Learn About Things You Should Do Once You Reach Your Expat Country
Relocating to a foreign land can be one of the biggest transitions, you make in your life. The very thought of exploring and settling down in a new foreign location might initially sound fascinating. But as the initial excitement wears off, the overwhelming feeling of being alone once you reach your expat destination and starts setting in. Whatsoever be the reason for the transition, it’s always good to be prepared in advance.
Here are 7 essential tips, which you may follow as a first-time expat once you touch down on foreign soil:
One: Securing an Accommodation
Securing the accommodation for you and your dependents should be your top priority once you set foot on foreign land. While you may want to stay in a hotel or Airbnb for the first few days or weeks, you will have to arrange a stable long term accommodation. You may check classified ads, seek help from a real estate agent, or search through an expat forum to find a house that is not just within your budget but also close to your workplace. You should think about accommodation in a safe area that is as close to your work location as your budget will allow. Your employer may provide you with an allowance and even arrange your lodgings for you – this is definitely preferable for most expats.
Two: Learn the Local Language
Once you land in your desired expat destination, it is important to adjust to the new culture and customs as soon as possible. A great way of adjusting to the new culture is learning the local language either by signing up for a class at a language school or by finding a partner to practice with regularly. This will not just help you establish a social network but will also open doors of opportunities for you.
Three: Try Making New Friends
Before you get too busy with expat life and work, you must develop new friendships and relationships. You can opt to join an online expat organization and interact with a group of like-minded people from your country. Since most expat organizations tend to organize events and get-togethers, you will surely discover a home away from your home.
Four: Cost of Living for Expats
Yet another important point to consider after establishing residency in a new country is the cost of living. Since you have to bear multiple expenses of living in a new country, you must manage your expenses judiciously. Researching in advance regarding the cost of living can be the right way to go.
Five: Familiarize yourself with Local Rules and Laws
It’s extremely important to gain a proper understanding of the laws of the country you have relocated to. Since expats are usually subjected to a greater level of scrutiny, they need to stay on the straight and narrow. Many countries may not have as enlighted an outlook on certain lifestyles and activities as western countries do – in fact, some expat destinations can come down very hard on expats who break the local rules. For example, kissing in public in Dubai can quickly lead to fines or imprisonment.
Six: Consider Safety and Crime Prevention a Priority
It is important to consider the local crime rate, especially if you have plans to travel widely in your new nation. Some countries can have much higher crime incidences than your current location. Also, dangerous areas can be right beside “safe” zones. Ask your fellow expatriates and your employer about where to avoid. Also pay special attention to crime rates that pertain to violent crimes such as murder, theft, burglary, etc…
Seven: Apply for Health Insurance
One of the most important things to do before you get to your new destination or after you arrive is to obtain international health insurance coverage. While it may be tempting to get on the local health plan, such coverage may be deficient or may not cover private care. Local plans may only give you access to public hospitals that may not meet first-world standards and most likely won’t give you access to coverage outside your new country destination. Expat Financial has some great global health plans for expatriates.
The decision to relocate to an alien land could be life-altering. While it offers a perfect opportunity to explore the world and foster your independence, it certainly brings along its share of challenges. Take note of the aforementioned tips, and enjoy an awesome new life in a new country that too in no time.