Moving house can be a daunting experience, and moving abroad can be even more so. It takes a great deal of planning if you want to keep stress to a minimum and ensure that the move goes well. To do this, you will need to give yourself at least six months to prepare. That might seem like a long time, but it is necessary as there is a lot to do. Six months out, you can focus on the most significant items that can’t be done nearer the date of the move.
Start learning the language
If you are heading to a country where you don’t speak the language, now is the time to get learning. Being able to communicate with native speakers, even on a basic level, will help you feel much more comfortable when you arrive, and it will make life easier in your new home. If a formal course doesn’t sound appealing, there are numerous apps and short online courses that can help give you a grounding in the language.
Tell the school
If you are moving with a family, it is never too early to make the necessary educational arrangements. Whether you are enrolling your child in an international school for a truly international education or a local kindergarten in your new country, make sure you deal with all the relevant paperwork well in advance so that your child’s education is not disrupted.
Do some tentative job hunting
You may not have a new job waiting for you when you move, so this is a good time to start the process of job hunting. Take the time to check what is available in your new region, amend your resume so that it fits with local demands and register with all of the relevant job-hunting sites. If you have any contacts, start making enquiries. With these basics in place, you will be in a position to start applying for jobs immediately when you arrive.
Search out local forums
Any country that has a reasonable expat community is likely to have online forums where people can swap information and advice and even arrange meetings. These can be ideal sources of information and potential new friends and contacts who can help your move run smoothly, even if you don’t want to get too deeply involved with the expat community.
Organize your belongings
It’s too early to start packing, but it can be a good idea to begin looking through your belongings, particularly the larger items and deciding what you will be taking with you, what you will be giving away and what you can sell.
Finances and administration
You don’t want to experience any delays in accessing finance in your new country, so make sure that you research all of the financial services, from the location of ATMs to how the banking system works, and apply as early as possible for any necessary local bank accounts. This is also a good time to check that your passport is up to date and obtain any necessary visas.
There is much more to do to arrange a successful move abroad, but by taking these steps six months out, you will put yourself in a strong position to complete the minor details over the weeks leading up to your moving day.