For one in every ten Americans, the dream is to live abroad and find a new home in an unfamiliar land. However, they will soon realize there’s much more to consider than just crossing the ocean, getting a local driver’s license, and sending out job applications.
Population growth coupled with economic instability has made locales all over the world attractive to foreign businessmen or retirees.
Here are some tips for setting up a life abroad
1) Set a realistic budget
Don’t expect to move to another country and automatically have more money in your pocket. Your salary may be higher, but taxes are often very high in foreign countries, so don’t count on that extra cash.
2) Save money on the move
Instead of trawling companies online looking for the best courier services to ship your life to your new destination, try using a load board where you can upload details such as furniture shipping requirements, and then shipping companies will then bid to win the work.
3) Consider family matters
Settling down in a new place will be difficult for your entire family, especially your children. Take into account the educational and medical situation of kids. Will you be able to provide them with the best opportunities and care when they need it most?
4) Consider your visa
Ensure your visa allows you to stay in a foreign country for more than 30 days. You may have to apply or reapply under new circumstances, so make sure you have an up-to-date and accurate action plan before you go abroad.
5) Secure your home
You plan to live in a foreign country for an extended period and are concerned about potential vulnerability to mishaps and break-ins.
First, ensure your apartment is adequately secured with the right locks, security systems, alarms, and other devices. You can find out what to look for by checking local papers or visiting the websites of international real estate companies. After that, it’s highly recommended that you get insurance on your property covering any damage caused by fire, theft, or natural disasters such as earthquakes and storms.
6) Use social networks
Working abroad presents unique problem-solving opportunities based on your skill set and personal contacts around the globe. Social media has become an effective way to link up with people in other countries, so consider using it before you go. To stay connected and maintain a network of contacts when you’re abroad, look for local networking groups and attend the events they hold.
7) Look into the medical system.
The medical systems in other countries, especially developing nations, may be much less advanced than you’re used to. You’ll want to know exactly how much a trip to the hospital or doctor will cost and if there are any additional costs in case of an emergency or accident. Don’t expect to get your prescriptions filled at a local pharmacy without a bit of help from those who speak the language.
Many foreigners have settled in a foreign land for years and have become fully integrated into their new communities. The same may happen to you if you make an effort to plan for the move, secure your home and budget beforehand, and look for networking opportunities.