Beginners Guide to Becoming an Expatriate
So, you’re going to be an expatriate? Relocating abroad is fun and exciting but it also poses many issues and a few hurdles you’ll have to accept and deal with if your move is going to be successful.
If you’re moving to a foreign land off your own accord then it’s reasonable to presume you know the local culture. However if you’re relocating at the behest of a partner then you may not. It is very important for you and the local community that you familiarise yourself with your new surroundings, and its inhabitants. You take the time to walk around the area, note where the supermarkets, banks, restaurants, bars and other places of importance are. Meet and greet the owners of such establishments, introduce yourself, learn their names, explain that you’re new to the area. These people will be your neighbours and will appreciate you making the effort in this way.
One of the most vital things to do when moving abroad, and yet an astonishing amount of expats still fail to do it, is learn the language. It will make your move so much easier, and will enable you to make a lot more out of your time there. It’s amazing the amount of events and opportunities expatriates miss out on because of the language barrier. Being able to effectively communicate your aims and ideas, as well as understand those of others, is so crucial to helping your relocation experience you should invest in a language CD right now. Or better, go to classes as soon as you’ve confirmed the move. Learning another language is a lot easier when you do it with a group of other people.
There are a lot of formalities to handle when relocating. Have you got international health insurance? Having comprehensive cover for you and your family when moving abroad is a vital. It is a terrible eventuality to consider, but unfortunately you must prepare for it. Should an accident occur and you do not have any expat health insurance then you will steeped in expensive medical bills. Many expats have been bankrupted because of this, don’t let it be you.
Have you registered with the local council and authorities? Make sure everything is above board and you’re on their books. Filling out forms and red tape is not for fun for anyone but failure to do so now will cause you hindrance later. Get the boring bits over and done with so you can get on with enjoying your new house, and making it a proper home for yourself and your family.