Moving abroad is a huge decision and requires a lot of thought, therefore it should not be taken lightly. There are many things to consider and many questions to ask yourself, whether it be for work, study or visiting. We’ve narrowed it down to a list of seven questions to ask yourself :

1.   Why do you want to move abroad? 

Is it for work, adventure, love, a better private future, study? We all have different reasons for moving abroad and knowing why you want to move will give you a perspective on the routes you need to take. Get clarity on your primary motive, as well as secondary ones.

2.   Which country do you want to move to? Where exactly do you want to move to? What country attracts you the most and why? 

For a lot of people, the move is about travel – seeing new places, meeting new people, having new experiences. It can also be about independence; when you arrive you often have to start afresh and build up a new way of living, even if you’re moving with friends or family. Career or work is also a big reason why many people want to live in another country. Work opportunities are constantly waxing and waning globally for different industries. Do research beforehand to avoid disappointment. 

 3.  Can you afford to move abroad? 

The biggest question on your mind should be whether or not you can afford to make a move like this. Moving abroad isn’t quite the same as relocating to the next town away. There’s a lot more to consider, but, if you are aware of all the challenges, you should find that moving to a new country isn’t that problematic at all.

  • The cost of living in a different country will vary, therefore, your income will be adjusted to reflect that. Expenses such as rent, groceries, etc. may be less or more but your debt stays the same.
  • This may include credit card debt, student loans, and outstanding medical bills with the assumption that if you own your home and/or car, you will sell or rent it.
  • Cost of living is a critical factor to consider when deciding whether or not the overseas move will be successful.
  • Whether you’re working abroad, traveling, or using your savings to live within another culture for a while, you need to determine how much daily life will cost to see if you can afford it. 

 4. How does your immediate family feel about your decision? 

Are you moving abroad by yourself? Or are you moving with your partner, children, and/or pets? If you’ll be moving abroad with other people or animals, you’ll need to start asking some questions and doing some research to ensure they’re all ready for the move. Start by making sure those people want to move abroad as well, and then look into the logistics of finding jobs, schools, vets, etc.

 5. What is the general safety level of the neighbourhood you wish to move into?

It can be nerve-wracking, packing your life up into a couple of bags to move abroad and that’s before you factor in travel safety concerns or other ways you might compromise your safety while traveling abroad.

  •     Check political stability of your destination 
  •     Consider medical insurance 
  •     Research on access to healthcare, etc.  

 6.  How long will you be going and how soon do you need to leave? 

This might not seem like an important question to consider but it is. This will give you an indication of how much money to save, what to do with your belongings at home, etc. 

 7.  What paperwork is required for you to live and work in your new country? 

I believe this is the most important factor to consider.

  • Will you be required to apply for a visa/permit in advance and what type of visa?
  • How long will it take to get the right paperwork and where do you obtain the right permits?
  • If you’re going for work, do you have a job offer already?
  • Each country is different, with its own immigration laws, so please do your research or contact us for a consultation.

Now that you have asked yourself these questions, you should have a better understanding of what you want to do and whether moving abroad really is the right decision for you (along with whether or not the country you have chosen aligns with your core values, amongst other things!). Moving abroad is a big decision, but if it is your dream and you are prepared, I encourage you to do it!

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Written by: Uaaruka Kandjii