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8 Tips for before moving to another country

Whether for work or studies, for a certain period of time or permanently, moving to another country is a big decision and a complicated step to take. It's hard to know where to start, which is why we've created this list of tips to help prepare you with everything you need to know before moving abroad.

Especially if you are considering relocating to another country for work reasons, this process can be a great opportunity for your career; however, you should first consider the move, the new culture, and perhaps a different language. For this, we share practical advice and the steps to follow to be ready in terms of documentation, packaging and much more.

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Tips antes de mudarte-011. Prepare yourself mentally (every beginning is difficult)

Of course, a move to another country can be complicated and stressful, but that doesn't mean that it's not worth it. Moving abroad can cause big changes in your lifestyle and it's important to make this decision with the climate, language, cultural differences and even work ethic in mind. That's why it is recommended to make a temporary trip prior to your move, to get to know the place better and recognize the possible changes that could affect your family or your personal interests.

Since this a significant step, it's better to start organizing and planning in advance, doing small tasks in your free time so that when moving day approaches, you don't feel so pressured.


Tips antes de mudarte-022. New language and customs

When deciding to move to another country, one of the most difficult transitions can be adjusting to the new language and customs. At the beginning it can be very useful to learn certain phrases to communicate the basics, for that you can carry a translation book or install an app on your phone. However, it will be essential to learn the language fluently, either for work-related issues, from reading documents to writing important paperwork, as well as for social issues.

Even if in the destination country the official language is your native language, remember that there may be words with different meanings and colloquial language has adapted to the uses and customs of each place.

Also, you can investigate the habits and traditions of the country in question, such as festivities, food, or how its population handles business and commercial relations, to better prepare and approach the community that will surround you. 


Tips antes de mudarte-033. Procedures and documentation

Before moving abroad, especially if the country speaks a different language than yours, it's important to find online guides in your language that can explain the legal procedures and paperwork that you'll have to carry out when you arrive. Many countries require specific documents and procedures, depending on the purpose of your transfer, be it work, to study, or another reason.

These are some of the aspects that you should take into account:

Passport and visa: make sure it is valid for the time you plan to stay plus an extra 6 months. If the country you plan to move to requires a visa, consider it as a priority, as this process can take time. You can consult the website of the embassy of the country in question to find out how to obtain and how long this process takes.

If you move for work and your company hires a good Relocation company, they will be able to provide you with all the information you need. You usually need a special permit or visa to work legally, and some more developed countries have a system of points to improve your chances if you want to settle permanently.

Cards: there will be a number of cards that identify you that will not be necessary in the new country, you can collect them and save them for when you need to return. A valid student ID may be used to obtain discounts

Degrees: if it's for work reasons, consider that they could ask you for your professional degree translated into some language, if so, prepare it in time and investigate how to manage it at the university.

Important documents: you may have important documents such as a contract or Social Security information and, if you need them, it would not hurt to have them at hand. You can take them with you or even leave them with a close relative to ask for the information if you need it.

Paperwork to cancel:

Direct debits: If you have charges or credits to an existing account, such as membership charges or magazine subscriptions, we recommend canceling them in advance.

Telephone, water and electricity: find out how much time you have to cancel these services without penalties, especially telephone companies.

Housing rental: If you rent the space where you currently live, check your contract to determine how much time in advance you must inform the landlord.

Rent or sell your property: you will have to make a decision about your current property depending on whether your accommodation abroad is temporary or permanent. Renting your old home has the advantage of having additional income, and managing it with tenants can be through someone close to you or a real estate agency.


Tips antes de mudarte-044. Health

Consider that for some countries it will be necessary to vaccinate in advance. You can find out which vaccines are recommended for each country, or if you cannot find reliable information online, consult it directly at your health center. A useful tool for this can be the World Health Organization page that shares with us the list of vaccination requirements and recommendations for international travelers.

It may be important to find out about the country's health system and hire medical insurance that covers your entire stay. If you move as an expat, the company you work for may have quality travel insurance for you.


Tips antes de mudarte-055. Money

Before moving abroad, exchange the cash you consider sufficient for the currency of the country you are going to. Some types of currency may take a while, make sure you request it in time. For the first few days you can investigate if your credit or debit cards are used to withdraw money abroad and what the daily limit would be. Also, check what cards you would need to take with you or, if it's the case, decide to cancel them before leaving.

Later you could open a bank account and thus be able to transfer money from another country; for this there are some tools such as Transferwise or any other that seems useful to you.


Tips antes de mudarte-066. Anticipate and prepare (basic issues)

Plugs: If the outlet is different, you can buy a universal adapter to use for the first few days and thus charge your cell phone or computer without problems.

Cell phone: Currently, for everything we do the cellphone and the internet are necessary, either to communicate or to go to a place you don't know. Anticipate and find out the telephone companies and the plan that you could hire when you arrive at your destination.

Accommodation: If accommodation abroad depends on you, it will be one of the first tasks you will have to do when you arrive in the new country. To reduce stress, most people choose a hotel or a temporary rental and then move to a permanent home.

It is not recommended to decide remotely where you will live due to possible fraud. In this way you can be present to visit the spaces and find the right home that suits your needs and tastes.


Tips antes de mudarte-077. When it's time to pack

Recycle and donate: The weeks before the move you will have to start packing and you will notice everything that you don't really use. You will have to decide whether to leave these items behind in a box or perhaps donate them to give them a second life, especially the belongings that you won't be able to take with you.

Prohibited items that you should not take with you when moving

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Packing in boxes

Start by collecting cardboard boxes of different sizes to store all the objects that you will take and also those that you will leave. You can buy them from companies that offer moving services.

You can start filling the boxes with what you use the least so that what you use regularly is at your disposal until the last moment, such as kitchen utensils, towels, or sheets.

Remember to distribute the weight well between the boxes, label them properly to easily recognize their content, and separate the essential things that you will carry in your suitcase. You can visit our articles to know a more detailed process of how to pack your things when moving.

Luggage and suitcases

In the suitcases that will travel with you, you can pack the essentials, such as the necessary clothing, shoes, and some personal hygiene products. Take into account that when you arrive you can buy anything, so you can leave many belongings because of the weight and space they occupy, for example, a bottle of shampoo.

If you need to travel by plane, the number of bags you need to take with you will depend on the airline. You can investigate how many suitcases or backpacks you are allowed to check in, the measurements, and the maximum weight to plan how to pack.

As a piece of advice, try to distribute the contents of your luggage among the suitcases. That is, put a little of the basics (clothing, electronic devices or valuables) in all of them and even your carry-on suitcase, in case some luggage is lost.

Shipping boxes

This option to transport your belongings can be very cheap or expensive, depending on the country. What you can do is consult the prices of some companies that ship boxes and leave them with someone so they can be sent once you are settled in your new home.


Tips antes de mudarte-088. The social aspect and meeting new people

Deciding to settle in another country involves some sacrifices, such as relationships with loved ones. Creating a social circle and new friends can make your experience not only more enjoyable but easier, as they can advise you and tell you about their experience in navigating this unknown place. One option is to use social networks, such as Facebook groups for people of your nationality, where you can go to answer questions or ask for help.

Also, it is a good idea to create a network of contacts within your future job position. You can investigate if there are regular events organized by the company, if there are known people already installed in the country, or if there is an expat community in the area.

It may take time to build a new social circle, but meeting new and different people will always help you grow and enjoy this adventure.

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With this information we hope to have given you the necessary tools and ideas to leave you a little calmer during this process, although we know that it can be difficult, remember that moving to another country can be a very enriching experience.


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