While the adventure and opportunity of moving abroad is a great one to have, it’s generally not one that many people get in life. Therefore, it’s important to remember that this is a big step and you should plan for living abroad safely and efficiently.
It’s not necessary that you plan every aspect of the year, of course, because part of the excitement will certainly be in learning and adapting as you go. But as long as you have a clear framework for how things are going to go regarding moving to and living in a different country, it will make your life a lot easier – not just before you go, but also once you’re there as well.
So in this post, we’re going to share with you how you can plan for living abroad for a year.
I recently made this move overseas myself, to be with my boyfriend at his work in Jamaica.
PSST, full disclosure: he very shortly after became my husband (yes, we had a COVID19 wedding!)
Table of Contents
Plan For Living Abroad: what to do with your belongings!
Be sure to put them in long-term storage. This was the first thing I did when I had to start my plan for living abroad. I had to do this for my now-husband’s belongings before I met him down in Jamaica and it was such an easy process! All you have to do is rent out a storage space and have your movers meet you there!
The only thing I would recommend is to get a storage unit on the first floor! Ours is on the second level and even though the movers got our stuff in without much trouble, any time I need to get in there I have to go through the hassle of maneuvering the staircase and climbing up and down it with big and heavy boxes – it’s not fun!
Plan For Living Abroad: documents you’ll need
The very next thing to think of when you start to plan for living abroad is what documents you might need – for example, are you going to need a visa and work permit? Do you think you opt for some local health insurance?
It’s important to remember that many countries have mandatory health insurance. Depending on the country that you’re moving to and your country of citizenship, you will be required to show proof of health insurance before you can even be issued a visa or work permit, so really it’s extremely important to get some kind of insurance in place before you travel if this is a requirement in the country that you’re going to.
Documents such as visas and work permits are also very important because if you’re planning to fund your stay abroad by working while you’re living there, then you are undoubtedly going to need to have an income. Being able to do that legally is going to make life a lot easier and also allows you to immerse yourself in the culture a bit better.
Plan For Living Abroad: where you’ll live
When living in a new country, it can be quite daunting to look for a place to live, but you certainly don’t need to have a place locked down before you move – this can be something that you do once you arrive.
However, it’s definitely a good idea to start researching the different types of neighborhoods available in your area and your price range for the duration of your stay. Also, consider what they offer in terms of not just safety and quality of life, but also in terms of the events taking place in the neighborhood and nearby venues and activities that you may enjoy, such as a gym, bars, restaurants, schools.
You will also want to consider whether people typically rent or buy in this country. You may want to consider a property for sale in your area, or good rental units if you just prefer to rent whilst you’re there instead.
Plan For Living Abroad: whether you’ll be able to drive
Driving may seem like it’s something that you can do anywhere – especially if the country that you’re moving to drives on the same side of the road as where you’re from, but it’s not always as easy as just knowing how to drive.
Every country has its own rules and regulations around driving, and so it’s something worth researching to see if you’re actually going to be able to drive in the country that you’re moving to, and if so, will you need to obtain any special driving permit or convert your driver’s license to one that is recognized by that country.
Sometimes this can be a bit of a complicated process depending on the country so perhaps what you’ll find is that it’s actually easier to just not think about driving for the year that you’re going to be there. In many countries, especially in larger areas and metropolis, public transportation can actually be a much better option for various reasons. This is because it can be:
- a lot cheaper than purchasing a car,
- better for the environment,
- much faster than being stuck in traffic,
- a more productive use of your time if you are able to work from a laptop.
If you want to stay in your new home for longer than a year, or need to be able to drive for whatever reason it may not be practical to skip driving but consider this option to save yourself some paperwork, money, and stress.
Plan For Living Abroad: whether you’ll be able to work
Work is one of the biggest reasons that many people move to different countries, and so one of the first things you’ll need to check is whether you’ll actually be able to work. As we mentioned above, you’ll need to obtain the correct work permits and visas to allow you to do this legally. Even if you’re not moving for work specifically, it’s worth knowing whether you’ll be able to work, since things can change and you may decide to take a job or be offered an amazing opportunity that you don’t want to let pass. Knowing where you stand on this topic is something that’s worth considering before you go.
Plan For Living Abroad: whether you’ll need to learn the language
The opportunity to learn a new language is a great one, and if you’re going to another country that doesn’t speak the same language as you do then it’s definitely worth considering taking some classes to learn some basic phrases. In some cases, however, it may be absolutely necessary for you to learn the language of the place you’re going to.
So, if you’re thinking of traveling for a while, then remember these 6 things, and you should be ready to go! Ultimately, though, you will need different things depending upon what type of trip you’re planning on having, so be sure to do some research so you aren’t caught unawares in a foreign country.
With all my love,