When we think about moving to a different house, even amidst the excitement, there is an unavoidable gravity to the situation. There’s exhilaration and potential, but maybe also a little nervousness and apprehension too. Changing where you call home is a huge event in a person’s life.
Now consider how these emotions must intensify when contemplating a move abroad. Relocation is a weighty prospect in anyone’s life, but this is on another level.
As with any major development in our lives, we must approach such moments with the knowledge and confidence that comes with preparedness. Whether you are researching visa requirements or comparing Singapore international school fees, preparation is the key to a smooth and successful relocation.
Let’s start with seven things that you can do to help plan your move abroad:
- Prepare financially: Moving house is an expensive process and relocating abroad is even costlier. On top of realtor fees, there are the logistical expenses of moving possessions from one country to another. The travel costs for you and your family might be pricey, especially if long-haul flights are involved. These are but some of the financial factors you must consider and then account for when you move abroad.
- Before you depart, build financial foundations that are strong enough to absorb the impact of relocating to another country.
- Understand immigration requirements: When we go on vacation, passport control can be stressful enough as it is, but working and living abroad entails even stricter processes.
- Make sure that you understand the visa and immigration requirements of your destination. Contact or visit their embassy in your home country, and thoroughly follow the procedural steps.
- Keep in touch with your future employers throughout because they may have experience or contacts that can help you and your family. Also, speak to government representatives at home because they will be sure to point you in the right direction for information.
- Insure comprehensively : Before you travel, ensure that you, your loved ones, and the valued possessions that you have decided will make the journey with you are covered by the appropriate insurance.
- Insure your flights to protect against matters beyond your control. Healthcare might look very different in your destination, so make sure that until you have sorted medical cover using the local system, you have temporary cover for you and your family. When you ship your stuff abroad, carefully value all the items as accurately as possible, and then insure accordingly, should they get damaged or lost in transit.
- Research living arrangements: Having a place to stay upon arrival, even if temporarily, is a crucial part of moving abroad. Consider short-term arrangements until you find your feet. Use local websites in your destination country to gauge property costs. Speak to your future employers about recommendations for certain residential areas where your new colleagues live.
- But keep in mind that living arrangements are not just limited to housing. Will you need to buy a car to drive to work, or is there public transport? Also, keep your family’s needs in mind too. What are the best schools in the area that will meet your children’s needs? What are the costs associated with education? Are there international schools nearby that teach in your native language?
- Carefully research the living arrangements for you and your family so that you can start building a life there as soon as possible.
- Network early: We all could use a little support at times, be that professionally or privately. That is even truer when moving.
- Start reaching out to people that may become part of your new life before you move abroad. Speak to your new colleagues, start building relationships early. See if there are any other people in the community that have also moved from your home country.
- Be proactive with networking, and hopefully, you and your loved ones will be ahead of the game for making new friends and building lasting relationships that will enrich your experience of moving abroad for years to come.
- Pack sensibly: Of course, you should bring pieces of home with you when you move abroad. Yes, you are relocating, but you do not have to abandon completely where you’re moving from. In fact, taking favorite toys, photographs, letters and many other cherished valuables will certainly provide comfort in the process.
- But, be realistic. Pay attention to rules and regulations associated with crossing international borders. Explore various shipping options but keep your moving budget in mind. If you cannot take large or heavy items with you such as furniture or appliances; consider storage or replace big-ticket items at your destination.
- Pack sensibly, and pack intentionally. You’ll be glad you did when the big day arrives.
- Embrace the relocation: A lot of the advice so far has been practical. But it would be practically ridiculous to overlook an obvious part of moving on to pastures new: the excitement, newness, and potential that await you.
- Are there any famous local sites or attractions that you want to explore? Does the new country have any cuisine you’ve never tried before? Will you be able to engage in the hobbies or activities that you enjoy in your new community?
- Moving to a new country is a major development for you and your family, so embrace it as much as possible so that you start creating memories immediately upon arrival.
For those who are moving abroad, an exciting new journey lies before you. It may feel a little daunting at times, but by keeping these seven things in mind, you’ll be in the best position possible to embark on the relocation in a knowledgeable, confident, and prepared manner.