If you have made the decision to move away, for a fresh start or because of career choices, you can make life a little easier. For the sake of your family, you must be prepared so that you are safe and secure all the time. If you are moving to be with your partner who lives abroad or is a foreigner, you may need a spouse visa extension and if you are working, you may need to look at the permits you need to get a job there. However, if this is all taken care of, you must then look at some further logistics.
Get to know the environment in which you are going to live
If you already know where you are going to live, at least at the city level, you can prepare and get to know the area well. Using a variety of websites that include information about that city, major attractions in it, accepted means of transportation and even some information about the diverse population there will help you know what to expect. You can also use the various map tools like Google Earth and “travel” virtually on the city streets, so you can feel like you are already there. You can also connect via social networks or read appropriate forums, and find people who live in these neighbourhoods. You could also download the Next Door app to keep on top of things.
Making the Move – What about health insurance?
Wherever you go, it is important to check how you are insured. If it is a relocation through the workplace, sometimes the new workplace takes care of health insurance for the employee and their family members. Others can find a variety of health insurance plans abroad while they are still in the country. Remember that health insurance in the US, for example, costs more than in many other countries. If you’re not insured, you could have a major bill at the end of your care. There are companies that offer special insurance for relocation families, and be sure to use it and ensure all family members flying with you.
Making the Move – Learn the local language in advance
As part of the preparation process for the transition it is recommended to take a course in the local language, or learn through the internet. Do not rely on the fact that when you arrive you will learn the language more easily. If you do not have a basic knowledge of the language, the daily conduct can become much more difficult. You can learn in a variety of ways, such as talking to speakers of the language even before you fly, reading books at the level you are studying, listening to radio and TV shows in that language or enlisting the help of a private tutor to help the whole family learn the language. Don’t assume that English will be available everywhere, because there may be some shops or companies that don’t have a good knowledge, especially if you’re in a smaller city.