Things To Consider Before Moving Abroad – A Short Guide For Expats

Emigrating is a dream for many people; a dream of moving to a bigger city, a different country and a new culture. But without a bit of planning ahead, this can become unnecessarily tricky. Moving abroad requires planning – and I went through it for you so you don’t have to. Here are some useful things to consider if you want to move and work in a different country.


First up: planning is everything. Before I moved abroad, I had eight weeks to organise it all. Although it worked out fine in the end, I had been saving up for a while before I even started applying for jobs abroad, so giving yourself as much time as possible is essential. You can almost not have enough savings to see you through the first weeks of moving abroad, which are going to be the most expensive.

In this step, it is also worth looking at possibly required visas (and their cost), right of residence and labour and other conditions – these application processes might take a while to be done, so include their lead time into your plan.

CVs might look different. Different countries require different CV layouts. When creating your CV, alongside with building it strong content-wise, you should also make sure you are aware of the standards and preferences in the respective country.

Consider your unique points. When applying for a job abroad, it is often difficult to overcome the obstacle of not being a native. Think about what makes you unique: are you multilingual, hold a specific qualification or does your degree work perfectly with the job you want to apply for? Highlight those points in your CV and your cover letter to make them stand out to your potential employer.

The interview process. Again, this might be different to the procedure in your home country. Being informed about how the interview process and stages look is not only increasing your chances of actually getting the job as it makes you look professional and shows that you have done your research, it will make you less nervous if you haven’t heard back by a certain point.

Work your way up. Whilst this could be true for finding a job in your own country, it certainly works for starting your career abroad. An internship or trainee programme could be a fantastic way to not only find out if you suit the role but this also gives you some time to learn and, quite frankly, make mistakes. Likewise, your potential employer is given some time to get to know you and your strengths.

Calculate long-term financial requirements. It is a tedious subject but having a good understanding of what not only the move itself but also covering your living costs in the country or city of your choice will entail is essential. Consider, for example, monthly net income, currency, rent, (public) transport and extra costs (e.g. phone, groceries). Also keep in mind that, if you start a job on the first of a month, you’re not getting paid until the end of said month.

Whilst moving abroad is a big task and can be quite daunting, it is also very rewarding. Most things will be figured out along the way but a detailed preparation will take a lot of pressure off. The more you are prepared for, the less negative surprises and obstacles you will encounter. And in the end, the most important thing is: it is an unforgettable experience.



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