Everything you need to know before moving abroad

July 27, 2021 | xpath.global

Moving abroad is an exciting prospect. While uprooting may inspire some nervousness, keep in mind that the experience offers you ample opportunities to learn. More than just traveling to a country, relocating allows you to embed yourself in a new culture and sample a different way of life.

If you are moving abroad for the first time, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Below are some tips to assist you in your preparations.

Learn the local language before moving abroad

You will find it challenging to fully immerse yourself in the local culture without having had some language lessons. If you are looking for language classes for yourself and your family, BiCortex Languages is highly recommended. Language courses are available in popular languages such as FrenchSpanishEnglishGerman, as well as languages less commonly learned by non-native speakers, such as Hindi and Polish. Whether conducted in a physical or virtual classroom, BiCortex Languages provides language training, translations and cultural training. Consequently, you avoid making cultural mistakes that might negatively impact your business relationships. If you are in a leadership position, your company will no doubt include cultural training as part of its HR policy.

Step outside of your comfort zone

Unfamiliarity is often met with stress. Shedding fear of the unknown will be essential in order to integrate into the local culture. Accepting and reciprocating invitations to social events will facilitate making friends. Equally, avoid judging others according to the standards of your own culture. Each culture has its own unique characteristics that to outsiders may be perceived as eccentricities. Maintain your own outlook and preferences, whilst adapting to those of others.

Research the administrative requirements

Dealing with bureaucracy is seldom an enjoyable task. However, researching what kind of paperwork you need saves surprises further down the line. Tax requirements, opening bank accounts and applying for the correct visas are some areas it is advisable to explore first. Note that as an expat, you may also have some obligations to disclose information to your home country, such as declaring your taxes.

Devise a packing strategy

The removal company may transfer your belongings some weeks after you have arrived. Think carefully, therefore, about which items you would like to keep with you, separate from the rest of the shipment. Making a list of the items that you use most frequently helps to ascertain which belongings are most useful. For clothes, consider the weather at the time of your arrival and pack a few spare garments in case your shipment is delayed. A few additional moving abroad tips include placing the contents of drawers in bags and leaving your clothes on coat hangers.

Renting or Buying?

Before you commit to renting or buying a property, make sure to visit the area. Confirm that the schools are to your liking and that you are happy with the distance from your work. If you are able to visit the accommodation before packing furniture, you can then sell any furniture you deem unsuitable for your new home.  

It can be difficult to decide whether renting or buying works best. Expats who envisage more short-term stays typically choose to rent. If you are looking to buy, review historical house prices to understand the general trends of the housing market. Renting out your home is always possible, but you do not want to be at a loss if you are forced to sell.


Before you arrive at your new job, consider making contact with individuals with whom you may be working closely. This shows you are enthusiastic about your job role and sets up the relationship on a friendly footing. Colleagues are also well-placed to provide information about the best schools, restaurants and activity clubs to join.

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