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Top eighteen tips for moving abroad

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Our top 18 tips to use when moving abroad will help you create order out of this chaos.

Moving abroad is exciting. You are going to start a new life in a different country with a different culture and you are leaving your familiar life in your home country behind. There will probably be times when you're just looking forward to this, but at other times there can be a lot to deal with. Our top 18 tips to use when moving abroad will help you create order out of this chaos.

Tips to make your life easier there
Even before you move, there are some things you can do to prepare for your arrival. In this way, you might make the transition a little more gradual.

  • Learn the language: if you're going to a country where you don't speak the language (well), you'll feel a lot better if you take a language course before you go.
  • Make contact: Often you can already make contact with people in the country of your destination through social media, forums or other websites. These can of course be foreigners in the same situation as you, but you will only really learn something about the  country if you try to make contact with local people.
  • Vaccinations: don't forget to go to the doctor in time and ask if any special vaccinations are needed for the country you are going to.
  • Find a job: if you're not moving for work, it's never wrong to start looking for a job in advance. This will bring you in contact with people, you will learn what it is like to live as a citizen in the country concerned and not as a tourist and of course it will give you some extra money.
  • Compare moving companies: if you are going to use a moving company to ship your things, it is wise to make a good price and quality comparison. There are many moving companies that can do this, but not all of them are reliable by a long shot. Do you want to move yourself? Make sure you rent a large moving van or multiple smaller vans. (in Dutch: verhuiswagen huren / bestelbus huren)

Packing tips
If you are going away for a long time, you might want to take some of your familiar things with you. Of course, you can't put all of this in your personal luggage. Use the following tips when packing your belongings so that you can deal with this in a structural way.

  • Be ruthless: when going abroad it is better to take less than more. So go through your belongings critically and only take the highly necessary. The rest you leave with friends, put in storage, give to charity or throw away.
  • Pack a good vacation bag: if you have some of your stuff shipped, you will undoubtedly be without it for a while. Often these will be on the road for weeks if not months. So make sure you pack your personal luggage well. You don't want to have to store for things that have accidentally ended up in your container.
  • Label your boxes: to make it easier for yourself and for the movers, it is best to label your boxes. What does go, what goes into storage and what can go.
  • Calculate the value of your belongings: sometimes it can be cheaper to buy certain things locally than to move them. So ask yourself what would be more financially advantageous for you before hiring an expensive international moving company.

Tips for getting rid of your left behind belongings
You will probably leave behind quite a few items and even though you may feel attached to them now, that feeling will soon disappear. The following tips can help you give these items a good second life.

  • Selling: if you have time you can try to sell the things that are still good on an online marketplace. That way they will be well used and you will have some extra money.
  • Donate: everything that you cannot sell, but is still in good condition, you can donate to a charity or a second hand store.
  • Rent out your house: another way to earn some extra money abroad is by renting out your house in your home country. You can then leave your furniture and household appliances in place.
  • Storage: for a fairly low amount per month you can also put your belongings in storage. This is an option if you are going away for a limited time.
  • Giving away: finally, you can invite your family and friends and ask them if there are any things they would like to have. If there are things that you can't take with you, but that you are very attached to, you may feel better if they end up with someone you know and who will take good care of them.

Tips for integrating
Finally, of course, you want to be able to integrate on the spot as quickly as possible and try to feel at home. Use the following tips to make the transition easier.

  • Join something: are you interested in politics, do you like to read or do you practice a certain sport? If so, join a club so that you can connect directly with local people who have the same interests as you.
  • Take a language course: even if you already speak the language quite well, you can only really learn the language if you take a language course in your destination country.
  • Don't compare anything: Try to look at everything with an open mind and don't compare your new country with your home country. A new country is always different and if you don't want to frustrate yourself it is best to accept and admire this.
  • Befriend local people: you can only really settle in if you try to make friends with local people. If you don't, you will always feel 'different'.


Photo by John Fornander on Unsplash

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