You have decided to try your luck outside the borders of your homeland? Good for you! There are so many opportunities around the world waiting to be explored. Numerous benefits come to those who are ready to push their boundaries and try out something new or at least do something they are good at but in a new environment.
However, as much as it sounds exciting and beneficial, it’s not something that can be done overnight. There are many things you need to consider before you pack up your suitcase for traveling. A solid plan and a thorough checklist are the best guarantees you won’t regret working abroad. Preparation is the key to success.
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1. Save up some money in advance
In most cases, money is the main motivator for working abroad. You will probably earn more abroad. However, it doesn’t mean you should arrive at your new destination without any money at all, hoping for the best. Even if you know your salary will be high, you still need to take unexpected costs into account. The chances are that something will go wrong.
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Maybe you’ll come to realize your new accommodation isn’t that good and you’ll have to spend more money until you find a new one. Maybe you’ll have to furnish your new place. Maybe the costs of living will be higher than you have expected and you’ll still have to live there for a month until you get your first salary. Don’t let it blindside you.
2. Get international health insurance
Many countries have high medical bills, especially for foreigners. When we add to it the fact you’ll be far away from your family and the insurance and medical care you are accustomed to, it’s clear that getting injured or sick in a foreign country can be overwhelming. You shouldn’t allow yourself to end up broke because you don’t have proper health insurance. International health insurance for ex-pats is the best solution. You will have peace of mind when you know you can ask for medical help freely and all your expenses will be covered.
3. Get travel debit or credit card
A debit card is a good choice for those you travel a lot or live and work abroad. You can always inform your bank you’ll be on a long vacation if you want to keep the benefits. Also, you can get a local bank account in the country you’ll be working in. Collect as much information as you can on what type of card would be most suitable for you. And be aware that certain countries don’t allow you to pay for everything with a foreign card. The more you know before you leave about the best way of payment, the less unnecessary costs you’ll have.
4. Get your travel documents and work permit in order
This is something you need to deal with long before you pack your things. First of all, you need to check if your passport is still valid. A copy of your application form for a new passport won’t look good when you arrive at the airport. Be responsible – start the renewing process on time.
Visa is another thing you need to get done on time. Some countries have special requirements for issuing a visa, so make sure you meet them all. Also, some countries like Australia have various types of work permits. It sometimes can be really confusing for a future ex-pat to deal with it on their own. For that reason, many of them ask for advice from a good immigration lawyer in Sydney or another Australian country. That way, there’s no fear of missing something important. In other words, don’t feel like you need to do everything by yourself. There are many professionals who can ease the process for you.
5. Pack smart
It’s understandable you want to bring things of sentimental value with you. It’s also understandable to want to bring things that remind you of the comfort of your home. But the fact is – you have decided to work abroad to leave your comfort zone. So, don’t get attached to things too much. Instead, try to be practical.
The essential thing is to inform you about the seasons in the country you’ll be working in. What is the appropriate clothing for each one of them? Also, see if you’ll need any special equipment or clothes for your work. Do research on the lifestyle expenses and the cost of materials in your new homeland. That way, you’ll be able to be minimalist when it comes to packing. You will also save a lot of money when it comes to shipping costs. But whatever you can in your new destination. If it turns out it’s cheaper to bring your own things, then organize freight shipping much earlier so that it arrives at the same time as you.
6. Cost expectations
Every country is unique and that applies to the costs of living, too. Before you go, you should do research on how much you will have to spend on a monthly basis. You need to find out what the average rent is, as well as electricity, heating, phone and internet costs. Don’t forget to find out what the cheapest transportation is and whether you’ll need to hire a vehicle. Find out what the price of food and home necessities is. This will prevent you from being shocked when you face with costs on an everyday basis.
Also, decide in advance what things you’ll give up at the very start in order to save some money. For example, you probably won’t need cable TV the moment you arrive there. And you won’t sign up for the gym in the first couple of weeks. Stick to essentials in the beginning.
Living as an ex-pat will be as exciting and comfortable as you prepare yourself for it. It all comes down to careful planning. Of course, you need to be prepared for the fact that some things just won’t go your way, no matter how careful you’ve planned them. But it’s just a fraction of everything. Most things can be put in order – you just need to do thorough preparation.