Moving Abroad – Do Your Research First

Wouldn’t it be exciting to experience a new culture? Live in a foreign land? Learn a new language from native speakers in their native environment? If you are considering moving to another country, there are several things you need to consider. Here are some tips for making your new adventure trouble free.

First of all you need to have information about the country you are considering. The CIA World Factbook, available online, provides a wealth of information about the history, economy, government, demographics, and other important facts about every country you can imagine. Scanning through this reference will help you pull out aspects that you find attractive and advise you of any issues that might be a cause for concern.

You can find more information about individual countries from their local embassies as well as other promotional organizations. Keep in mind, as you review information, that the presenter may have a financial interest in bringing in new business and foreign sources of revenue. They will be painting you a picture of great beauty and prosperity while they neglect to mention any of their problems. In other words, take note of where you get your information.

The best possible information you can get is from expatriates who are living in that country, preferably in the same city or at least in the same region that you plan to move. You can find groups online at Yahoo Groups, blogs, or other social forums that exist for this purpose. These people can give you valuable insights about the work environment, quality of healthcare, availability of imported goods, education, and details of the public and social life. It is good to consider the lifestyle of the contacts when filtering their comments; the perspective of a mother of three children will likely be different from that of a single male. It helps to know who you are talking to. Be careful not to give out too much personal information in the process because foreigners are at an increased risk of becoming victims of crime. Not everyone has good intentions.

Another important source to check is an international cost-of-living index. This tool compares the prices of common household needs between cities. They provide a ranking according to the cost of a few particular items in a globally-recognized currency. They also provide detailed information about economic issues such as salaries, housing, and matters that are common concerns to expatriates who live there. This information will help you decide how much you will need to live on and whether a particular job-offer is generous or low for that economy.

The best way to see if a country is a good fit for you is to visit. The longer you can stay there, the more accurate your assessment will be. You can see firsthand if the local community and culture has the qualities that will make it easy for you and your family to make it your home.

Once you have gathered this basic information, you should feel secure in making your decision. You should have a good understanding of what to expect and be excited about the prospect of moving abroad. For more information, see our other articles that begin with “moving abroad”.

Source by Natalie L. Komitsky

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