5 Things You Need to Know Before Making a Move Overseas
It could be for a career. It could be to study or to volunteer. It could be to expand your horizons. Or it could even be because you’ve fallen in love.
Throughout life, some people will find that their destiny lies in another country and end up making the big move overseas. There’s so much to love about living and working in a country rather than just visiting, but there are also some things you may have wished you knew before packing your bags and flying halfway around the world:
Sort Accommodation Before Anything Else
If there is one thing you don’t want to be in a new country, it’s homeless, so your priority should be to make sure that you have somewhere to stay as soon as your flight lands. You’d be surprised how many people think they’ll just wing it when they get out there, but you don’t need expensive hotel bills eating into your savings, and trying to sort out accommodation is one less worry when you want to be exploring your new home and may also be settling in at a job. In your optimism about the big move, you may assume that finding a great place to stay with low rent close to all the major city points will be easy, but that generally couldn’t be further from the truth, especially as most people start off their journey in a new country in a big city. Do as much research as you can before landing and use the power of the web to find lettings agents that can help you find a rental. For example, if you’re planning to emigrate to Indonesia, a site this can help http://www.rumahdijual.com/balikpapan/preumahan. Getting the help of someone who is a local is invaluable and could help you to avoid scams. Having a regional perspective is worth its weight in gold.
You may have to be flexible on location to secure what you can manage on your budget – after all, you don’t want to be spending all your money on rent when you should be spending it on getting to know your new home city. Bear in mind that you may need up to two months rent in advance plus a security deposit, so be sure that you have savings available to cover these upfront costs as well as any home items you may need to purchase, and don’t forget set up costs and bills for power, heat and internet.
Find a Support Network
Unless you’re lucky enough to be going somewhere that you already have friends or family, the isolation of making a big move overseas can often be the hardest part. Most of us have grown up surrounded by school friends and cousins, and it may be the very first time you have to go out and search for friends actively. But befriending new co-workers may be harder than you think – they already have busy lives, commitments and their own friends. The key here is to find local organizations to join, usually based around a hobby you enjoy, such as bike riding. You could also find a language buddy through a teaching center or find people through online communities. Food is always a great icebreaker, so try inviting people round to sample a few dishes they may not have had the chance to try before.
Learn the Local Transport Networks
Once you have a home base and feel a bit more settled, the first thing you’ll want to do is explore your new surroundings so getting to know the local transport networks is critical. Finding your way around a foreign bus or train network and all in a second language can be quite daunting, but crack this part, and it will give you your freedom. Try to work out in advance how the ticketing system works in your destination and what payment options you have (for example, do you need exact change?) also work out if buying a monthly or weekly pass is a way to save money. It also pays to work out traffic, especially if you plan on walking around. Do cars stop for pedestrians or will you have to take your chances? Everywhere operates differently, so try to make sure you know what to expect and can keep yourself safe. If you’re planning to rent or buy a moped, which is the primary form of easy transport in a lot of densely-populated cities, make sure you have a helmet and understand the traffic laws thoroughly before you start.
Even if you have moved for a job, volunteering is such a fantastic way to get to know your new country and become part of a community quickly. If you are planning to job hunt out there, it can also give you valuable experience and a sense of purpose while you look. A lot of programs also help out with visas and other logistics, which can help with your move. Organizations like Love Volunteers: https://www.lovevolunteers.org/ are a great place to find programs to join. You’ll be giving back, making new friends and embedding yourself into the culture.
Read Up On Culture
Presumably, there is something unique that has drawn you to the new country you’re going to live in. So take the time to educate yourself about the culture and etiquette to make your transition much more comfortable. Most people will be quite forgiving of you making a few mistakes, to begin with as long as you are polite and have a sense of humor, but knowing basic etiquette is a must. Find out what culturally specific no-no’s there are – it could be anything from which hand your eat with to removing shoes in a person’s house. It’s also worth learning a polite greeting and any social rules around eating before you fly out. Make sure you’re aware of local holidays too and what they involve, as things may shut down at certain times of the year – and getting involved in all that stuff is part of the joy of living abroad. Try not to refuse food or gifts when they are offered, as this can easily offend welcoming locals. Treat it as part of the learning experience!
Starting out in a new country is undoubtedly one of the scariest things you can do – but also one of the most rewarding. Try to relax and accept that there may be a few wobbles at first – this is natural! Don’t let a shaky start put you off – soon you’ll be living a new life, having amazing adventures, and delighting everyone back home with your tales from your new home.