Globalization is a huge buzzword today, and for good reason. It’s becoming increasingly easy to pick up and move halfway around the world just because you want to. If you’ve been considering moving to your dream destination or have been offered a job somewhere and are debating whether to take it, think through several major questions first.
1. How will I earn and manage my money?
This is perhaps the most important hurdle to get over because you won’t be able to stay abroad long if you don’t have any money. You may be fortunate enough to be considering a move because your company is offering to transfer you to an international location. Otherwise, you’ll need to go through the process of getting a work visa and finding a job in the country. In addition, you’ll need to open a bank account and figure out the details of paying taxes, both where you’re living and in the United States if required.
2. Am I willing to get past the language barrier?
Although English is one of the most common languages in the world, especially as a second language, you’ll probably want to speak the primary language in the country where you live. If you haven’t studied the language at all before moving, it will be a while before you feel comfortable speaking it, and you may have trouble working if that language is used in the workplace.
3. What type of living arrangements will I have?
The typical suburban homes many people have in the United States aren’t really typical in most other places in the world. Often, you’ll find that homes are smaller than you’re used to, and can also be proportionally more expensive when compared to your income. You may need to rent because some countries don’t have a strong lending system for buying properties.
4. How will I maintain my health and well-being?
Depending on where you are heading, you may need to get specific immunizations before you move. In addition, research the health risks of that location, which may include difficulty finding clean drinking water or illnesses carried by animals. Because most health insurance plans in the United States don’t work overseas, you’ll also need to set up a plan like Citizen Secure insurance that will cover your medical needs abroad.
5. Will I enjoy the social atmosphere and leisure activities?
Lastly, even if the logistics all look great for a particular country, consider whether you’ll really enjoy living there. If you’re an early bird and are considering a city known for its night life, you may not fit in well. On the other hand, you may love moving to a location with a rich history you’ve always enjoyed studying and can explore in real life right from your new home.
If you think moving abroad today is complicated, just think about how difficult it was a century ago. Travel took much longer, you couldn’t take many belongings with you, and you couldn’t plan in advance many of the details you can take care of today. As you consider the possibility of living in another country long-term, take advantage of all your opportunities to research your destination and set yourself up for a successful transition to your new home.