More and more people are deciding to go and live abroad but an expatriation is more than just a long term vacation. There are many things that you can do to prepare an overseas move and here is a quickly list to get you started.

  1. Get your finances sorted:

    – Choose carefully the most appropriate bank for your new country and make sure your cards are not about to expire.

    – Set up direct debits before leaving so you don’t have to do bank transfers or manual payments from unsecured internet connections

    – Enquire out about money withdrawals abroad with your bank (for instance until not long ago in Argentina, withdrawals at ATMs were limited to 300 pesos/day with most bank cards (which isn’t much) but with an HSBC card, you are able to withdraw 3x this amount.)

  2. Get your health sorted:

    – Do a health check before leaving

    – Think about medical care: unless you already have a contract with an employer in your future country, it might be wise to buy good travel insurance for the first year of your time overseas.

    – Get your prescriptions written up by your doctor with the generic name of drugs and stock up on the essentials

  3. Get your paperwork sorted:

    – During your research, you may have noticed that you will need specific official documentation for immigration or administrative purposes (such as birth certificate or your marriage certificate, etc…) then you may want to start gathering and authenticating this documents.

    – Make sure your passport, driving licence or national ID card are not about to expire as this could be a tricky business to do it from your consulate in your new country.

  4. Get your family “sorted”:

    – Make sure to include to this preparation phase all the persons accompanying you. Otherwise, they are more likely to experience a culture shock after the move and suffer from homesickness. (Include everyone on the research and decision stages, language classes, etc)

    – Think of the people you are leaving in your home country, maybe it is good time to really get online if you haven’t done so yet. Open a Facebook account, sign up to Skype or start a personal blog, so that everyone can follow your new adventure and still feel that you are part of their daily life. Creating a blog  to keep in touch with your family and friends is very easy and you can get it for free from platforms such as WordPress or Blogger or check my getting started section for more detailed tips.

    Can you think of other areas that need to get sorted before an overseas move? Please share your thoughts or story in the comment box below.


Sabine PanneauSabine Panneau
Skype: sabp23
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