Making a major life decision like moving overseas is something that requires a lot of thought and decisiveness. Every move is a big deal but an international relocation is rife with considerations you may not have ever had to think about.
In order to best prepare, or at least begin the process of thinking through an overseas move there are several things that need to be kept front of mind.
Why do you want to move abroad?
The main answer for the question “how do you decide if you should move to another country” lies in the why. What is your reasoning for wanting to move abroad? There are good and bad reasons and you should know exactly where you fall.
If you are looking to move abroad simply to please someone else, in a desperate bid to remove someone (or something) from your life, or for any reason that does not actually make you happy, enhance your life or enrich it in some way then it’s worth taking a step back to look at your situation.
If you want to move abroad to further your education, get a new job, meet new people, learn a new language, then those are all perfectly good reasons for wanting to move abroad. Giving the move itself enough thought, and not simply moving on a whim, is a vital part of ensuring your move will be successful.
Even if you decide that your new country is not for you, and you end up returning home to live, then you will still be able to know you tried it for the right reasons.
What is your financial situation?
You should only consider moving to another country if you are financially able. Relying on finding a job once you arrive, especially if you do not know anyone or the language, can be a tricky task and a big risk. If you don’t have a job lined up and are relying on savings to get you through until you can find a job, it’s important to spend time understanding what the real situation is on the ground with jobs.
Consider your options. If you already have a job waiting for you when you arrive then this can be a great reason to move abroad. You will be in a stronger financial situation and have one less thing to worry about.
Don’t forget that the actual act of moving itself can be very expensive. Just a few of the costs include your tickets, shipping your belongings (or buying new ones on arrival), and setting up your new life there. On top of all of this, you also may need to file paperwork or hire a lawyer to help with your visas and permits.
All of these expenses can add up very quickly so it is best to have a rough idea of exactly how much you will need in savings to get you started. The last thing that you will want to worry about when moving to another country is money.
Do you speak the language?
When deciding if you should move to another country you should think if there will be any language barriers. This will not necessarily be a problem, but you should consider it. For example, if you are able to work in your native language (or even a language that you speak fluently) then this will not be a problem, you will simply need to pick up enough to get by.
Alternatively, if you are going to need to rely on your language skills in your new country then this can pose a big hurdle to overcome. In most cases, you won’t be hired for a position that requires language fluency if you don’t possess the skills. You may need to work language lessons into your pre-move plans or spend a month (or longer) on arrival solely focused on language learning.
Do you know anyone there?
Moving to a new country can be a daunting task. So, if you know anyone there then this can help make the transition a lot smoother and give you a support network when you need it. Even if you do not have any friends or family members in your new country you could consider making friends through international expat groups online. Taking time to network and find a new group of friends when you arrive to your new home should definitely become a part of your social schedule!