5 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a New Life Abroad

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a New Life Abroad

Moving abroad is an excellent opportunity to redefine your personal and professional goals and design a life you love. Are you looking for better career opportunities, a lower cost of living, a warmer climate, or a culture that better suits your personality? Starting a new life abroad can be the best step forward. However, leaving everything behind for a new country and culture is not an easy process. There are many unknowns to tackle, which means there’s also a high risk of making some mistakes. 

Here are five mistakes to avoid when starting a new life abroad. 

1. Not Learning the Language 

One of the worst mistakes you can make when moving abroad is not learning the local language. Many expats underestimate the difficulties of dealing with a language barrier. English is widely spoken in many parts of the world, but having a grasp of the local language can open many more doors for you, professionally and socially. Not knowing the language limits your interactions and can stop you from truly understanding and appreciating the culture. 

Learning a new language as an adult requires a lot of commitment. However, it’s a goal worth pursuing because it can enrich your life and help you feel more at home in the new country. 

2. Not Getting Health Insurance 

Another mistake that can prove costly for an expat is not getting health insurance. Experiencing medical problems is always unnerving, and there’s an additional layer of stress when you’re abroad and don’t know how the health care system works. Some countries provide universal healthcare to all residents, but there are some eligibility criteria you may need to meet. Is the public system known for quality, reliability, and high care standards? The answer will vary from one country to another. 

The safest option is to look into private health insurance plans. You may be asking yourself: how much does international health insurance cost? It depends on your destination and needs. Compare offers and plans to find the best deal for you. The peace of mind that comes with having insurance is invaluable. 

3. Not Researching the Real Estate Market 

It is no longer a surprise to anyone that desirable locations all over the world have experienced a sharp increase in housing prices in recent years. A big mistake to avoid when moving abroad is not researching the real estate market. There’s a worrying shortage of homes in many countries, especially in big cities more likely to attract expats and international travelers.

Your quality of life abroad will also depend on your living situation. Can you afford to live in a place that offers all the amenities you want and need? Which type of housing can you afford? What are the conditions for renting or buying real estate? The more information you get in advance, the easier it will be to find a place that matches your expectations. 

4. Cutting Ties with Your Home Country 

Many expats, digital nomads, and long-term travelers are motivated by a passion for exploration and a desire to experience a different lifestyle. Other people decide to start a new life abroad because they’re dissatisfied with their home country. Regardless of your situation, cutting ties with people or places is never a good idea.  

Clarify your tax situation. Pay all your debt. If you have properties in your home country, you must set up a management system and move your obligations online. Announce your departure. Most importantly, let people know how they can stay in touch with you. Maintaining relationships with those back home can be highly beneficial if you ever choose to return. 

5. Not Asking for Help 

A final mistake to avoid is trying to do everything yourself. Starting a new life abroad can be complicated, considering all the legal, bureaucratic, and practical aspects. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially if you’re dealing with a language barrier. Doing paperwork in a foreign language is something that nobody ever feels comfortable with. Yet, you cannot set up your life without some admin work, including securing a visa, work permit, rental agreement, bank account, driver’s license, and not only. 

The best way to make the transition as smooth as possible is to ask for help. Hire a lawyer or accountant, and visit the immigration office. It can also be helpful to get in touch with local expat communities. There are many ways to make things easier for yourself as long as you accept to ask for help. 

Final Words 

Global mobility has increased massively in the past few decades, so you can easily find many resources and services that make relocation easier. The most important thing is to do your research. Everything else will fall into place. Although it will take a while to feel comfortable and stable in the new country, you will learn many valuable things in the process.  

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