It is easy to dream about living in an excellent expat location abroad. However, switching to an entirely new lifestyle and environment can be a bit intimidating and challenging. Leaving our native country and all the homely comforts behind is not at all an easy decision, no matter how captivating and fascinating the relocation may sound. Some expats wished they had some tips for moving abroad to make all the uprooting a little more manageable.
Living an expatriate life in some of the most popular locations has advantages that include a rewarding career and a better quality of life. Expats choose destinations based on various factors such as pleasant climate, low living cost, job opportunities, etc. However, it would help if you were well-prepared before you embark on a journey to a whole new world.
There is no doubt that first-time expats will be a bit worried about their life abroad. Here are six tips that will help you settle as an expatriate in the city of your dreams.
1. Plan Your Accommodation
Before deciding on a place or location you would love to move to, you should gather enough information about it. Taking a short trip to your chosen destination may clear most of your doubts. Once there, do a quick research on the best accommodation or housing options available based on your budget. You can also get in touch with reliable relocation agents to get adequate information on housing possibilities.
This will also help you get a fair idea about the lifestyle you can expect in your chosen place abroad. Real estate prices in some sought-after expat hubs can be very tempting; however, don’t make any hasty decisions when purchasing a house.
2. Discuss with your family
Moving abroad is a big decision, so don’t forget to consult with your family members. Mutual satisfaction or support is vital if you want to have a hassle-free life overseas. These decisions are best made when everyone in the family is fully aware of the impending transition. Everyone should be mentally prepared to make the necessary adjustments when they chat in a foreign land.
If you have children, your decision to move to a foreign country should also revolve around their education and overall wellbeing. For instance, you will have to discuss whether your kids should go to a local school or an international facility with your partner. Seek the consent of everyone concerned so that there are no personal or emotional issues later.
3. Learn the Language
Half of your struggles as a new expat will disappear if you know the language of your host country. Even the best expat locations will turn out to be a nightmare for you if you can’t communicate in the local language. If you are new to a language, you should take up a tutor to learn the basics.
Being fluent in a dialect takes time to be realistic, and it won’t happen in just a matter of a few weeks. Learning the basics will help you initially to move around without taking a guide in every step. Start getting trained in the local language at least two months before you move.
4. Choose the best city
Ideally, you should select a location that has almost everything that you may need daily. Initially, picking a secluded spot can turn out to be very troublesome. Living in isolation would mean that you have little opportunity to meet locals.
You will have to travel for miles for basic needs like healthcare and groceries. Take up a residence which is not too far away from convenience stores or supermarkets. Once you get used to a new city, you can choose to move to another location that suits you and your family members.
5. Adapt to your new home
The initial days for a first-time expat may not be too rosy, no matter how great the host city is. It would help if you adapted to the new lifestyle abroad. It is also crucial that you stay content with everything that your new abode offers. Remember, everything in your expat location may not be the same as your native place.
The sooner you learn to adjust to the new environment, the better for you. With time you will surely get used to the new way of life and feel happy for whatever you have. If you focus on the positives, everything will turn out to be easy for you eventually.
6. Make Local Friends
When moving to a new country, we often feel lonely going through the transition. To get better adjusted to your environment, make friends with the locals. Socializing with local folks will help you learn the culture and traditions of your host nation.
Apart from that, you won’t have a reason to feel lonely as you would have ample opportunities to mingle with local people or fellow expats. You will be learning a lot as you spend time with locals during the weekends and holidays. In return, they will know you well and may come to your aid if you ever need it. The network you build by meeting locals may even land you the perfect job.
Bonus Tips for Moving Abroad
During your initial months in an expat location, you should focus on getting comfortable with the new environment. Stop comparing your present life with the one you had back home. Thinking about all the good things that you left behind will only make you feel sad and homesick. Don’t let the culture shock affect you too much. It is always better to accept and love everything that your new host has to offer.
Finally, don’t forget to get a quote and purchase some international health insurance as medical expenses abroad can be quite costly. Expat Financial some great tips on global medical care in our expat manual and some links to some independent resources for getting coverage online. Make sure you get a global health plan that covers COVID-19!