Moving to an entirely different country is a major decision and not something you should do on a whim. Any move needs to be planned and you should always take time to make sure you have everything prepared to move. On top of the normal stresses of a move, moving to a different country means you’ll be a part of an entirely different culture, laws, and routine. Here are some factors to consider.
Can you afford to live in the country?
First and foremost, you need to know that you’ll have a job or steady source of income when you move to a new country. Make sure the industry you want to work in has opportunities in your new country or that you have enough money saved up to cover expenses. Ideally, you’ll have a job before you move, but if you don’t, then make sure you have enough money to carry you over. Do lots of research on the cost of living in the new country and look at specific cities or towns where you’re interested in living.
Do you know anyone there?
If you’re trying to decide where to move, a great reason to pick a new country is because you have friends or family there. You’ll have people to help you adjust to your new life and understand the culture of the new country. If you don’t know anyone, try to make some connections before you move or be prepared to cultivate relationships as soon as you get there.
Do you speak the language?
A major consideration is whether or not you can speak the main language of another country where you’re considering moving. If you don’t already speak the language, consider taking classes before you move and after you get there. In most cities, you can find meetup groups where a local will teach you the language in exchange for lessons in your native language. See if your native language is widely spoken in your new country, because you might not have to learn the new language as quickly.
Do you understand the culture?
No matter what country you’re moving to, there will be lots of differences from where you live now. Make sure you understand the culture of the country you’re moving to. You might think you know what it’s like to live in a certain country, but you could be romanticizing it. Read as much as you can about the new country and find first-person accounts of what it’s like to live there. Also, take the time to understand the country’s government and how taxes and the legal system work.
What about health insurance?
One of the most important aspects of moving to a new country is understanding how the health system works and how you’ll have insurance. Maybe the government provides health insurance, maybe you’ll keep coverage from the United States, or maybe your job provides insurance. Know what your situation is and what your coverage entails. You might only be able to go to specific doctors or hospitals and it’s important you understand your coverage in case of an emergency.
Even though it’s a huge change, moving to a different country can also be an incredible experience, so take the time to decide whether or not it’s the right decision for you; if and once you decide to make the move, remember to have fun and make the most of it!