Living abroad is the ultimate adventure. It forces you to expand your horizons as you adapt to life in an entirely new culture.
Even so, the process of moving abroad can throw some unexpected challenges your way. Here are a few things expats say they wish they’d known before making the move.
YOU CAN ESTABLISH A SOCIAL CIRCLE BEFORE YOU ARRIVE
It’s easy to get so caught up in the thrill of boarding your flight and getting the keys to your new property that you forget just how quiet life will be once you’ve settled in. As one Reddit user advises, it’s crucial to start making contact with everyone you know in that country before you arrive.
“Here’s a cheeky hack. If you go into your Facebook account and type in “Friends in London”, you’ll get a list of every Facebook connection you have [in that location]. Reach out to all of those people (even if you haven’t spoken to them in years!) and let them know you’re coming."
(Reddit post from u/princessgrl)
By setting up the foundations of a social life while you’re still at home, you can get stuck in to your new circle from the moment you arrive.
YOU WILL ALWAYS NEED SAVINGS TO FALL BACK ON
There are always unexpected costs when you arrive in a new country so it’s smart to arrive with some savings.
Some countries will also want to see a certain amount in your account to check you can support yourself. If you’re moving to Canada, for example, you’ll need more than $2,500 in your account.
But having a savings safety net for when you arrive can make a huge difference to your overall experience.
YOU’LL BE STARTING YOUR CREDIT SCORE FROM SCRATCH
While any existing debts you have will move with you abroad, your credit score won’t. Starting from scratch can be a daunting experience and you’re likely to find it difficult to be accepted for any kind of loan or credit when you first move.
Be prepared with savings wherever possible and take extra care with your money to build your credit score as quickly as possible.
“The biggest issue to overcome was the fact that my credit history wasn’t portable, I had to start from scratch again.”
(Reddit post from MapleLeaf5410)
Skrill allows you to move money to other countries at low rates, so if you do need a little extra help from home, it couldn’t be easier.
YOU GET MORE THAN ONE SHOT TO MAKE IT WORK
Moving to a new country is a commitment, and the thought of failing and having to move back home puts people off going in the first place. But nobody gets it 100% right and it doesn’t have to spell the end if something goes wrong.
Finding a new job, new friends and a new place to live is a big step for anyone to take. But with a positive mindset and a Skrill account to make transferring your money easy, these challenges won’t seem such a big deal.
“Don’t feel like you have only one shot to get it right. You can always move to another apartment or another city or another job in your new country if the first doesn’t work out.”
(Reddit post from billdietrich1)