Brian Colombana says living abroad can be a significant change in one’s life. Many ex-pats, however, may not fully know what to expect from their time spent living abroad. The truth is that with the growth of globalization and more international jobs, more people are likely to become ex-pats for a variety of reasons. Expatriates, on average, report being happy with their decision to live abroad and rank the top three countries they prefer to move to, such as Germany, France, and Spain.
Whether you choose these or other places, you have to recount different aspects of moving away from your home country. For example, finding new friends or loved ones around you can be one; then, how do you provide yourself a sense of security despite being thousands of miles away from your family? You cannot overlook the challenge of language barriers that affect one’s social life. Besides, how will you find an apartment large enough for everyone and outgoings such as gas and bills which need payment every month? Brian Colombana emphasizes some essential areas of consideration.
If you’re moving abroad for work, you may have to apply for a working visa. You will not qualify for this just because you are joining a company in your new country. You will need to research the terms and conditions of getting a visa. Even typical jobs like English teaching legally require a permit. Vacation time is another thing to consider; most visas last only three months or so on average. It’s also worth making sure you have enough finances if you face any complicated situation.
While there are many great ex-pat destinations worldwide, no matter where you go, there will always be differences – whether it’s in culture or language, points out Brian Colombana. Some of these may come as a shock to foreigners because they don’t realize how different things can get from their home country. It can be more relevant if you move to Mexico or Ecuador from the US. These places are unique. Although being in another country doesn’t necessarily mean that one must learn about the local language and culture, you can make an extra effort because it shows you respect another nation’s ways of doing things.
Also, getting out and exploring your new city or country is crucial. However, it would be best to avoid areas with criminal activities or any potential danger zones where you are staying. If possible, carry a local cell phone for those difficult moments when you need help or require assistance from a translator. It is also crucial that you have the proper health insurance plan if anything happens while you live abroad.
Having the right insurance coverage for you and your family, especially when relocating overseas or expatriating, can be enormously helpful. The search for this should begin early on in the planning process. Although a critical investment, getting affordable insurance need not be complex or full of jargon. So, whether you look at it as a near or future plan, you must check all the corners and secure them for a pleasant life ahead.