you leave it to moving day, the less likely you are to find a removals company that can fit it into their schedule.
Yes, you should pick up some of the lingo
A lot of people assume that it’s “easy” to just pick up a language through osmosis while living abroad. There’s no doubt that, yes, you might pick up a few useful words and phrases here and there. But you won’t be able to communicate properly at restaurants, shops, with service providers and so on unless they speak English. You should take the time to get a little prep work done on your linguistic skills. Rosetta Stone language teaching software is still one of the best options to help you brush your vocab and learn the basics. By learning a little ahead of time, and keeping it up as you live there, the process of learning how to communicate with neighbours, colleagues, and so on will be much easier.
Stay in touch
If you’re leaving family or friends behind, don’t underestimate how much you will miss them. Even if you don’t particularly like the place you’re moving from, the people you love are going to be one of the main sources of homesickness. While you should try to involve yourself in your new home, your new community, and the perks that they offer, do stay in touch with those you’ve left behind. There are lots of ways technology can help you communicate from anywhere in the world, from instant messaging to video-calling.
The tips above can help you stay sane, comfortable, and make sure that you’re not forgetting anything important. A big change like that can still be difficult, so give yourself some time to acclimate to your new home before calling it a resounding failure.