If you’ve been rolling this question over in your mind for any period of time in can feel like a really daunting task. There could be just as many positive reasons as negative reasons. So how do you decide if you should move overseas?
These ten questions are a good start if you’re feeling stuck. But, the real key is going to be deciding how committed you are to the move and also how much risk you’re willing to take. Moving overseas is a big decision so don’t take this lightly!
1. Can I speak the language?
If you are moving abroad then chances are that you do not speak the local language. If this is the case you’ll want to really understand how much of a disadvantage you will be at not speaking the language and how much time you can commit to learning. Although this should not stop you from moving it is something to consider. Preparing and taking classes before you move is also another good idea.
2. Do I have a job?
If you are moving internationally without a secured job then do plenty of research beforehand.
- What jobs are you willing to do?
- Does your field exist in your new country?
- Do you have the qualifications needed?
- If you can’t get a job in your field what other options do you have?
Make some enquiries before you actually move and give yourself a better understanding of the job market in your target destination.
Need help figuring out how much a relocation may cost? I have a tool for that!
3. Do I know anyone there?
One of the scariest things about moving abroad is leaving your loved ones behind. However, if you already have friends or family in your new country of residence then that can make the process so much easier. You can adapt to your new support network and still feel safe and secure. If you don’t know anyone how comfortable are you building new friendships and networks? This certainly isn’t a reason not to go but it is something you need to think about.
4. Do I know anything about the culture?
Some countries differ drastically in their way of life. Before you move, consider how much you actually know about your new country. What religion is predominant there? Does the culture affect day-to-day life? Is it compatible with how you live your life? Having a better understanding of your new home will allow you to integrate yourself quickly and easily. It also could help you decide a move isn’t right for you.
5. Am I willing to move away from my friends and family?
If you are someone that cannot be away from your friends and family for an extended period of time then you should give some serious consideration to your international move. Although moving abroad can be an incredibly rewarding experience it is also a big change.
Consider how far you will be away from your loved ones and how often you could, realistically, visit them. If you are very close to each other and you are moving to the other side of the world, know this will be harder and much more expensive. Take some more time to consider your international move if this is important to you.
6. How do I transport my belongings?
If you have a lot of belongings moving them is a major hurdle. Moving all of your things can be a very costly affair, especially if you are moving a long distance and if you’re paying out of pocket. Some companies do pay for international relocations, but if you’re self-moving, expect major expenses.
If you are able to part with something before moving make this a priority. It is ok to keep smaller and more sentimental things, you can also give things to friends and family, but larger items such as furniture can always be purchased in your new place.
7. Why am I moving abroad?
Have you spent a good amount of time really thinking about the why for your move? You should make sure that you are doing this for you. Do not move for the sake of someone else if you are not comfortable with the idea. Similarly, if you are moving to get away from someone or something know that distance may not make that situation better.
8. Can I get the necessary visa/permit?
If you need to sort out your own paperwork, make sure it is in order before you leave. If you need to enlist the help of a professional do it as soon as you are able. The process can often be tricky and very time-consuming. You might need specific paperwork from your home country so having professional help in advance will allow you to sort this out. Sorting out mistakes later can be costly and jeopardize your legal status in a country.
9. Where am I going to live?
This might seem obvious but you’d be surprised how many people do not have any idea where they will live or what local costs are and base their move on short-term arrangements and assumptions. Arrange a living space beforehand, even if it is only for a month or two before looking to rent somewhere more long-term. This will lighten the stress of moving.
10. Will I have access to healthcare?
Making sure that you can be treated if needed is very important. Some countries have limited access if you are not a resident or citizen. For example some countries have free healthcare but you may not be eligible. While others have healthcare systems that are not easy to navigate or good quality. If you need medications, ensure that you are able to get these and also that you will be able to afford them. Not all medications are available in all countries.
There are of course many more considerations that you need to think about when deciding if such a move is right for you but this should get you started!