An international move is both exciting and scary. If you’re planning such a move, proper preparation and research are key to having realistic expectations. While you’re likely prepared for a language barrier and getting a bit lost finding your way around, there are a few challenges that many international movers find themselves unprepared for despite copious pre-move planning.
You know your move is going to involve paperwork like visa applications and residency permits, but be prepared to fill out three times more forms than you expect. You may have to document everything from your citizenship and medical history to your ability to speak a certain language.
Be prepared for even more paperwork if you plan to pass a citizenship test. These tests can be difficult and may require satisfying conditions above and beyond passing the exam. Prepare for this even if you don’t plan to do it since some countries limit your ability to work and buy property as a non-citizen. Click here for more info on citizenship tests.
Finding a place is challenging when you don’t know local laws or which neighborhoods are the safe ones. Special restrictions and rules may apply to you as a foreigner, prices may be higher than expected and you won’t know how far you are from services you’ll need. If you can, get a local to help you find housing.
Pets are a Problem
Taking a furry companion along is a lengthy process. Importing dogs, cats and other animals can require even more paperwork than moving yourself did, and there are sometimes quarantine requirements and other special rules. Pets also make finding housing harder. It’s heartbreaking to do, but finding pets new homes may be a better solution.
The quality and cost of medical care varies greatly from one country to another. Try to maintain health insurance that covers you anywhere during your move. Ask questions about the types of medical care available and how to utilize them. Verify access to and the cost of any medications you take.
Friendships are Hard
You will make new friends after your move, but it may take longer than you like, especially in more closed cultures. Keeping in touch with friends from home will help but maintaining friendships from a distance takes a lot of effort from both sides.
Don’t let these six challenges talk you out of moving. Instead, be aware of them and do what you can to minimize the inconveniences they cause. With a little time and patience, you’ll be feeling like a local in your new home. An international move can be an exciting time if the proper steps are taken.