Living in another country: Is it for me? What do I need to do? (pg. 4)

4. Electronics.

    Can you take them with you? Or will you need to buy new ones once abroad? Often times, the electricity voltage will be different in another country and little things like your hair dryer won’t match the prong holes. You can by converters here or in your new country. You may also opt to just buy new electronics once abroad. Keep in mind though that electronics can cost more abroad than in your home country.

    5. Prescription Medication.

      Are you taking any? Will you be able to find them in your new country? Chances are yes, but double check by asking around on forums and with your doctor. The other option is to ask your doctor to fill you up on a year supply before you leave. If you ask, your doctor will be willing and there should be no problem with this.

      6. Clothes and Shoes.

        Keep the weather in mind! Will you be shopping? If you are planning on living in another country for an extended period (6 months – 1 year), it is likely that your suitcases will fill up quickly when you are ready to return home. MissMentor’s suggestion -pack lightly on the way there. Lighter than you think necessary because chances are you will be bringing goodies back.

        7. Toiletries.

        It’s not a bad idea to stock up on this before you head to your new country. It will help the transition so that you can focus on finding work versus finding where to buy shampoo. Bring the basics – shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc… – so that they will last you when you first arrive.

        8. Vaccinations.

        Typical ones needed are Hep A, Hep B, yellow fever, and measles and mumps. Each country is different  so check around on  which vaccinations are recommended. Some countries will not require any but only make suggestions.

        9. Flight and accommodation.

        Pretty self-explanatory. Get a ticket, book it. Think about accommodation when you arrive. You will probably have a fair amount of luggage, so rather than winging it, it’s probably best to arrange a place to stay. From there you can find housing.

        10. Register with the U.S. Embassy once abroad.

          This is highly recommended. Let the US know where you are, so in the case that something does happen, you will have resources.  Click here for the U.S. State department page. They also offer some great tips in traveling abroad.

          By following this list and doing the research, you are well on your way to living in another country. The real adventure begins once you are there. Bon Voyage!

          Living in another country: Is it for me? What do I need to do? (pg. 3)

          is the public transportation system? Many of the conveniences you take for granted here may not be available when you move abroad. Things that you have been doing for years without thought can become testing trials once you are living in another country. Finding a bank, buying toiletries, and delivering packages are all mini-adventures.

          Ready for the Plunge! What’s next and Extra things to consider.

          Ok, so you’ve asked yourself, mulled over why you want to move abroad and have calculated the technical things like budget. You’re ready for excitement and change, to push yourself in new ways, to be a full-on expat. Congratulations! Living abroad is a wonderful experience at any age. Let’s take a look at the next steps needed for making your dream of living in another country a reality.

          1. Look up VISA requirements.

          What do you need to enter the country? To have an extended stay? If you plan to work abroad, it is important to look at work permit requirements as well. In Vietnam, they require a police record and a notarized copy of your degree in order to get a work permit. It is difficult to get this once you are abroad but relatively simple if you are in your home country, so taking care of this before the move abroad is ideal. Be sure to research this thoroughly. You don’t want to be the person who just arrived after a 12 hour flight, only to be sent back home (and yes, this is at your expense).

          2. Find a job.

          There are a few strategies in doing this. One way is to arrive in your country of choice and establish yourself through networking. Find a place, become acclimated to the culture, and then through word of mouth begin your job hunt. Even if you choose this step, it is important to do the research first and make sure that this can be done. For example, when teaching English in an Asian country such as Vietnam or Thailand, this approach works fine. For more information on this, check Dave’s ESL café.  Also, if you already have family or relatives living there, this is not a bad idea. Use them as a resource to help familiarize yourself with living in another country.

          The other approach to is to search international job forums and secure a job before you go.  Many countries will have their own career sites and versions of and  When you find a company, ask what is included in your work package. Sometimes a company will offer you an expat package covering your flight and accommodation costs.

          3. Get  insurance.

          Don’t forget this!! Your domestic plan most likely won’t cover you abroad. If you have secured work, see what they offer you. Consider getting insurance that covers an emergency medical evacuation plan as well. (click below for next page)

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          Living in another country: Is it for me? What do I need to do? (pg. 2)

          A relationship may not work overseas – Are you willing to make the commitment?  You may be able to bring your pet, but will it have to be quarantined for a specific amount of time once you arrive to your country of choice? Will you be in a living space where your dog can roam free? Are you willing to sacrifice the momentum you’ve built in your career for a self-fulfilling experience? Think these things through, and tie it back into why you want to move abroad. 

          5. What are possible problems with the language barrier?

            When you are living in another country, there are language barriers you will face. Living in the UK, you may have a few mis-communications with the colloquialism. Living in Thailand, however, you will face much larger obstacles in overcoming a language barrier. It is a good idea to take language courses before you leave or do home study with books or Rosetta Stone. When you do not know the language, be prepared to have difficulty in everything (at least at first). Counting change, asking for directions, looking for the bathroom – any of these things can be challenging.  It is wise to learn some basics before you go, and be prepared to use some heavy hand signage! 

            6.  How much money do I need? /Do I have enough money?

              When answering this question think of flight costs, transportation costs once you are in the city, amount of time you will be without work, and currency exchange. If you plan to find work once you are there, make sure to give yourself a decent cushion of savings to live off of. Don’t forget to also include, food costs, living costs, and any luxuries you may need.  This is basically planning your budget.

              7. What is the lifestyle there like? What is it like to be living in another country?

                You may have an idea of what a place is like, but you may also want to do the research before you go. Search the internet for forums with people who have lived abroad or are living abroad. Talk to friends and family who have had this experience. Will there be conveniences like a grocery store or only local markets? Can you buy name brand products over there? How (click below for next page)

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                Living in another country: Is it for me? What do I need to do? (pg. 1)

                The travel bug hits most people at one point or another, and sometimes it just hits really hard. Traveling somewhere for 2 weeks isn’t enough, you want to live there! This is a step by step guide that will get you started on your way to making that move to living in another country.

                First off, ask yourself why you want to live in another country. Visiting Greece for 2 weeks one summer may have been magical, but actually living there will be a completely different experience. Be aware that a vacation mindset is very different from our everyday mindset. Your mindset abroad will have to be even stronger.  You will be faced with challenges. Living in a different country requires an open mind, and it won’t be all roses and daisies. If you can accept this, your experience of living in another country will be truly memorable  and a sure way to learn more about yourself.

                Questions to ask yourself before living in another country.

                1. Where do I want to live?

                2. Why do I want to live there?

                It is important to take this step further than a blanket answer, for example, “because it’s fun”. What exactly are you looking to experience abroad? A new culture? Learn a new language? Getting back to your roots? Escaping the recession? In knowing what you want out of the experience, it provides you a strategy in getting there and enjoying it. This will be greatly helpful in maintaining positivity once you’re abroad facing challenges.

                3. What are my goals in living abroad?

                This question is an extension to why you want to be living in another country. After examining your motives, it is a good idea to list 5-10 goals you would like to accomplish while abroad. It can be something small as learning to cook a local dish to something larger like learning a new language. This will help give you purpose in your experience. At some point abroad, you will have a moment where you wonder – Why am I here???!!  and What am I doing??. This goal list can be a reminder to help you stay on course and to enjoy your experiences.

                4. What will I be leaving behind when I move abroad?

                This is a very important question to ask yourself. Do you have a pet? A boyfriend/girlfriend? A job you love? When you move abroad, you have to be willing to make sacrifices. (click below for next page)

                continue living in another country page 2