I get quite a few emails about moving to America and the visa process etc, but a couple of recent queries have been about what to do to prepare for everyday life both before and after you move.
I thought I would share a few things that I found useful throughout my move to America, and I think they can be transferred to other places, not just moving to America.
If you are an expat – what else would you add to the list below to help those people who need advice about how to prepare for everyday life when living abroad?
The first thing I will say is no matter how much preparing you do, the only way to get used to the everyday is to live it. Get out there and be a part of your new surroundings. If, however, you do want to do some preparation, I found that looking at the following really helped me:
Getting to know the politics and government of a country helps you figure out a bit about how a place works. Having some knowledge of the cogs and gears that keep a country running is a must!
Living Costs & Healthcare
Before considering an actual move, look realistically (e.g. do some research) about what the everyday living costs are – housing, food, petrol, public transportation (cost and availability) taxes, entertainment, healthcare (how it operates and what it may or will cost) etc. Going on expat forums are a really great way to get information.
Explore your surroundings, I find the best way is to just walk around and talk to people, go into stores and be personable with the locals, find out from people who live there where the best places are to go etc. Some of the best chats and information I have gathered are from the amazing girls who work in the place I rent my furniture. Gold mine of information!
Before you move to an area, it is great to find out what is available for you too – food stores, entertainment etc.
Depending on how the country you are moving to operates, credit may not be a priority, but moving to America, it really is. If you want to rent anything, get a loan or get approved for various things (upgrading a phone for example) then you need it. I have been slow about getting on with doing this but I am now well on my way. There are various ways to do it, and if you want further information about it, I wrote an article about it here.
The easiest way is going to your bank provider and getting a credit builder (card). You put the money on it upfront (usually between $200 and $300 – depends on the card – and it acts as your credit, and credit limit). If you make small purchases (petrol or some food) and pay it off in full straightaway, it builds your credit quite steadily. What is available to you is all down to where you live, but this is a good option for most people, if you are responsible and careful with it.
Where are you thinking of moving to? What else do you think would be useful for you to know?