If you’re moving to a new country you may feel a number of different things. Excited, nervous, stressed, challenged and motivated are just a few. Moving to a brand new country is obviously a lot different than just moving within your own country (and that can be hard enough) so here are some top tips to make the experience run more smoothly:
If you’re a procrastinator, this may be your biggest challenge. Unfortunately, moving abroad comes with a huge list of things you’ll need to do before the day you leave. These include getting your visas sorted, flights booked, kids enrolled in new schools (if you have them) moving out of your house, packing all your bags, getting a mail forwarding service, and much more.
The best way to tackle this is to make a huge list of all the things you’ll need to get done. Keep adding to it as you think of things and then commit to getting one thing completed each day so it doesn’t seem so overwhelming. It’s also a good idea to send some of your things to your new home before you arrive so you have fewer bags to take on the plane. Check out Shiply to get a quote for international shipping.
While some of the most excitement will come from the fact that you’re about to face the unknown, it’s also nice to know a little about your new city. Get on the internet and research as much as you can about different neighbourhoods, sign up to Facebook groups and search forums to get answers to all of your tricky questions. If you can find a group of expats this can also be a great way to be introduced to the city and ensure you have some contacts in place (and potential friends) before you arrive.
If you’re moving to a country where English isn’t the main language, it’s time to get learning. Consider signing up for some language lessons over Skype or ask some of your new friends if they have a contact they recommend for lessons when you arrive. Many places will also have intensive language classes so you can take a week or two to fully immerse yourself in the local language- it may seem like a huge commitment but it will make life a lot easier when you’re shopping for groceries or trying to navigate your way home in a taxi.
What is it that you want to get out of this experience? If you’re moving because you or your significant other have been transferred with work, you may be hoping to advance your career. Before you go, it’s a good idea to think long and hard about what you’re hoping to achieve. Maybe you want to get outside of your comfort zone, make local friends, do some traveling, learn a new language or make future work contacts. Whatever it is, it’s a good idea to keep your goals in mind when you first arrive in your new country.