You have chosen to move to a new country. The initial part of this new adventure can set the tone for the first few years. It may be that you or your partner accepted an opportunity with a new employer, or that the adventurer in you has determined that a new location is just what you need for the next stage of your life. Regardless of the reason, this is a very big move that requires a lot of consideration, from visas to food, language, culture, and more. However, you never have to go at it alone as many people have done this before and can advise you on what is important to know in advance. It’s important to understand what is involved in moving to a new country, and what can be done to prepare in advance.
Get things from home
We’re all used to our creature comforts, which are supported by what we can buy in our home countries. Being in a completely new place out of your comfort zone in a different country can be difficult. The adjustment may make you miss some of your favorite items to remind you of home, many of which are most likely not available locally. Whether it be a specific type of chocolate bar, your favorite coffee brand, or any other cultural delicacy, your wish list is sure to be filled with these items. Now, it’s easier than ever to be able to get these things sent over! All you need to do is order them from the various suppliers online via MyUS, who will send you everything in one parcel from their central location. What jubilation when that arrives! Perhaps you will share some of the edibles with your new local friends, who won’t have tasted them before?
Research your new country
Before you allocate hours to online research, do whatever you can to be connected to someone who lives in your new country, with the understanding that you will be seeking their guidance. It is highly possible that if this relocation is for work purposes, your company will provide support. As a non-citizen, you won’t be able to live and work there without the necessary visa and work permit. What are the laws regarding income tax? Will you purchase your transport will their public services suffice? If the culture is significantly different in terms of food, how will you adapt? These fundamental aspects of a move if forgotten or ignored for later, can have dire consequences.
Learn the language
Even if the business you’re working for doesn’t require that you understand the local language, as it practices internationally in English, you simply cannot settle into a new town without being able to communicate with your local grocer, cab driver, etc. Online language courses are readily available and if you prefer to avoid the theoretical and formal approach, why not hire an online tutor to provide you with a conversational aptitude.
Do you need to be within a convenient distance of an office, or want to be able to walk to the beach? Is a spare room for visitors and a garden for your family pets necessary? Compile a list of non-negotiables and other wishes and then seek advice from your local contact, as to a credible realtor, who will be your guiding light towards a safe and comfortable space. Don’t forget the entertainment space, in which to invite and make new friends.
You may want to retain the sim card for your mobile phone from your home country to use into the future, however, you should purchase a smartphone sim card in the country in which you live, to benefit from local support services and their pricing structures. This is easily done by visiting a mobile phone store once you arrive and with their expertise, you’ll leave the store with what you need.
As you will now be living in a new country, you will adopt their local currency for your everyday use. Laws permit the transfer of a certain amount of funds between countries, so establish what this is and action within those parameters.
Moving countries is a considerable change and the related pressure of all that needs doing can be avoided if you seek help from others, who are almost always willing to help. No need to go this alone. Good luck on the journey!