Prepare for your arrival before your arrival
Learn the basics of the local language or at least make sure you speak something they will understand!
Be prepared to check with immigration and the local municipality, review regulations in advance.
Safety matters and if you are moving to a new place you better know where you will be standing! So make a check not only of the perks of your adoptive city/country, go ahead and make an exhaustive research on the not so bright side, don’t be scare to discover negative things, anyways, it would be something that you will be glad to be aware of so you can be prepared for.
Make sure you review the areas of your tentative new home. It is not recommended to rent or even give a deposit before you see the property. Photos might be tricky, especially in places where spaces are commonly reduced, like in Europe. I strongly recommend to dive into real state websites so you have an idea of the locations, price ranges, size and utilities included. Plus, take in consideration that some venues require up to two months’ deposit to be paid in advance.
With that, make a budget for these first weeks according to your needs, even if you are moving with a job, you won’t get paid until the next month.
Get insurance. Note that in some countries it is mandatory and in some it is even penalized when its not acquired in the first month.
Review taxes. Some countries have exemptions or reduced fares that might apply to you.
How do you plan to move around? Check for driving regulations, public transportation 🚉 or where to get a bike 🚲
If you are to look for a job, start your search in the web. It is little probable that a company will hire you without a face to face interview, unless you have a qualified/skilled profession, but its good to now what companies are around and the requirements. If you are moving to a country were the primary language is not the same as yours, you might need to look for companies were they will hire you with what you know. In my case, I was looking for English/Spanish job postings and faced the limitation for some positions were Dutch was mandatory.
Look for activities of your interest that you can do in your new home place, so you have an idea were you can spend some time specially at the beginning. For example, I like arts and crafts, so I looked for supplies stores near me. If you attend any church, look for the locations of your preferred ones. If you have kids? Look for schools and activities for them too. Moving with pets? Check for local regulations.
And of course, first thing you will do is to get to know you new hometown 🗺 so do some research of the top things to do 📍check for upcoming concerts, sport matches or events in parks or theaters so you get involved in the community. There is also a useful application called Meetup, that can be personalized according to your interests and can help to check what’s happening around you and meet new people.
Facebook is a great tool nowadays. Check for local facebook groups, I’m sure you’ll find many specific ones for expats. You can also look for some blogs, like this you are reading now, of people that is or has been in the same position you are now and have shared their experience on how thy survived! Nothing more valuable than that.
Ready? Set, and go for the adventure!!