The 6 Difficulties Expats Face When Moving Abroad (& How To Avoid!)
Moving to a new country is an exciting yet nerve-racking process that can cause lots of difficulties for ex-pats alongside its thousands of benefits. We have produced this article to help you prepare for your move abroad and to help you to overcome these 6 difficulties as quick as possible!
The first month is usually a hectic one, adjusting to the new country and the new culture, settling into a new job or University. Adapting to your new lifestyle can cause you to experience a whirlwind of emotions, from excitement and happiness to feeling homesick and worried - all at once! It can take some time to get used to becoming more independent and adjusting to how far away you are from your family and friends. But don´t worry - we´re here to help!
As an ex-pat, it´s important to make sure that you follow our 6 points to help make your transition as smooth as possible:
1. Health Insurance
First things first, it´s crucial that you find out about your health insurance coverage before moving abroad. Depending on where you are from and what country you are visiting, the coverage you need may differ but make sure you check the coverage that you are entitled to. For some countries, it is recommended that you get private health insurance. Although paying for insurance may seem annoying at first but it´s better to have that safety blanket - just in case!
It´s important to consider the difficulties you would experience if you didn´t sort out your insurance. We all know how expensive moving abroad can be and I´m sure that we can all do without the addition of expensive hospital bills. Make sure that you choose the right insurance for you and your health conditions to avoid any financial nightmares - think of the long term benefits of having the right insurance coverage!
2. Finding Accommodation
You´ve probably heard about the various online scams when it comes to finding accommodation abroad. Travellers and ex-pats can lose out on substantial amounts of money, which can significantly limit their living arrangements and cause unnecessary financial struggle. Sometimes it´s important to consider whether some places are “too good to be true!” and for this reason, we recommend using the more trustworthy sites such as HousingAnywhere.
HousingAnywhere ensures that each landlord is verified and that every single payment is protected, these are the most important things to look out for when browsing for apartments online. A huge advantage of Housing Anywhere is that the landlord will only receive their deposit 2 days after you move in to ensure that you are 100% satisfied with the place. Top tip for accommodation - Make sure that all your payments are protected and that you get proof of payments to avoid losing any money.
3. Finding A Bank Account
Choosing a bank account abroad can be a difficult task, especially if you need to send the employer your bank details etc in advance. As an ex-pat, it can sometimes be difficult to register with a bank straight away due to the different residential rules and requirements. This is something we´ve heard a lot from our candidates; the problems and inconveniences they have faced when attempting to open a bank account abroad, the hidden fees, the paperwork etc.
We took it upon ourselves to do some research for our website users and we discovered a modern and convenient solution to these issues - N26. N26 is an online bank account, that allows you to register on the go, you can get your salary from any currency paid directly into your account, you have access to 24-hour support, high-security settings, extremely low exchange fees, and more! It´s never been so easy for ex-pats and travellers to open a bank account abroad, sign up with N26 to avoid paying unnecessary bank fees!
4. Getting Work Permits & Visas!
When it comes to visas and work permits, every country is different. You must complete your research on your requirements before your arrival. Before committing to a move, make sure that you legally have rights to settle in that country and if you are looking for work, ensure that you can gain a work visa to avoid any disappointment.
You may need to gather particular documents, prepare bank statements etc. for your arrival in that country. Make sure that you read up on these things beforehand to ensure that you avoid any extra difficulties when you arrive. Some countries can refuse arrival if you don´t have the required documents, so make sure that you pack any important documents in your hand luggage just in case. In terms of research, some visa information is openly available online, but for more in-depth and reliable information you can contact professional advisors with any queries and concerns.
5. Communication Barriers
Nowadays, it´s extremely common for people to move to countries with a different native language to their own. Here at Europe Language Jobs, this is something we strongly encourage as moving to that country can often be your first step towards learning the language. We don´t expect you to become fluent the minute you land there, but we do recommend learning some of the basics to help you get by.
Not only is it respectful to learn the basics of the language before you land there, but it will also become very useful in different situations; arriving at the airport, finding transport, shopping and even making friends! Not knowing any of the languages will make it difficult to communicate with anyone, causing you to feel disrespectful towards the culture! There are different language guides and books you can buy online. We recommend buying a small one that you can carry around, you never know when it may come in handy!
6. Meeting People!
Moving abroad can be a challenging process, especially if you are on your own. Although the thought of meeting people can seem intimidating, we recommend making the effort to meet new people in your first couple of weeks. As we mentioned, this period can be extremely emotional and having support from other people in the same position as you can help significantly. Feelings of loneliness can make you feel regret towards your decision to move!
When it comes to meeting people, the thought of awkward small talk and ´organised fun´ can be a little bit off-putting but there are lots of websites with different events and activities that may suit you, connecting you to people with similar interests as yourself! From attending these events, you may meet people who you instantly get along with and after a few months, you could have friends with people from all over the world! If you are feeling adventurous, try attending an event with a completely new activity, you never know - you may find yourself a new hobby and a new set of friends!
Remember, don´t let these challenges discourage you from moving abroad! Although you may experience most, if not all, of these difficulties when moving abroad, there are thousands of advantages and reasons why moving abroad will be the best decision you will ever make! Once you have overcome all of the challenges above, you´ll soon be settled into your new adventure abroad. In these situations, you must do your best to step outside your comfort zone and to embrace the new culture and new experiences!
Aug 7, 2019 by Charlotte
Thanks for this information. I have my own expat experience. As single parent migration is not easy at all. But then to be in a country with worse level of education and also less international it was horror for my teenager.
I would have rather had a partner and a well payed job instead of this struggle
As someone who moved to Huelva rather than a big city like Barcelona, Madrid or Malaga, there were many things I did not take into account.
How difficult it would be to find work - even with my Spanish skills.
Finding work when I was over 40.
The split working day which makes it hard to combine family and work life.
Having said all that, it was still the right choice to relocate and I would not go back to London!
Its nice when there is a 2-4 week relocation help if you can stay in a motel paid by the company.
Find out how to get a high paying job after Uni