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Welcome to the fifth week of our series: How to Move Abroad: An Expat Survival Guide!
Last week, we talked about Packing for a Move Abroad and downloaded our Moving Abroad Packing list. This week we’ll help you tackle your to-do list so you can enjoy your move free of stress. Here’s our list of what to do before you move abroad, from a couple that did it.
Quit Your Job
Even if you hate your current job, always quit gracefully. If you ever move back home you don’t want this to hurt your job prospects. Give plenty of notice and a written letter. Take the time to sit down with your boss, thank them for everything, and explain that you’re following your dream. Any boss worth your time will be happy for you. And if they’re not, then you’re leaving anyway.
You’re going to get a lot of questions from coworkers when they hear why you’re leaving. Moving abroad is a dream for a lot of people, and now you’re one of the lucky few to make it a reality!
Tell Friends & Family
This is the best part! Call your close friends and family and tell the rest through social media. Don’t forget to throw a going away party, it can be a great way to help get rid of any last minute stuff.
Cancel Services & Subscriptions
- Health insurance
- Car insurance
- Home or renter’s insurance
- Cell phone plan
- Shopping clubs, like Costco (check if there’s one where you’re moving!)
- Magazine / Newspaper subscriptions
- Online streaming subscriptions, like Hulu (Netflix works in some countries abroad, so check first!)
- Any other memberships or services
Make sure you have the right kind of visa. You may need a long-term visa, a work visa, or a visitor visa depending on where you’re going.
You’ll also need to make sure your passport is valid for at least 3 months after your arrival. I recommend making sure it’s good for at least your first year abroad to make your life easier.
I recommend keeping a US bank account open, especially if you’re going to make student loan payments or are expecting final paychecks.
Make sure you have a credit card with no international transaction fees or some emergency cash while you wait for your first paycheck. You don’t want to be surprised by an unexpected expense. My laptop’s hard drive crashed our first month in Taiwan! You have to expect a surprise or two.
If you’re renting, let your landlord know when you will move out. If you own your home, put it on the market ASAP. If you’re going to have time in between your last day at home and your departure, make arrangements for a place to stay. Don’t forget to set up mail forwarding to a family member for any important documents.
Find a Place to Stay
Have a game plan for when you arrive in your new country. If you already have a job, check if they offer housing location assistance or offer a homestay while you find your new place. If not, start looking into finding an apartment right away. Reserve a hotel or hostel for your first few days and make this your first priority after your arrival.
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