Many people dream of one day moving abroad to work; getting the chance to experience a new country, learn new languages and in some cases just get away from the grey English weather. The expatriate life can be an extremely rewarding one, taking you on unique adventures and giving you the opportunity to meet people with whom you might never otherwise have crossed paths. Many countries have large and active expat communities, so wherever you are moving to you’ll no doubt meet people there who can help you find your feet.
There is of course a whole lot of planning that goes moving abroad to work, so here are a few things to remember as you prepare to plant your feet somewhere new:
- Learn the local language
- Arrange health insurance
- Make sure your passport and other paperwork is up to date
- Cancel utilities and arrange mail forwarding
- Find a bank
Speaking another language can be scary at first, but the benefits of knowing at least some basics before you move can be massive. You’ll find that you pick up a new language quite quickly once you’re immersed in the culture, but this process has the potential to quickly accelerate if you give yourself a head start before moving abroad to work.
Being able to communicate at least a little from the get-go will also help you to meet people and start forming the friendships and working relationships that will be so important for you to settle into your new home. You’ll also find that local people really appreciate your efforts and giving the language a go can be a great icebreaker.
International medical insurance is a really worthwhile investment if you’re moving abroad, as the costs of medical treatment in a different country can be pretty extreme if you are unfortunate enough to need a trip to the hospital or similar. International insurance providers such as Aetna International can cover you for almost any incident and they have local offices all over the world to ensure that any claim can be settled as quickly as possible.
It sounds obvious but… it’s really important that all your paperwork, especially your passport , is up to date. The last thing you want is to run into problems with proof of identity – especially when you’re in unfamiliar surroundings. Your UK driving license may not be valid where you’re moving to, so if you need to apply for a new license it’s best to do this in plenty of time so it doesn’t hold things up when you make the move.
It’s also advisable to make copies of all this important paperwork to ensure you’re never caught out if something happens to any of your documents.
Make sure you inform your bank that you’re moving and be sure to cancel any utilities contracts such as gas, water, electricity, internet and telephone. It’s also essential that you tell HM Revenue & Customs about your move so it doesn’t affect your state pension. Click here for more information.
You need to get all of your post forwarded from your old address at home to your new one abroad too. This is easy to arrange and really vital, as you don’t want to miss any important correspondence. You can create mail redirection on the Post Office website.
You need to do some research into banks that are local to where you are moving and see which are best placed to look after your money while you are living abroad. Again, it may be a good idea to speak to other expats about this, as you’ll want to choose a bank that not only gives you the best deal, but one which has a good reputation with foreign customers – banking abroad can be a real nightmare if you don’t get good international customer service.
This article was written by Ruth Kennedy and sponsored by Aetna International.