Eight Tips for Moving Abroad for the First Time

Posted by on Nov 9 | 2015

Moving abroad can be very exciting and overwhelming at the same time. If you’re not sure what to expect from your big move, we’ve got some tips to help you get ready for your adventure.

Paperwork For Moving Abroad

  1. Take care of paperwork before you go:
  2. Work visas, passport renewals, medical and dental records all need to be handled in advance of you leaving. Unfortunately you cannot just pick up and leave without the proper paperwork so, if you can start the process between a year and six months before you leave, all the better. The same goes for medication. If you take a certain medication, you will need to ensure you have enough to last you for at least the first three months after you’ve moved just in case it takes you a while to find a doctor in your new home.

    This does take a lot of work, but the good news here is that you don’t have to do this all yourself. In fact, if your company employs the help of a reputable relocation company, paperwork is handled for you. If they haven’t already, ensure that your company contacts Armstrong Moving so your process can be as streamlined as possible.

  3. Get your shots:
  4. If you are moving to a tropical country where vaccinations and shots are necessary, don’t wait until the last minute to get them. These aren’t like typical flu shots and it can take the body time to recoup from preventative care as such. You don’t want to spend your first week abroad feeling nauseous, so get your shots early!

  5. Secure housing in advance:
  6. As was the case with your paperwork, housing is one of the key factors that relocation companies assist with, which is all the more reason they should be a high item on your priority list. However, if you are looking for living quarters on your own, hotels and hostels will get expensive if you move into your new country without a place to live.

    Unless you have a relative that is willing to host you while you look for an apartment, you should find a place to live before you leave. Nowadays, you can view apartments and homes online so you’re not totally in the dark when you’re handed the keys to your new place.

  7. Get to work:
  8. Moving always comes with distractions. Getting used to your new surroundings, redecorating your home in a way that makes you feel most comfortable, and even finding places to do your grocery shopping can take up a lot of your thoughts throughout the day. However, you need to remember that you’re there primarily there to work. Ensure that you stay focused on your business and get to work as soon as possible!

  9. Say goodbye to peanut butter:
  10. Your old favourites may not be available overseas. Things that we take for granted in North America like peanut butter may not be found in your new home. However, it does give you an opportunity to try new things!

  11. Learn key phrases:
  12. You will eventually have to become fluent in your new home’s language, but if you don’t have time to fluently learn the language before you leave, you should at least try to understand the basics. Learn necessary phrases like, “Hi, my name is”, “How much is this?”, “Where is the washroom?” etc. If you have food allergies, learn how to say, “Does this contain [thing you are allergic to]?”. It will make things more convenient for you, and could save your life.

  13. Stay connected:
  14. You will be homesick at times, and that’s okay. Before you leave, learn how to use FaceTime, Skype or other stay-in-touch applications so you can connect to your loved ones whenever you miss your old home. However, don’t forget about timezones, so you’re not waking anyone up at 3am!

  15. Don’t expect romance:
  16. Moving abroad is not as romantic as the movies lead us to believe. You may not find Prince Charming or be swept into a torrid love affair with a foreign princess. However, you will experience a different culture, learn a new language and try exotic and exciting cuisine. That in itself can be quite rewarding and who knows, you may meet the love of your life in the process!

Moving to a foreign country is an adjustment, but many people do it everyday. As long as you remember that you are doing something that will change your life for the better, you’ll have a memorable and positive experience abroad.

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