Whether you are taking a year out to travel or moving abroad permanently, check out the ultimate moving abroad checklist.
You have probably seen many articles with similar titles online, if you are preparing to move abroad, both USA & International publications try to help the world traveller. The fact is, leaving your homeland for a new country is a big deal. It is probably the biggest thing you have ever done or ever will do.
It’s not just that the country is different and the language is different. The entire culture is different. Most of us do not know what that really means. We grow up in one tiny little part of the planet and think we are the world. We do not know that some of the things we do are insulting and forbidden in other areas. For example, in some countries, it is considered rude to place money in a person’s hand while making a purchase. The money is to be placed on the counter or in a dish, and your change is returned the same way. Such a small thing to you is insulting to them. These are the kinds of things you will have to learn where you are moving.
Tip 1 – There is an app for that
There are many free apps that will help you avoid faux pas in your new country. Most were put out for business people who cannot afford costly mistakes. Check your app store for options. Two of our favourites are, CultureGPS and World Customs and Cultures. Study these well. Small mistakes in a culture far from your own, can have huge consequences.
Tip 2 – Your first priority is to find a doctor, dentist, and lawyer that speak your language!
You may think you speak the language pretty well. Maybe you took it in high-school and passed with a B+. Maybe every student in the room wished they could speak the language as well as you do. Unless you have family who is actually from that country and they have taught you to speak the language, you do not speak the language as well as you think. You do not want to find this out at a doctor, dentist, or police station. So find someone who knows what you are saying and can help you before any surgery is scheduled.
Tip 3 – Register with your Embassy
If anything happens while you are in a country that you are not a citizen of, your embassy is who can get you the help you need and get you out of the situation or country. Of course, we are assuming that you are a good and law-abiding person. But bad things can happen to good people too!
Tip 4 – The standard stuff
- You need to take at least two copies of your passport. Have one locked in the hotel safe or a safe place in your new home. If you are robbed you at least can get back out of the country. Also leave a copy of your passport, medical insurance cards, and a copy of your paperwork showing why you went to the country and when you planned to return with someone who loves you. Note: it wouldn’t hurt to leave a couple of hundred dollars on a prepaid credit card in case you are not sure how much they love you!
- Know the money exchange rate and do not carry cash in excess. Check with your bank to see if they have a bank in that country and if your ATM cards work there. If not, find a bank and open another account with them.
- Before you go, make sure you have adequate medical insurance that will work in the country you are going to. Take a copy of your medical prescriptions with you and the prescriptions in the labeled bottles.
- If you plan on going to certain events, purchase your tickets before you go and while you understand what you are buying.
This guest post was written by The Blog Frog.