Whether it is your job, education, training or simply the need to finally move outside of your comfort zone, are you thinking about becoming an expatriate and living abroad? Sometimes change is forced due to business or learning opportunities but either way if you are seriously thinking about becoming an expatriate there is major planning that needs to be underway.
Once you have been assigned or selected the country in which you want to live it is important to prepare your documents based on the length of time you will be living as an expatriate. If you are working in another country you will need to check the visa requirements. The same applies for students. For instance Buenos Aires will allows non-working visitors a maximum stay of 90 days so do your research prior to your move.
Whether you speak the language of the country you are planning to move to or have plans of taking language classes upon arrival, try to prepare ahead of time and pick up a book, tape, or CD’s that teach the basic of the language. This little bit of knowledge will help you immensely in a foreign country.
Housing is one of the most important things to be considered when moving abroad. There are many apartment and rental home services for most countries that cater specifically to expatriates. Singles, couples and families with children all under go an adjustment period so do research on the neighborhood in which you plan to reside. If you are moving children abroad you will need to investigate schools, language classes, and in some cases day care.
Transportation can be managed depending on the area in which you live in relation to your job or school. Most countries in Europe and many in South America offer mass transportation, as does the United Kingdom. Research the local transportation and consider your options. If you can avoid the maintenance and hassle of a car in a foreign country you will probably have a smoother transition.
There are also many online boards for individuals and families thinking about becoming expatriates and living abroad. Expat Exchange is a great source where locals and other expatriates willingly share a plethora of information regarding relocating abroad. Topics range anywhere from housing, banking, education, jobs, language classes to Yoga and Pilates classes. Transitions Abroad is another excellent web site that provides information for those thinking about becoming an expatriate and living abroad. An American Abroad is another excellent web site that prepares the expatriate for cultural changes and what can be expected. Do a lot of research to ensure your living abroad experience goes as smooth as possible. Living as an expatriate is a wonderful life long experience for anyone willing to take on the challenge and adventure.