Financial Security and Culture Shock: A Guide to Moving Abroad

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Travelling family memories

To live in another country is exciting and rewarding. It’s one of life’s luxuries and usually relevant at a certain point in your life; with children and aging parents, making an international move seems less practical than when you’re young. No matter your age, there are a few things you need to take care of before you arrive – and the process is just as slow and tedious for the old as it is for the young.

Here is a handy checklist to make sure you’ve got everything covered before the big move and ensure a painless process.

Finding a job

Be realistic when you’re still in the planning phase and try not to get swept up in all the excitement of traveling. Sure, some people simply toss the backpack on, head out, and ask to pick strawberries at local farms – but they’re usually in it for the experience. You want some financial security and should save up enough to keep you covered for about six months after your arrival.

The best way to make sure you’ll be happy and comfortable, though, is definitely to get a job before you arrive. There are a lot of ways to do this; ask your current company to transfer you to their department overseas, consider telecommuting, start as a freelancer, or seek down professional employment services.

If you’re brand new to the job market, you have a lot of options to work with translation services or customer support in English, by the way.

Read up on work and visa permits

One beautiful day, we might be one world, but until then, you’re going to have to apply for a permit. This depends on where you’re planning on moving to, obviously, and you’d be wise to consult an immigration lawyer before you do much else. Remember that you don’t have to use their entire service, though, and can easily contact a professional company for a bit of advice and clarity.

Read  The Flamboyance of Pondicherry!

Confusion and culture shock

Let’s get it out there right away; moving abroad is exciting, but you’re going to be confused and lonely sometimes. When everything you know and love is so far away, it’s easy to romanticize your native country and long back to your ordinary life. It’s strange how they use culture shock as an umbrella term for being overwhelmed by another country’s culture and feeling homesick at the same time – you might be homesick without finding the new culture overwhelming at all.

When you move abroad, you learn so much about yourself and come to appreciate the parts of your home country that this new and strange land is lacking. Sometimes, you might even realize that your country of birth was a great place to live – or the other way around.

You’re not shocked or necessarily experiencing mental distress; you’re just a bit more knowledgeable than you used to be.

Life throws changes at you just like the waves hit the shore; they’ll pull you under for a short while before retreating back, so that you can prepare for the next blow. Face these challenges by coming prepared and keeping calm – and remember to tell yourself that nothing is forever, and you can always move back when you’ve had enough.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.