The Essential Guide to Moving to Another Country

People moving fragile boxes during a move

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Moving overseas is often a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and one that takes careful consideration. Before you lose yourself in the excitement of being in a new place with a different culture and language, it's important to get realistic first. If you're thinking of moving to another country, learn how to plan your move, organize logistics and gather the patience and determination to see through your next journey.

Nail Down Your Employment

Finding a job overseas is possible, but searching for international employment can be frustrating due to the distance, change in customs and more. Thankfully, there are many ways to go about it, including contacting an international recruiter, requesting a company transfer or telecommute, posting on a job board or getting a remote role. You can also find an international job before you move by looking at competitors in your new location or simply calling a professional employment service to help do the work for you.

It's equally as important to learn how to negotiate a job contract. Your new location likely has a different cost of living, so it's worthwhile to look at the average salaries for various job positions and companies in your new area. Ensure that you specify your salary, living expenses, any currency changes, and more. You don't want to forget about your benefits package, if available, either. Ask about vacation days, sick time, and other coverage. Getting a work visa or a permit may be a requirement and can be hard to obtain. To simplify the process, apply for any needed permits before you leave.

Move Your Family and Pets

Moving overseas may mean moving your family, too. Make a smooth transition for all your family members, including the four-legged kind. First, you can look for a great school for your children by doing some homework on the type of school you're looking for, whether state, private, or international. Taking your pet to another country also comes with its own special challenges. Be sure to contact the country's consulate and ask about vaccinations, restrictions, quarantine, and more.

Pack and Relocate Easily

Once you know you’re moving, consider what to take with you and how to pack and ship your things safely. For an international move, your household goods can be transferred by air and sea although the latter is a longer process. Consider the options by looking at cost and time.

Scaling down as much as possible will be a lot easier in the long run, though permanent moves should include essential items, things with sentimental value and important documents. Anything that can be easily replaced for a low cost can possibly be donated or sold before your move. Before relocating, consider big decisions to make like shipping your car or not. Weigh the option of buying a new car versus bringing yours with you. For example, you will want to think about the associated moving costs, if you can find the car you want in your new country or if you'll need it at all (a big city often offers public transportation.) If you decide to bring it, get quotes from moving companies that provide port-to-port service.

Organize Practical Matters

Moving to another country means moving into a new environment where everyday living matters can temporarily become a bit more complicated. Learn how to take care of your health care, banking and other key needs before you move. Moving to another country also often results in financial changes when it comes to new costs, international and local taxes and wills and insurance. Get your ducks in a row so you can have peace of mind that all of your accounting is together.

Prepare for a Culture Change

Moving to another country often means adapting to a new culture and a new way of life. While most of us have experienced culture shock at one time or another, it is not something to take lightly. Find out what culture shock is, its signs and symptoms and what you can do to prepare for the change before you leave your home country. Get used to your new home by making your place cozy with artwork from home and framed pictures of family members.