Moving abroad can be a strange mixture of excitement and worry. After all, being immersed in the culture and climate of a whole new country can be just as disorientating as it is desirable. If you want to make the move as positive as possible, make sure you avoid making these common errors.
- Failing to Arrange Insurance
In the UK we always have the NHS to fall back on, but this is rarely true with other countries. The most serious mistake you can make as an expat is not providing yourself with proper healthcare insurance. Some countries will actually ask for this as part of your visa requirements. Before you move, make sure that you arrange a suitable policy with an International Healthcare provider.
- Underestimating Living Costs
Unfortunately, it can be hard to predict your living costs until you actually arrive, but you still need to be exhaustive in your research as possible. It’s easy to assume that you’ll be slashing your cost of living simply because your rent is cheaper than it would be in the UK, but what about food, internet, clothing, and other such costs? Try asking around on online forums to find out about any hidden costs.
- Moving for the Savings
There are plenty of fantastic reasons to move abroad, but there are also a few that should make you think twice. Many expats move abroad simply to lower their living expenses. This is often a fantastic advantage, but it shouldn’t be your sole motivation. If you don’t enjoy the location and the lifestyle, the savings won’t feel worth it.
- Failing to Research the Location
If you’re moving abroad for work, you probably won’t have much say when it comes to your location. However, those moving for pleasure can choose wherever they want. This can be both a blessing and a curse; it’s quite easy to get things wrong. Remember to consider every factor. Are you close to an international airport? Is there an expat community? Is there a monsoon season? Can foreigners own property there? These are just a few of the questions you should ask yourself.
- Not Learning the Language
Finally, make sure you learn at least a little of the language if you’re going somewhere where English isn’t the mother tongue. You don’t need to become fluent, but you should learn enough to have casual conversations. This isn’t just useful – it also helps you find local friends.