October 9th • 3 min read
#Change #People #Employment #Expat life

6 Tips That Will Make Your Expat Life Easier

Living and working overseas can be a rewarding and exciting experience. It can also be stressful and anxiety inducing. From making sure you have the right visas and know the laws to finding somewhere to live and understanding the new culture can be prove to be a challenging time. Whether you have lived overseas or you're embracing the expat life for the first time, you'll want to transition into your new life as smoothly as possible. Here are some tips that will make your new expat life easier.
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1. Research before you go

Have you looked at the website of your new country's embassy? Or your own? Make sure to go through the customs, cultures, and laws of your new country to avoid any potential trouble or misunderstandings before you go. Find out if you need to organise anything in advance like vaccinations or how to do things like a new SIM card or setting up a bank account.

It's a good idea to research what life's like in your new country before you go. If you've been there before, be careful as holidays always make a place seem better than it actually is. It can be easy to get carried away with wanting to live somewhere we have visited.

Researching where you want to live can give you a better idea of what to expect life to be like there. It's helpful to look into expat online communities and read up on what other expat's experiences have been like.


2. Sort out a visa before arriving

When it comes to earning a living overseas as an expat, understanding your visa status and rights before you leave your home country is essential. It's a good idea to speak to the embassy of your destination country while you're in home country or talk to an immigration lawyer to discuss your visa options.

Working on a tourist visa is not a good idea. You will likely get deported if you earn income while visiting as a tourist. You may even get banned from re-entering the country for a few years, or ever again.

If you are not enrolled as a student and you don't know the language of your new home country, you won't be able to get a working visa if you don't organise it before you get to there. Unless, of course, you move over with a company or agency. They can help you with technical assistance you need to take the stress away and make sure you’ve got everything sorted before you go.


3. Think about where you'll live

Take the time to get to know where you're going well before deciding. Look for housing options in different areas and explore relocation possibilities. Choose a location that offers everything you need close by. Living far away or on the outskirts can make things difficult when starting your expat life.

It can make it hard for you to meet new people and make it difficult if you have to travel long distances to get to everyday amenities like supermarkets, public transport or schools. Once you get to know the area well it'll be much easier to choose an area that suits you and your family.


3. Know the taxes

It pays to understand if you will be taxed on the income you're earning while working overseas. Getting help from a tax expert will help you to understand the tax laws in your new country. It also has the potential to lower your taxes and increase your opportunities from day one of your expat life.

When it comes to sending money home, you should always research the money transfer options you have available to you. It's also worth doing this if you think you might need to receive money at some point. There are lots of options to transfer money internationally, but many come with fees or complicated terms, so it's a good idea to do your research in advance.


5. Learn the language

Learning a new language is not easy but immersing yourself in that language makes it much easier. Just think about how many times you'll have to speak to people in everyday life when opening a bank account, buying things at the shops, finding a job and so on. And your efforts will be appreciated by locals. Working overseas gives you the unique chance to learn the language passively while you live, work, and socialise with the locals.

Take advantage of lessons before you move. Even if you only know the basics, being able to speak the local language will go a long way in business and make your everyday expat life much easier.


6. Deal with culture shock

No matter where you're moving to, expect life to be very different. Even if it seems a lot like where you're from, there'll definitely be some differences, big and small. Moving into a new culture means adapting and immersing yourself in it. In saying that, don't underestimate cultural differences.

Because, at some point, you will experience culture shock - the moment when everything is different, and it feels like the rug has been ripped out from under you. Watch how the locals live and go about their days. Take your time to embrace it and you'll slowly get used to the differences.



Does it all sound a bit overwhelming? Deciding to work overseas is a big move. Take the advice of a seasoned expat and go through an agency that can help with the technical assistance and remove the hassles for you.


Lauriane Pellaud

Marketing Coordinator and creative pro. She enjoys simplifying complex topics into simple narratives to engage audiences and communities. Food lover and seamstress in her spare time.

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