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10 Things to Know About Living and Working Abroad

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Leaving behind friends and family to start a new adventure to live and work abroad can be both exciting and terrifying! While you are dealing with all your emotions, there is also the multitude of practical things you will need to take care of.

Living abroad is both exciting and terrifying!

Join an Expat Group

Joining a group of fellow expats on Facebook or any other social channel can help you establish a network of friends in a foreign country that can give you advice on everything from local customs, good schools, places to shop and eat and which ones to avoid, as well as some connections in a country you may not know anyone.

Keep a Homebase Mailbox

It’s a good idea to keep a mailing address in your home country while you’re away. If your stay abroad is temporary, ask a close friend or family member to be your official mailbox. This arrangement is preferable to a Post Office box since that person can check any mail that needs a quick response.

Unlock your Cellphone

It’s cheaper to buy a local SIM card in the country you are heading to and keep using your current cellphone. To avoid accidentally locking yourself out of your social accounts, make sure you have 2-factor authentications sent to your email address and your new phone number once you have it.

Check Visa Requirements

If you’re moving abroad for work, the company that has hired you is likely helping you sort out what visas you will need to work there. It helps to be familiar with the exact regulations do that you are not held up at customs when you arrive at the airport.

Don’t Rent an Apartment Unseen

A good plan would be to stay at a temporary Airbnb for a night or 2 upon arriving. You can then take a little more time to check out the neighbourhoods and find a suitable apartment at the price you are comfortable with.

Get an Electrical Outlet Adapter

A multi-country adapter is a really valuable item to have with you anytime you are travelling. If you are spending a long time in a country, it will be a good idea to get one specific to that country once you get there.

Stock up on Your Favorite Products

If you have a favorite shaving cream, facial skincare regime, peanut butter or underwear brand, now is the time to stock up on these items. While it’s great to try new things when you are abroad, it’s ok to keep some of your favorite things from home.

Cash is King

Though we are a society carrying a multitude of bank cards and credit cards, it’s always a good idea to have some cash with you. You never know what might happen if, say, your credit card is stolen or the bank machine eats your card. While we are looking at finances, make sure you have a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.

Load up on Vaccinations

Make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date. It’s a lot easier to get your shots before you leave the country. Vaccinations vary depending on where you are travelling and may include: typhoid , yellow fever, Japanese B encephalitis, meningitis, and rabies.

Most people agree that their time abroad was the best time of their lives.

Be Prepared to Have Your Patience Tested

Not everything will be wonderful and easy in your new country. Not knowing the language will always be a barrier so learning it will be a huge advantage. But despite this , there will be times of frustration such as fighting with local immigration officers or navigating a foreign medical system. There will be times when you wonder if you have made the right choice. You will feel like you don’t really belong there and unsure about your feelings about your home country. Just breathe and keep in mind that most people say that their time abroad was the best times of their lives!

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