Moving is already one of the more stressful activities we do and moving to another country can amplify those concerns, stresses, and number of things on your to do list. In this article, we take a look at some of the most important things you can do to make sure your overseas or international move is made easier.
Before you move to another country, it’s important to make sure you have all the required documents in order. You personal identification, passport, and visa are things you should take care of first in the process. Secondly, you’ll want to look into how you’re going to transfer and access your finances, as well as your medical records. It’s important to remember that some countries do have immunization requirements, so you’ll want to also make sure that you have the necessary documentation for that, too. To help you with this process, you can contact the U.S. Embassy in the country you’re moving to (registration is free) and enroll in STEP (Smart Travelers Enrollment Program) so that you have the most accurate and up to date information.
Moving away from friends and family can be one of the most challenging aspects of life in a new country. To help you adjust more easily, make sure that you have an updated list of contact information for everyone you’ll need to stay in touch with. Make plans to touch base with those closest to you after you move—they’ll want to hear how you’re doing and it will help make the transition easier for you, especially as you take the first steps toward making your new life and developing friendships in your new surroundings.
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Just as it’s important to keep in touch with the important people that are already part of your life, you’ll also need to put in some effort to meet new people. When you’re in a new place, especially a new country, making connections with locals is one of the best ways you can learn about the area. Asking locals about the best places to visit and sites to see can be invaluable when you’re moving to a new area that you’re unfamiliar with. Before you make the move, try to come up with a list of places you’d like to see, restaurants you’d like to try, and events that you may want to attend. If you have an idea of what you’d like to do, the information you learn from locals can help supplement your existing plans and create avenues for meeting new people much easier.
If you’ll be speaking a language other than English, it’s advisable to brush up on your existing skills. Ideally, you’ll already have some familiarity with how to communicate with others in your new country, but it never hurts to take a refresher course so that you’re that much more prepared when you arrive. Focus on the basics first, like how to ask for directions and ask questions that you’ll need to know the answer to in your day to day life. After that, more conversational aspects of language are good to know so that you have a better ability to socialize with others in the new country.
You may experience some homesickness after moving and one of the best ways to combat this is to bring some items with you that remind you of home. Sentimental items, pictures of friends and family, or anything else that brings you a sense of comfort can be brought with you to make you feel more at home. You don’t want to go overboard since you’ll likely have a limited amount of space, but bringing a few items with you is a great way to stay connected to some of the things you might miss.