If you’re moving to another country, you’ve got a lot to think about.
It’s not an easy thing to do and it may take you several months to organize everything you need for a smooth transition into your new home. Aside from packing up all of your belongings, you will also need to sort out your insurance, visas, finances, and accommodation.
Despite being a complex process, becoming an expat will be one of the most exciting things you’ll ever do. Moving to a foreign country gives you the incredible opportunity to see unique parts of the world and explore new cultures.
To help make your transition into becoming an expat as smooth as possible, here are some top tips to follow.
Sort Out Your Insurance
Heath insurance is a must-have when you’re moving to another country. You never know when you’re going to fall sick or get injured while living abroad. Having health insurance will significantly reduce your medical expenses if you need treatment.
This is particularly important if the country you’re moving to doesn’t offer free national healthcare. Even if your new home country has a national healthcare system, you may not have free access to it unless you’ve lived in the country for a long length of time and you’ve got permanent residency.
Make sure you find a reliable health insurance company, such as IMG Global that offers extensive insurance policies. Having adequate coverage means you can enjoy your time as an expat without worrying about potential medical bills.
Meet The Locals and Other Expats
Interacting with other people is key to getting comfortable in your new environment.
This is particularly important if you’re moving to another country on your own. The worst thing you can do is isolate yourself and not bother making friends!
Push yourself to go to local events or classes. This will give you the opportunity to meet the locals and other expats. There might be in-person or online clubs and societies that you can join with weekly sessions.
Making friends with the local residents might be difficult if you don’t speak the language. However, attending local events is one of the best ways to learn the language. Or you can learn a little from their language through a language learning app on your mobile phone. Familiarizing simple words can help you converse with the locals, and learning their language will come smoothly.
You can also find events that are specifically for expats if you’re not yet comfortable interacting with the locals.
Expat events enable you to meet like-minded people who are in the same position as you. Look online to see what options are available and sign yourself up for at least one event a week to get settled into your new home town.
Use Social Media
In the wonderful digital world that we now live in, social media is everywhere. It’s a great tool that you can use to meet people in your new country or learn more about your town.
You can find local events through Facebook or you can scroll through local hashtags on Instagram to find new exciting places to explore.
Of course, you can also use social media to stay in touch with your loved ones back at home. Social media platforms have direct messaging options that are easy to use and enable you to instantly communicate with anybody, no matter where they are in the world.
Learn The Language
Learning a brand-new language isn’t easy but it’s necessary if you plan on living in another country permanently.
Be realistic. You aren’t going to become fluent immediately. But even if you just focus on learning the basics to begin with, that’s a great place to start.
Try to learn some of the most useful basic phrases before you move. This way, you can communicate with the locals from day one. You never know when you’ll need to ask someone for help.
As you interact with the locals more and more, you’ll naturally start to pick up more complex words and phrases. You can also use phrasebooks or online language resources to help you learn more of the local language.
Sort Out Your Accommodation Early On
For obvious reasons, you’ll need to organize your accommodation before you move to another country.
If you’re buying somewhere, you’ll need to do your research well before you actually move. Purchasing a property can take months to complete.
If you’re renting or leasing a place, you will still need to get this sorted a few months in advance. You want to be certain that you’ll have somewhere to move into as soon as you land in your new home town.
Research potential areas and consider the community, the local amenities, and the accommodation that is available. As an expat, finding somewhere that makes you feel comfortable and safe is important, and you won’t want to travel for miles just to get some groceries.
Visit the area you’re moving to before you commit to signing a lease or purchasing a property if possible. You can also contact a relocation agent who will be able to provide advice about which areas are the best for you based on your needs.