5 Tips to make your expat adventure succeed

Moving internationally as an expat

Moving internationally as an expat is an amazing challenge. You will get to know new people and cultures, it probably means a big step in your carreer and you and your family can enjoy a new international experience. 

Still, moving abroad as an expat equals some challenges on the way. You will have to find a place to stay where you and your family can feel at home. Next, you will have to look for schooling solutions for your children and you will have to make some adaptions when it comes to habits and culture. 

Is your expat adventure right around the corner? Or are you thinking of moving abroad as an expat in the future? Below are 5 tips for you to make your expat adventure succeed!

Tip 1: Preparation is key 

Are you moving abroad? Then you will have to say (temporary) goodbye to friends and family. To get over a 'home-sick' feeling, it is best to prepare your international move in advance. You probably know that moving comes with some stress and worries, and also for an international moven, those are common feelings. Maybe even more! 

There are tons of documents you will have to carry with you, you will have to arrange some insurances, hospitalization in your new home country, a bank account, education plans for your children and so on. 

The embassy of your destination country will be able to tell you all about the must-do's and obligations that come with a move to that particular country, whether we are talking about a European move or an expat adventure further from home. 

Tip 2: Collect the necessary documents

Make sure to arrange all paperwork before you leave the country. You will probably need a (work) permit, just like your other family members. Other important documents you might need: 

  • Birth certificate
  • If applicable: certificate of marriage
  • Insurance documents and medical documents
  • International passport and permits of your destination country
  • Any diplomas for professional activities abroad. 

Make sure to find out what you need when it comes to documents and paperwork for the country you are moving to. You might as well need certain documents to work as an expat. That is how you can prepare your professional challenges abroad as good as possible. 

Tip 3: Wrap up everything before leaving

Moving to another country means leaving your own house (empty) for a while. Another option is renting your house, furnished or not, for this particular period. In both cases you will have to define beforehand which furniture and other stuff you will take with you abroad and which you prefer to leave in your home country. Leaving your belongings at home when renting your house might frighten you a bit. That's why wrapping up your most valuable belongings, furniture, art and antique and having it stocked in a dry and safe place could be a good idea. Are you still planning on moving these fragile things as well? Then we recommend looking for the appropriate partner to safely move all these things. 

Tip 4: Make yourself at home

Working as an expat abroad could be very exciting. That's why making yourself at home in your country of destination is so important. A safe haven helps you to relax, to catch your breath when things get rough and to take your time to arrange a few things when necessary. 

Allowing yourself some time to adapt is key when moving internationally. 

Make sure to find a great place to stay abroad and to find out about the regulations and obligations of your destination country. Discuss with your organisation where you will work as an expat if they are planning to arrange anything for you concerning your move and your place to stay. 

Tip 5: Get social

Arriving in your new home country as an expat, there will probably not be many people you know in the first few days. 

If you are working for an international organisation, getting to know people will go very fast. Still, it could be interesting to activiley look for social activities to get to know people yourself. Go meet your neighbours, sign up for language classes or register in a sports club. How fast you will get to know people depends on your own attitude and the culture in that particular country. 

Furthermore, it could be nice to get in touch with other 'internationals' or expats to exchange experiences and tips. In many cities, there are for instance Facebook groups to get to know other expats. Besides that, there are tons of online forums and platforms where expats can get to know each other. 

Bonus tip

Look for a partner to help your international move succeed. Whether it's about wrapping up your belongings and moving them or stocking your most fragile stuff that you are not planning to take with you...

Compas International Movers is your go-to partner to make your expat adventure easier. 

Get in touch for more information!