Moving abroad is exciting and can easily become a whirlwind experience. It's important to prepare yourself as much as possible for your international move instead of rushing through the process and making some common mistakes. Take the time to do your research and do your best to avoid these common mistakes when moving abroad.
Not doing enough research
When moving abroad, it's best to do it with your eyes wide open so you can easily work your way through any problems and be aware of any potential risks involved with settling overseas. If your host country is on the other side of the world, you'll be in for major changes and have to make numerous adjustments.
If you've never been to your host country before, looking at photos online before your trip might not be enough. If you're moving from San Diego where it's sunny and warm year-round to Moscow with bitter cold winters you might not realize just how cold it can get.
While researching, you should also do your best to reach out to fellow expats who are already settled there. They can give you the inside scoop on your host country, which will make your adjustment period after the move that much easier. Avoiding culture shock will be your biggest hurdle to overcome after an international move.
Underestimating your financial needs
Moving can become expensive very quickly and the costs don't stop once the move is complete. After your move, you have multiple expenses that can and will quickly add up as an expat. Estimating the cost of the actual move is simple, but estimating the costs after the move abroad are a bit different. Housing costs, every day living costs as well as other odds and ends will quickly add up.
When planning your move, you should research the average costs for furniture, rent, and utilities. Anything that you need to buy during your first few days, weeks or even months after moving abroad is a cost to factor into your moving budget.
Not preparing for obstacles
Aside from language barriers, bureaucracy is different in every country. If you had high hopes of moving abroad and opening up your own boutique or cafe, you need to anticipate obstacles dealing with the local government. How is local business conducted? Is there a lot of red tape? Are the local politics heavily involved in the business dealings in that area? These are things you should know before moving abroad to start a business.
This could be the most common mistake any expat makes. The idea of moving abroad is enticing--and for good reason -- it's a chance to be adventurous and explore a new country. Who hasn't imagined packing a bag and moving to an unknown country? When planning your move abroad, don't let yourself get too caught up in the romance of it all. Try to keep your feet on the ground when planning your international move so you aren't sorely disappointed when you arrive.