Living the Dream

MOVING TO ANOTHER COUNTRY – HOW TO START YOUR ADVENTURE

Have you ever dreamed of packing up and moving to another country? Many of us have thought from time to time about living abroad. The experience can be very rewarding and enlightening. And with good planning and expert assistance, your dream can become a reality.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Moving to a different country begins with choosing a location. There are several things you will want to consider when choosing a host country:

  • Political stability and safety
  • Cost of living
  • Economic conditions, i.e. unemployment rates, currency volatility, inflation, etc.
  • Distance from your home country; 5, 10, 20-hour flights and the expense, if you need to return home during your time abroad
  • Ability to find employment
  • Availability of quality healthcare

IMMIGRATION

Businessman using a laptop with close up on world globe

Image of a persons hand holding a passport

Whatever country to choose, you will need to get permission to live there. This will require a visa. The type of visa you will require will depend on what you intend to do during your time abroad: retiring, working, studying, research, NGO, etc.

If you are moving to another country due to an employment assignment, your employer will likely make arrangements to apply for a visa on your behalf.

If you are moving independently, you will need to research what is necessary to obtain a visa in the host country. A good place to start is by visiting the host country’s embassy or consulate website. Most countries have pages dedicated to how to apply for a visa for living and/or working in their country. You may also consider hiring an immigration specialist to assist with the application.

STUDY UP

To help make a positive transition and adjust more quickly and comfortably to your new home, it is advisable to research your new host country’s culture, current political climate, history, and language. While you do not have to be fluent in the national language, knowing key phrases and having the ability to communicate basics in the native tongue will help you adjust more quickly.

One of the number one reasons people return to their home countries prematurely is due to feelings of “being different” and isolation. Doing some homework ahead of time can mitigate some of these negative experiences and allow you to engage the local population and make social connections more easily.

COMFORTS OF HOME

While fully embracing your new culture and country, there are things that can keep you engaged at home you are abroad. Technology has helped with this tremendously. The ability to video chat with friends and family at home is invaluable for staying connected.

Another sense of comfort can come from moving items from your current home to your new home. Being surrounded by familiar items can mitigate feelings of being homesick and isolated.

Moving your home is more than just packing your personal belongings and sending them off to another country. It is a complex process. There is considerable planning and documentation required to ensure that your cherished possessions are allowed to enter your new host country safely, without expensive delays, and duty free.

Before deciding what will be moved, consider your new housing situation. Are you moving into a much smaller space? Will your current furniture items in your new space? Are there restrictions on what and how much you will be allowed to import?

The type of visa you receive will dictate much of the above. Once you have obtained your visa, a good international mover will be able to provide expert assistance to ensure a smooth transition from start to finish, enabling you to settle in quickly and begin your new adventure.

MAKING CONNECTIONS

To help adjust to your new life, don’t be shy about reaching out to people for advice and companionship. Most people are very proud of their cultural traditions and more than happy to share their opinions on important things to see and do while you are in their city and country. Take advantage of the opportunity to learn from those around you. In return, invite neighbors and coworkers to share in your traditions, food, and cultural celebrations. Your experience will be rich and you will get the most out of your time abroad.

BON VOYAGE!

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