The prospect of settling permanently in a new country can be daunting, but it’s something that also offers a wealth of opportunity and excitement at the same time too. If you’re looking to move abroad and you want to settle down once and for all in a new spot, whether that’s a place where your partner’s located or where you want to find work or even just a place you love, there’ll be challenges for you to overcome.
Here’s some advice that’ll help you do that.
Take the Time to Learn the Language
First of all, you should make sure you know the language and can speak it relatively well before making the move if possible. Adapting to a new life in a new country is a whole lot easier to do when you have a functional understanding of the language. So take the time to learn it and invest in some lessons if you’re serious about getting to grips with it.
There are plenty of easy-to-use language apps that will help you make a start, but of course there’s nothing quite like learning in situ once you’re in your new destination. Make an effort to integrate with the local people, talk to them in restaurants, shops, and bars to progress your skills. Learning on the job is often much easier too than sitting at home in front of a computer, but a mixture of both will work wonders at getting you settled into your new place.
Don’t Rush Your Search for Accommodation
Rushing your search for accommodation is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when settling in a new country. This is one of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make, and finding the right place will allow you to create a home and base that will offer you genuine security as you begin the process of settling and integrating into your new location.
One option is to start by finding a short-term rental property, so you can try out the new life without having committed to a longer period of time. It may also take you a while to decide the exact location you’d like to live in, so trying out a few different options will help you consolidate your list until you’re left with the perfect choice. You might think living by the beach is the ultimate dream, but in reality you may prefer to be nearer a town with all the amenities that you’ll be needing on a regular basis as a resident. Do remember, you’re not on holiday, so accommodation searches will be very different to what you usually look for.
Work with an Experienced Immigration Solicitor
Settling in a new location means jumping through the right legal hoops and ensuring you’re in the country legally and have the right to work there. Of course, the immigration laws you’ll need to follow differ from country to country so it’s imperative you do all the correct checks and due-diligence when it comes to local regulations and restrictions. The right immigration solicitor should be able to help you with that, to help things run smoothly and make your transition to a life abroad as stress-free as it can be. Plus you don’t want to cut corners or make mistakes when it comes to legal and visa issues, at this could completely scupper your plans and have you back at square one before your new adventure has even started.
Talk to other expats too and find out about their experiences to help you avoid the pitfalls. After all, they’ve been there and done that before you so know exactly what’s what when it comes to moving abroad.
Consider Specialist Agencies That Help Expats Find Employment
If you’re thinking about how you might be able to find work in your new location, it’s a good idea to explore the specialist agencies that are set up in many countries with the intention of helping new arrivals and expats find work. That kind of specialist support and guidance can make a real difference when it comes to getting a job.
Sure, you might initially think finding some casual bar or restaurant work might help pay the bills for a while, but securing a steady income each month will help you settle into expat life much more easily. If you are a digital nomad and can work online in a creative arena such as copywriting, web design, or as a virtual assistant, you should be able to work from anywhere so long at you have good access to internet. Have a look online and see what jobs are available that match your skills. The joy of having a freelance online job is that you can often work whichever hours you like, and may be able to work fewer hours than you would in a standard 9-5 type job, giving you more time to enjoy your new surroundings and socialise with other residents.
If you already have a career and want to continue in your profession, that’s possible too, with the right guidance. Other travellers on the road might ask why teach primary school or work for a multinational pharmaceutical company when you could be living it up on a beach serving cocktails? But don’t be afraid to tell them that carrying on with a promising career is just as important to you as seeing the world. Luckily you can do both.
Be Patient as You Adapt and Integrate
You need to have a lot of patience when you’re adapting to life in a new country. It’s going to be tough and there’ll be times along the way when you might feel regrets over the decision. However, it’s worth being persistent and giving yourself time to adapt and integrate. Starting a new life in a new country is not the same as simply traveling to a new country; it takes time. Yet you know that it will be well worth it in the end, just keep on going and weather the small storms that might come your way along the journey.
Settling permanently in a new country can be a big challenge, and it’s one that you’ll have to work hard to overcome. If you’re serious about moving to a new location and you’re unsure of how to approach, let the tips and advice outlined above guide you as you take on this challenge.