International Moving: Prep Guide
International moving is probably one of the toughest moves you will ever make. Not only does it mean uprooting your entire life, it entails resettling in a place where you most likely have no family or friends to help you adjust. Add to that the prospect of having to learn a new language and new customs and it is no wonder that the idea of relocating can be terrifying to many people.
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When you have decided to relocate to a new country, remember that the best way to ensure a smooth transition is to hire international movers to help you move. Hiring professionals will take the stress and hassle out of packing, dealing with customs and storage concerns. They will also be able to advise you on the amount of time needed for the delivery of your belongings and the most efficient way of shipping your things – either by air or sea. Both forms of shipping have their advantages and choosing the right one will depend on your time line, budget and need.
International moving is not at all like moving locally. When you make a local move the most you have to worry about it changing your address and ensuring that your utilities are properly hooked up. When you move internationally you have far greater concerns including the verification that all of your visa requirements are up-to-date, that you have an internationally valid driver’s license, that your belongings will be shipped safely and that you have adequate health care coverage should you fall ill or have an accident. The best way to guarantee that you have the right papers for living and working in another country is to check with your local embassy to find out what you will need.
If you plan on working in your new place of residence then your best bet is to find a job before you relocate. In most places finding work once you arrive can take some time as the majority of the plum positions are given to local people. Also bear in mind that if the official language is different from your own native tongue, then you will have to know that language fluently in order to be considered for any job after you arrive. When applying for a position from your own home country the requirements might not be so stringent as the companies are the ones looking for someone to fill their positions and you will have more flexibility and negotiating room. Relocating without a job in hand is a risky venture that requires deep pockets to finance your up-keep until you are able to find work. It is recommended that you have a nest egg that will keep you afloat for at least three months after you arrive – or risk having to return home before your venture has even begun.
Another serious concern with international moving is health care. Most countries have adequate health care facilities. However, moving to another country does not automatically qualify you for their native health care plans (if any). Your safest bet is to take out sufficient health care insurance to cover any of your medical costs, including being airlifted back home in case of severe injury or illness.
If you are planning to relocate with children, you will have a whole other set of concerns to worry about. Children will have to be told well in advance of your plans and, if possible, should bet taken with you to see the new country or neighbourhood before you move. You will also have to find out about international education. If the language of instruction is different from what your children are used to, then it will put them at a disadvantage unless you are able to find integration programs to help them make the transition. You might also want to start teaching them the local language before the move so that they have an easier time fitting-in afterwards. Most countries have international schools, however those institutions tend to be privately run and are quite pricey.
Moving to another country can be the adventure of a lifetime if planned properly. Experiencing a new culture, climate and customs can be enriching and rewarding. In order to make your international move a success, plan early and meticulously and you should be able to enjoy your decision.
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