I’ve moved overseas a few times: the first time to the Czech Republic, the second time to Spain and now I live in Antigua, Guatemala. Moving overseas is a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, learn a new language and even save money. However, there are quite a few challenges when moving abroad, such as how are you going to get money into your new country and bank account, finding a new apartment or house to live in or rent, and establishing a new circle of friends. I decided to write this article on the top 5 tips for moving overseas to help you get ready for your move!
1. Send Money Overseas
If you’re planning to use your bank card in order to do ATM withdrawals until you have your finances sorted in your new country, you may find yourself surprised by how fast the fees will creep up on you. Overseas money transfers are a great way to cut down expenses and to ensure your money gets exactly where it needs to be. You may think that a $5 or $10 ATM transaction fee is quite reasonable, but when you have to pay big ticket items such as a bond for an apartment, those expenses can creep up really fast.
2. Consider Renting an Airbnb
It’s probably not financially viable to rent an Airbnb indefinitely, as the rates are more expensive than monthly rentals. However staying in an Airbnb for the first few weeks or months is an excellent way to check out an area before you commit to contracts and find yourself locked in. It’s a great way to try out a few different areas, see how the public transport is etc before committing.
3. Be Social
It’s easy to get distracted by the busyness of the move and then you may find yourself a few months into living in the new country realizing you don’t really have any new friends. Try to be social from the get-go. Accept all invitations, even if the person inviting you doesn’t seem like best friend material. This will allow you to get to know them and you will expand your social group in the meantime. There are websites like Meetup.com where you can find activities in numerous towns and cities around the world to meet up with people.
4. Don’t Abandon Your Friends At Home
You never know who will be tempted to visit you if you keep in touch. There’s the expression “out of mind, out of sight” but don’t do that with your friends. Each week I make a habit to get in contact with a friend from back home, whether it’s catching up for a Skype call or just sending a quick Facebook message.