5 Things to Consider Before Moving Abroad

Hey guys,

Times have changed, and for many reasons people nowadays, moving from one country to another, has almost become a norm. Most people know of someone who moved to a different city, went to study someplace else and the list goes on. However, I wanted to write a list that would help any of you who are about to embark on such a journey or who is simply daydreaming about the possibilities in the future.

As someone who is studying abroad, I will have to tell you that this list comes from experience. Living abroad is one of the hardest yet most eye-opening experiences I’ve been lucky enough to have. Although it’s a great experience, it is very important to plan things out as much as possible, so you should consider the next five points:

1. What’s the purpose of the move?

Are you going to study? A great job opportunity? Simply taking a leap of faith? See, depending on why you are considering this move, there are implications. For example, if you are going to study, usually you need to have been accepted by a school before moving to the country. Likewise, with a job. For leaps of faith, whatever it may be, because they can be so broad it is always best to have a plan of action.

2. Entry requirements

This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at the amount of people that actually think they can just move to a different country. Obviously, it may be easier if you hold a European passport and you are moving from one part of Europe to another, but regardless, it is not your country. Usually, there is still paperwork that you may have to file in order to serve your purpose. Even more, there are cases that you need to fulfill some language requirements and need to do some testing. This is honestly the part that you need to focus on the most. Do not jeopardize your future by being rejected, or even deported, due to lack of knowledge. Nowadays, there is no excuse! There are government websites, immigration forums, and even friends and family that can guide you through this process.

3. Money Money Money!

Of course, this had to be on the list! The money you account for should include moving expenses and that is so much more than just airfare and money for living expenses. You should consider clothes, for example, if you are moving to Canada, you definitely need a coat for all 4 seasons. But let’s say you’re moving somewhere tropical, you will need to invest on pieces you can layer. Also, having just additional money for unforeseen expenses is never a bad idea!

4. Culture Shock

As much as globalization has helped us all feel like we are a part of almost the same culture, there’s a huge difference between us all listening to Beyonce and culture. You should definitely respect the culture and country you will be immersing yourself in. So go ahead and invest some time in seeing what are the different things that would be considered normal in the country you are moving to. Sometimes research only gets a portion of the reality but it never hurts to prepare yourself mentally for what’s to come.

5. Support system

This is one that unfortunately sometimes gets easily forgotten. Of course, not everyone gets the opportunity to consider it, but if you can, please don’t underestimate the power of a support system. The bigger and more diverse your team is, the better. What I mean by that is try to find people that are in a similar situation as you (in the same country, away from home, whatever that may be), also stay in touch with people from home so you do not feel like a stranger whenever you return or visit. Even more, make friends with people that have fewer similarities so it helps you understand whatever curve balls life throws at you, with a different perspective.

Be grateful (BONUS!)

This tip is more for when you are already abroad. It is a blessing to get a job opportunity or to study abroad. Whatever has made this move possible; so it is always good to keep in mind that you should be grateful when things are low. Sometimes for me, as I was studying abroad, thinking that my studies would make a difference wasn’t enough to keep me motivated, so I focused on the fact that I was closer to seeing my family as the time went on. Do whatever works to keep you motivated and positive, and a lot of times reminding yourself of how lucky or blessed you are is a great start.

What did you think of the list? Is there any other advice you think we should have mentioned? Let us know in the comments.

xoxo,

-Ci (C)

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9 thoughts on “5 Things to Consider Before Moving Abroad

  1. seekchallenge

    This list is GREAT! We aren’t planning to move abroad any time soon but after visiting Tahiti for our honeymoon, my husband and I have seriously considered what it’d be like to live there. We’re thinking maybe, retirement? Haha.

    But culture I think is HUGE! Everyone we met in French Polynesia was friendly and extremely welcoming, but spoiled as we are in America, I found myself asking how they live differently without the convenience of certain things. Where we were staying, it wasn’t just a quick trip to a fast food restaurant if your were hungry but didn’t feel like cooking. There wasn’t a Wal-Mart down the road if you needed certain toiletries.

    We asked ourselves what kind of job would we hold? Most jobs there, were manual labor. We asked ourselves IF we moved here, do we REALLY think we’d be happy, away from all of our friends and family, away from everything we know; just to live on the coast of a beautiful ocean. We had to keep in mind that a honeymoon visit, or a vacation visit, is a MUCH different experience than living in that area. It’s not like we actually LIVE in an overwater bungalow.

    Would we be willing to learn the language and live a completely different life?

    I mean I definitely could and fell in LOVE with the people there, but I think these things are silly yet important things people should ask themselves.

    Anywho. GREAT READ! I’ll be sharing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. diElleci

      Hi!! Thank you for stopping by!

      Exactly! People usually focus on the big and important things of a great move (which is highly important) but forget that are little things like the things that you have mentioned that make people regret their decisions to move abroad!

      Great point you made,
      Thank you so much for sharing

      xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. iSpeakLifestyle

    As someone who moved abroad, I am lucky to have already being a dual citizen of the country I was moving to, but still, the culture shock can still be huge. My advice to anyone moving abroad will be to admit to yourself that you have an accent because i found that a huge solcial factor: not neccesarily negatively. It can sometimes be a great communication starter. Also, I recommd the book, Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie so as to see moving abroad from someone else’s point of view. This was a great post, DiElleCi!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. diElleci

      Hi!!

      yes accent is something very small for so many people, but for a newly immigrant it can be such an important factor of how we socialize. I think accents are beautiful and you are so right we should own it!!

      Yes Americanah is an amazing book, we relate so much to her and our experience. By the way did you see our book review on it? Check it out if you are interested ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thank you so much for your advice,

      xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. African Students Abroad (ASA)

    Hey…. read about your blog on She Leads Africa, and love this article…. I am from Congo (DRC) and many young people are lurred into believing that anything outside of Congo is better…. which is not always the case esp. if you do not have a solid plan on what to do (and how you will pay your bills once there). Check out a similar article I also wrote on this subject: https://africanstudentsabroad.com/2016/02/29/what-i-wish-knew-before-i-left-for-my-country-for-my-studies-part-1/
    Much love โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. diElleci

      Hello!

      We loved your article and specifically love the concept and work of your blog. Its platforms like yours that make students everywhere have some “safe space” against the hardship that it is living abroad. Thank you so much for sharing!

      xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. African Students Abroad (ASA)

        Glad you liked it <3. Indeed, the experience of living abroad can be very harsh and disheartening if not well prepared… luckily, more of us "African students abroad" are willing to talk about it and share our experiences. So happy, you guys have each other as sisters and best friends, makes a HUGE difference as well <3.

        Liked by 1 person

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