Deciding where you will live and work abroad is a major decision in your life. The images of Palm trees, coconuts and margaritas dancing in your head can force you to make some pretty rash decisions. Taking into consideration the following factors and asking yourself these questions will surely benefit you in making the right decision. Moving abroad could be the best thing that you have ever done, but you want to do your best to make sure it is a choice you will not regret.
Research the Local Language
The local language that is spoken outside your workplace certainly creates a big difference. It is possible that you are being offered a job where you may be primarily speaking the language which you are comfortable in, but problems can arise when you have to undertake your daily chores. Routine daily happenings such as banking, shopping and hospital visits in a place that has an unfamiliar local language can be quite difficult.
Making use of hand motions can be frustrating and to make people understand you is a tedious task. However, you could also be moving into a foreign country in order to learn the local language. If you want to indulge into learning the local language, it would be more useful if more people used a language that is not English. This will make you submerse yourself more into the target language. But, if you are not interested in learning the local language and just want your day to day errands completed without much confusion, it would be better if you are in a place where a greater percentage of people can understand and speak the language that you can also understand well.
Getting Around your New Town
Transportation is another major factor you must take into account before you plan to move abroad. Is your company providing you with a car? What about the public transportation facilities? Is public transportation easy to make use of and safe, especially for foreigners? You can consider owning a private vehicle. But how do people drive there? What side do they drive on as compared to your native place and what might the terms of car insurance be?
These things have to be kept in mind. Will purchasing and maintaining a vehicle in the destination in question actually possible and well within your budget? You must find answers to all these questions before hand if you want to be able to move around in your new country.
Living in a New Community
When you move abroad, are you planning to spend your free time with your colleagues or with the locals? Or do you want to socialize with other expatriates? Whatever the case may be, you will have to look into and know what to expect when it comes to the foreign community. You may be able to adjust well with merely a few foreigners or you need to look for a place with a larger community.
It may be easy for you to socialize well with the locals, but you will surely have to understand their surroundings and culture for that. You will have to maintain the right balance as intimate friendship with locals may be difficult as in countries like Saudi Arabia. In some countries foreign nationals may also be restricted to a particular limit on secure compounds and where they can venture to. All of that information is something you are going to want to know before packing your bags and taking off.
Finding Accommodations and Making Living Arrangements
Make sure you get detailed information regarding your living arrangements before you move abroad. This is of utmost importance as finding a place to live within an unknown place can be very difficult. Make sure your company tells you before hand as to whether the utilities and rent are paid for by them or not. Is the placed fully furnished? Is there any settling allowance for you? Is shipping and logistics for your goods possible or not? Does your school/college or place of employment provide housing or dorm rooms? What will the place be like in terms of size, functionality and comfort? Will you be expected to share a room with someone or be provided independent lodging?
All of this information needs to be looked into and these questions need to be asked. Take into consideration what constitutes comfortable living for you and what sore of accommodation would make you happy. Some may feel quaint and cosy in a tiny dorm while others need something a bit more open and roomy. You are going to be spending a lot of time in your abode, so make sure you know what to expect.
What Attractions and Leisure Activities are Popular and Available?
Your job or work may be the most important aspect for you when you move out to a foreign place, but leisure activities are also going to be a major part of your new life. Make sure you know as to what kind of leisure activities are available and easy to do. Is there a gym, pool, recreation facilities or even parks nearby? Are there any amusement parks, theatres, shopping malls or museums where you can spend your free time?
If there is a certain pastime, hobby or activity that you love but isn’t available will you still be happy? Make sure you know what you can live without doing and which activities would leave you feeling empty if you didn’t have them.
You must be well aware of the cultural or legal limitations that women have to follow in the particular place you are planning to move to, especially if you are a woman. Is it easy for women to travel around independently? What about clothing regulations or restrictions? Can women drive and make use of public transportation with ease?
If you are a man, meeting women in public may be considered a crime in some places, or at least extremely frowned upon. However, meeting women in private may result in even more dire consequences for them as well as you in some countries. You must take notice of all these factors before you try to interact and mingle with people in a foreign place. If you are a woman, how different will your life be like in the destination in question? If you are a man how comfortable might you be living in a place that limits the rights of women?
Weather and Climate
Sure the idea of sun, beaches and mangoes is tempting when you considering living in certain places abroad, but make sure you can handle the heat. Before you plan to move abroad keep the local weather in mind as it may cause you difficulties during you stay. You may not be able to cope with 50 degree weather in Africa or the extreme cold conditions of places such as Russia. Monsoon rains may also flood city roads and weather can really affect the way you go about everyday life.
More concerning is the diseases that may breed as a result of different weather conditions. Make all the necessary preparations when it comes to the weather and consider all of the conditions of the place you want to settle into. There is a chance you are going to be put into situations where you find yourself outside of your comfort zone.
In the end, you just have to make sure you really understand the change that is coming, and know what to expect. There is no such thing as doing too much preparation or research. Even the best opportunities can come with a little downside. On the other hand, even the seemingly worst opportunities can prove to have a number of silver linings. Ask around, get in touch with other expats, research the culture and really do your homework.
The best way to live life with no regrets is to prepare and make informed decisions.