Moving to another country is a big decision. Here are some of the main questions to ask yourself before making the move so that you can be sure it’s the right decision and that you’re prepared..
Why do you want to move abroad?
People move abroad for many different reasons from pursuing studies to chasing job opportunities. There may even be family that you want to join abroad or you may want to develop your learning of a new language. Make sure that you have a clear purpose as this will help when applying for a visa (there are separate visas for those working and for those studying)..
Is it long-term?
Some people plan to live abroad permanently. Others plan to live abroad for a couple months. Decide how long you plan to stay. It could be worth planning a temporary stay at first and seeing how it goes from there. Make sure to apply for the right visa and look for a property with an appropriate rental term. Permanent moves may involve having to apply for citizenship, which could require taking tests and spending a lot of money.
Where exactly will you move to?
Next, you need to decide exactly where in your chosen foreign country you plan to stay. You may be able to find moving guides specific to cities such as this moving to Adelaide post to help you choose. Make sure to weigh up all the pros and cons of each location such as local activities and facilities, the crime rate, the climate and other factors. It could be worth visiting locations first so that you can get a real feel for what they’re like.
Will you be taking your family?
When taking a partner and kids with you abroad, you need to be sure that they’re 100% on board. You may have to find a new school for your kids and your partner may have to find a new job. Help them to do this and make sure that they are enthusiastic about the move. If your family don’t want to come with you, you may have to decide whether to live abroad without them (some people work jobs abroad and send back money to their families while visiting frequently, but this may not be an ideal situation as it could mean long periods away from your family).
Are you able to leave behind friends and make new ones?
Moving to a new country involves having to make new friends. It could also mean having to say goodbye to your current friends and family. Thankfully, the internet has made it easier to keep in touch with old relatives and friends. There are also social media sites and forums that could help you to meet people before you move out. Nonetheless, some people may find it difficult having to leave close relations behind and having to start a new social circle.
How will you financially support yourself?
If you’re living somewhere for a few months, you may be able to survive on funds saved up beforehand. However, for most people, moving abroad will involve getting a job abroad. This is something that you may want to secure in advance so that you’re not spending the first couple months abroad hunting for a job and financially struggling.
Is there a difference in the cost of living?
The difference in the cost of living could be worth considering. Although you may be able to earn more abroad, you could find that living costs such as bills and food are also much more expensive. In other cases, the cost of living could be much lower, but there could be higher taxes. With long-term moves, you may also have to make considerations such as whether to take out a foreign bank account and whether to transfer your money over.
Are you familiar with the local language/cultural differences?
English may be spoken universally, but in some foreign countries it could still be polite and useful to learn the native language (if it isn’t English). Consider taking a few language lessons beforehand and trying some online language learning tools and apps. You’ll also want to consider the cultural differences.
Will there be different laws to abide by?
A different country could have a different set of laws. You’ll want to familiarise yourself with these to avoid getting in trouble. Local authorities tend to be more forgiving if you’re a tourist, but if you’re a full citizen there won’t be this leniency. Important laws to look into may include road laws, drinking laws and laws involving pets.
Are you prepared for the moving process?
Moving day is likely to be a lot more stressful. Your belongings may have to be shipped and you may have to take a plane. There are long-distance moving companies that specialise in overseas moves – these could be worth looking into when planning your move. Certain items could be expensive to ship over and you may have to weigh up leaving certain items behind (for instance, it may be cheaper and easier to buy new furniture for your new home).