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An estimated 2.8 million Canadians have up and relocated to a foreign country. Many people go abroad for work, while others seek a cheaper cost of living or better quality of life. I get it as I live in in one Canada’s most expensive cities! But before you decide to move to another country, consider these 7 things.
Move to Another Country: What’s the Language?
When you live away from support networks like friends and family, things can get pretty lonely. This sense of isolation can compound further if everyone around you speaks an unfamiliar language. Settling in at a foreign school or at work becomes more difficult.
That is not to say don’t move somewhere where people speak another language. Actually, learning a new language is one of the most rewarding and life-altering things you can do. But taking an intensive language class before you leave might be something to consider, rather than trying to wrap your head around the dialogue after the move.
Many countries have strict residency and working laws. What that means is Canadians have to secure visas before their arrival in the destination.
These arrangements have to be made well in advance of the move to another country. Some countries, like those in the EU, have a visa process that can take as long as six months. Thus, it makes sense to consider visa arrangements early in the relocation process.
The Cost to Get Home
Presumably, while you are living abroad you will want to make the occasional trip home to see friends and family. These visits are an often overlooked factor when deciding where you relocate to. So your research now, before you move to another country. Find out:
- How much will it cost to get home?
- How long will it take?
- Are direct flights available?
If you have limited annual leave from work or a small budget, these are important questions to ask before accepting a job abroad.
The Logistics of a Move to Another Country
Make contacting a moving company to find out how much it will cost to relocate your furniture to another country a priority. These moving costs will likely have to be factored into your budget. The earlier you know how much the process will cost, the better prepared you will be to move to another country. You’ll gain peace of mind too as you know the costs ahead of time.
Next, learn about the medical system in the country you plan to relocate to, especially for seniors. Moving abroad can involve several health challenges so it’s best to know about them ahead of time and plan how to overcome them.
You may have to take out medical insurance before you arrive to ensure there are no gaps in your coverage. If you require regular access to prescription medication, then also research how you can get that medication.
If you freelance or work remotely from Canada, you will likely have to prove you are a resident in the new location before you can open a bank account. In the meantime, you will probably be living from your Canadian bank account.
Investigate the ATM charges and foreign transaction fees for your bank account to help you prepare a budget for the new life ahead. You can also explore ways to reduce these charges. For some currencies, there are pre-paid travel cards, for example; they can have good exchange rates and low transaction fees.
Also, if you’re a student, how much does it cost to study abroad?
Religious and Cultural Differences
Lastly, brush up now on the religious and cultural norms of your destination. Doing so before you move to another country can help soften the blow of a culture shock and avoid social faux pas, as well as personal frustration. And when you do move, stay open minded, try to take in new experiences you wouldn’t have back home, and do your best to be patient.
Have you ever moved to a foreign country? If so, what do you wish you’d known before relocating there?