The notion of moving overseas to live or work is an exciting prospect for most people. Many of us dream of doing this, but sadly, for the majority, it will remain a dream. However, maybe you are “lucky” enough to be one of those for whom relocation to a new country, either permanently or temporarily has become a reality and now you are facing the daunting task of preparing yourself and maybe your family for the big move.
The Daunting Task Ahead
Once the excitement of anticipating the move has begun to settle, the reality of the logistics will begin to surface. If you are moving to a country similar to your home country, there may be fewer changes to consider, but if you are moving to a country with a very different cultural perspective, you may need to do research and spend time planning to prepare you for that experience.
If you are transferring with your current employer to an international office, you may find that they will already have relocation protocols and helps in place. If you are moving with a new job, you may find that you will have to source a support network yourself if your new employer doesn’t do this for you. Either way, you will need advice in what to take and what not to take and specific information about what your new job entails, what your living accommodation will be like and whether you need to supply your own transport.
Decisions To Be Made
No matter which country you move to, there will be important decisions to make. You will need to know what medical services are available and at what cost, whether you will need insurance and what type. If you have food allergies or other lifestyle challenges, you may have to source alternative food or medicinal supplies.
If you are taking children with you, you will need advice on where they will go to school and whether you need to take distance education materials with you to supplement their education. They may need extra time to adjust to leaving their extended family and friends and it may be useful to include them in the planning stages of the move, to help build their own anticipation of their new lives and to participate enthusiastically in all the preparations.
Basic language study before you relocate may be useful, as may some local knowledge of social and business customs. It may be useful to find and interact with people from your new host culture as you prepare to move as they can often be excellent sources of information and provide you with contacts to help you once you arrive in your new host country.
Whilst your employer may provide you with much of this information, don’t underestimate expat forums, online social media sites and other opportunities to discuss issues of education, health, lifestyle, transport etc. to help ease the transition. These online communities can often provide you with little snippets of useful information based on their own experiences and these can be invaluable when making long distance practical decisions and easing the transition to your new home away from home.