10 tips for moving to another country

1 Do your research

This might seem obvious, but so many people leave researching until the last minute or, worse still, leave it until they get there. This is not the way to do it. You should move to a new city or country feeling like you know it already. Research career prospects, cost of living, transport, health service and more before you touch down.

2 Tie up all loose ends before you leave

Upon arriving in your new home you’re going to have to put all your efforts into making it the best start possible. This means making new friends, finding work and getting as settled as possible. What you won’t need are unnecessary distractions getting in the way of this. Phone calls and emails from home about bills or your previous job are the last thing you’ll need. Make sure everything is finalised before you go.

3 Stay in a homestay

OK, so I’m a bit biased when it comes to this, but a homestay really is the perfect type of accommodation for people relocating overseas. They’re available for long and short-term stays, they offer a friendly face to return to each evening, and your host will be able to help you settle into your new destination with tips on transport, local amenities, where to eat, things to see, neighbourhoods and more.

4 Shop where the locals shop

If you want to fit in with the locals and save some money too, make yourself feel at home by finding out where the locals shop and then shop there too. This is ideal for groceries, clothes and homewares but also for restaurants and cafes. You’ll feel more at home once you know you’re living the same way its locals do.

5 Get yourself a mobile/cell phone number immediately

Being contactable at all times is vital when setting up home in a new city or country. You’ll likely be searching for a job and need to contact people about different ones, and you’ll need to make sure you’re not creating yourself a huge bill due to roaming charges on your old plan. So on the first day or two of arriving in your new home, get a mobile phone/SIM pack.

6 Make an appointment within the first week

Depending on where you’re moving to, you need to be careful so that the first couple of weeks don’t feel like a holiday. Sure, you should go and see the main attractions to trigger some excitement, but be sure to make an appointment with a recruitment agency or somebody else connected with your move within the first week. It will be a reminder of why you’re moving there in the first place.

7 Do your homework on the neighbourhoods

Cities’ areas can be divided into the distinct categories – the city centre/downtown/CBD district and the neighbourhoods that surround this. Chances are you won’t be living right in the centre of the city but instead be in a neighbourhood outside it. Do your research on these areas before travelling so you’ll know which you prefer and will best suit your needs.

8 Ensure you have enough money

Sometimes things don’t go according to plan. When this happens, it’s good to be prepared so whatever has gone wrong doesn’t cause you too many headaches. It might not always be related to finances, but having enough in the bank in case it is, will be a comfort.

9 Sign up for a language class

Maybe you’re moving to a country that speaks the same language you do. Or maybe picking up a language is part of your new job. Either way, it’s important to pick up the local language when settling down in a country and not becoming complacent if you find you’re getting by with just English alone. It will take a bit of time, but you’ll be glad you made the effort.

10 Network with the expats

As soon as you arrive in a new country, once you’re treating it as your new home, you become an ‘expat’ (short for expatriate). Staying in a homestay until you find somewhere more permanent will be a great way to pick up the local customs, cultures and more, while another will be to get to know the expat community. You’ll get a real insider view on what it’s like to live in your new city or country from someone who’s done it themselves too!

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