If you’re planning on moving abroad it’s likely you’ll have thought about the big things: where you’re settling and how you’ll make a living. Once you’ve booked your flights, sorted accommodation, and packed everything up, you might feel as though the hard part is over – but a lot of the work comes once you’ve arrived.
Opening a bank account
Organising your finances once you’ve moved abroad isn’t always as simple as opening a local account. It can be worth opening an international bank account, which is designed to help manage high transaction fees and currency fluctuations, and allows you to talk with bank employees who speak the same language. You’ll also need to decide if you want to keep your existing bank account open in the country you are moving from. In many cases, a combination of accounts will be most appropriate.
Sorting your healthcare
Making sure you have access to medical and dental care is vital when moving abroad. Depending upon the country, different action will be required – in Canada, for instance, citizens and residents are eligible for public health insurance, but expats who do not tick either of those boxes will have to take out a private healthcare insurance plan. It can be a hassle sorting out where you stand with medical care in your new home country, but sorting it out as soon as possible will give you peace of mind.
Organising how you’ll get around
If you want to own a car and drive abroad you’ll need to make sure you’re doing everything safely and legally. In some cases, your existing licence will be sufficient; in other cases, you will need an International Driving Permit. Depending on where you are moving to, there should be a period of time in which you can get by with your existing licence (and IDP). Beyond that period, you will have to convert your licence or take a driving test in your new home country. Of course, you’ll also need to familiarise yourself with the local rules of the road.
Securing a good internet and phone plan
Homesickness is an inevitable side effect of emigrating. So be proactive and make sure you’re able to contact your friends and family back home on a regular basis. In this day and age, free apps like Skype make it easy to make international calls, but you’ll want to make sure you have a strong, reliable internet connection. Cheap international phone plans are also available; if you’re really organised about it, you can set up your family members with their own plan. After that, all you’ll have to worry about is the time difference.
Getting to know the neighbourhood
In the midst of all these administrative tasks, it can be hard to take some time for yourself. But getting to know the neighbourhood you’ve moved to is a vital part of the settling-in process. Introduce yourself to your neighbours, ask for recommendations for local restaurants, shops and bars, research the public transport timetables, and find out what’s in walking distance. Building a new life in a new country should start with the two-mile radius around your new home, and expand from there.
1st Move international are an international removals company based in the UK