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How to Live in Another Country

Posted How-to / September 18, 2019

Have you been thinking about moving abroad? Then it’s important that you do your research on how to live in another country. The mere act of relocating overseas is only one of the many hurdles you’ll have to face if you opt for living in a completely different setting. There are many other things you’ll need to take care of before, during, and after the relocation. That’s why we’ve prepared some useful tips.

Learn How to Live in Another Country Before Moving

The sooner you begin your research and preparations, the better. Living abroad is a big deal, so you’ll definitely need some time to figure it all out. It’s never too early to start.

Prepare to Move Abroad

At least several months before your relocation, you should start preparing for your life overseas. Here are some key things you should definitely not forget about.

Save Up Money

Regardless of where exactly you’re planning on living, you’ll need a significant amount of money to do it. Your expenses will not only include international moving services, but also things like possible visa fees, housing, and utilities for the first period, plane tickets, and maybe even the services of an advising agency. Make sure to do your math and figure out exactly how much money you should set aside. And then save up even more than that.

Find the Best Home for Yourself

You should make sure you have your accommodation figured out as soon as you get to your destination. In other words, start looking even before you move in order to avoid living in hostels while hunting for an apartment you like and can afford.

Get a Job

Unless you are moving for work or you’re retired, you will need to find a job in the new country. Depending on the industry you’re in, the place you’re moving to, the kind of job you’d like to get, and a long list of other factors, this will require different amounts of time and effort. 

Start Learning the Language

While most people around the world speak the English language to some extent, you will doubtlessly run across some who don’t, like it or not. That is, of course, unless you’re moving to an environment where English is the main language. So for practical purposes, as well as for your personal growth, we suggest that you put in some effort to at least learn the basics of the language of the place you’re planning on living in. You could start with basic phrases like greetings and questions. Consider hiring a language instructor, too.

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Connect with Other Expats

Pretty much every country in the world has a network of expats living there that could help you settle down and get used to your new surroundings. Do some research and find such a community in the city you’re about to move to.

Prepare the Paperwork

Does the place you’re going to require a visa? If so, what type of visa are you eligible for? What documents will you need in order to apply for one? And what about the documentation for apartment rentals? Make sure you have several copies of every single document and keep them all neatly sorted in a sturdy binder.

Learn About the Country

Sure, you know what you need to do to move abroad. You’ll need money, patience, and a lot of nerves. But what do you know about the place you’re about to start calling your home? Do some research to learn about their customs.

Get to Know the Culture

Some parts of the world observe traditions and customs severely different from those we as US citizens are used to. For example, did you know that blowing your nose in public in Japan is considered extremely rude? Learning these little (and not so little) differences could save you from a lot of awkwardness in the future.

Research their History and Politics

The history and especially the politics of a place could have a direct impact on you as a foreign citizen. That is why it is important to do your research about them. Aside from googling history and politics, we suggest that you also subscribe to at least two different local newspapers.

Find International Movers

Of course, knowing all about the part of the world you’re relocating to is important, but it is also important to get some help with the move itself. Start looking for the right international moving company at least a couple of months in advance. Make sure that the company you choose provides all the services you need, from moving by sea and moving by air to car shipping, and storage. And of course, don’t forget to request a price estimate

Settle In

You’ve moved into your new place and it’s finally time to settle down. The truth is, this might prove to be the hardest part. Suddenly finding yourself in an unfamiliar place surrounded by unfamiliar people can be quite a shock. Here are some tips on how to get used to this new life.

Prepare for the Culture Shock

Most people experience culture shock when they move abroad. Although the intensity varies, we all deal with certain difficulties that can make everyday life harder. Luckily, there are ways to deal with this:

  • Acknowledge it. Don’t bury your feelings deep down and hope they’ll go away. Recognize that you are experiencing difficulties in life and that you need to deal with them.
  • Have a safe space. Whether it’s your apartment or only your room, it is important to have some sort of a safe space where you can be alone with your thoughts.
  • Focus on what you love. Whether you’re passionate about your job or have a hobby you enjoy, dedicate more time and energy to it.
  • Consult a professional. Talking to a therapist when things get rough in life is nothing to be ashamed of. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help.

Make Yourself at Home

This new place is your home now. So make it feel that way. Meet new people and create memories with them. Decorate your apartment so it feels homely. Find a daily routine that fits your lifestyle and preferences. In short, make yourself at home abroad.

Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

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