Let's talk expat! Little tips before you start your international adventure
So, you are moving to a different country...congrats!! You are starting a very challenging, yet rewarding adventure. Whether you go on your own or with your whole family, the fact is that there is a lot of things to do before taking that plane to our new home. In this post, I will give you five little tips that have helped me while getting ready to arrive at a new home in a new country. To be honest, I may not discover America with this post, but maybe they can be useful for you
1.Sort out the paperwork
Both if you are coming with a job offer or your intention is to settle down in a new country and then find a job afterward, find out all the paperwork that you need to do at your arrival, whether it is getting a bank account in the new country, to register in your new city town and/or your embassy or consulate, if you need a health and hospital insurance (which I told my experience about in a previous post ) or even to join a union or appoint a new doctor.
Make a list of the most important paperwork you have to do and get informed of your rights and obligations in your new country. You can always consult with your new company's HR department, or even with us, at Expat Centre Limburg, we will help you out if we can!
2. Get informed and create a network
This is a two-for-one tip while preparing for your big move; search for information not only in the official sources but in social network groups of expats or internationals from the region you are moving to. For this vibrant region it is the YouRegion International Network or Expats in Limburg, where you may find interesting tips from other expats, news and even some new friends!!
Additionally, don't miss the chance to socialize with other people in your region, having a good network is key to survive the adaptation process in a new country!! In my experience, whether at the townhouse with their Intergration Department (inburgering), at school with your classmates, or at YouRegion events, you will meet plenty of people from very different backgrounds and always willing to talk and help you feel comfortable in your new country!
3.Establish priorities when moving
This one came for me really handy while preparing my luggage, because if moving to a new country is already challenging, deciding what parts of your life go to your boxes or not is definitely not for the faint of heart. In my case, being someone very emotional and sensitive, it was a real struggle to decide what would come and what would be left behind.
So, make a list of the most urgent things to take with you (clothes for the season and place you will be moving in, your most precious books, the favorite toys of the kids...) and that will give you that homey feeling to your new residence. If possible, and this is a bit too much for some people, take also some of your usual basic products (like that shampoo you love or your favourite's brand stock cubes, which was my case) to make the transition a bit easier.
This is a tip that I find especially useful if you have little ones coming with you. Prepare your moving from the optimism and involve the rest of your household in the whole process, for example showing them cool places you will visit near your house, or which are the coolest topical dishes from the region...you can even already schedule a care package delivery, like the one I got for Christmas, from your family and friends to overcome the homesickness once you are one or two months in your new home!!
5. Take it one step at a time and don't forget to decompress
This I think is one of the first things you should take into account when you decide to move to a new country. There are so many things to do, so many new experiences you will face, that it can easily become overwhelming even when you haven't arrived there yet. So take it easy, don't try to do everything at the same time (also, that would be impossible when it comes to bureaucracy because everything has its correct timing), and do not forget to find little moments for yourself and when you are able to forget about all the things in your near future, in order to decompress and relax, but also to cherish the last moments of a chapter in your life that is coming to an end to having a new crazy, exciting chapter ahead.
So, as I said, these tips may not have re-invented the wheel, they are actually a pretty no-brainer, but I found them to be quite useful while preparing to move to a new country. Maybe you have other super useful tips to help other people coming to a new country, let me know in the comments!! And see you next time!!