10 Helpful Tips For Americans Moving Abroad
Moving abroad is a whole new experience, both exciting and frightening at the same time. There are a lot of things that you don’t know about leaving your home, and about the process of moving to a different country.
But, things can go a little bit smoother and easier if you know a few tips. Luckily for you, we’ll share everything you need to know as an American moving abroad.
You need to do your research before any trip and the same goes when you plan on a huge step such as moving abroad. Every country has different rules and policies, so you need to be well aware of them. If you haven't already, start looking at jobs abroad and then once you decide your final destination, it’s time to do some homework. Ask people who already live there, people who are natives, and also, ask Google for some information. If you know something about the country, the whole transition will be a lot easier, since you’ll be familiar with the tradition, code, and the people over there. On the plus side, you’ll always have a topic to chat up with the locals.
Before departing make sure you have all your visa and paperwork arranged and in order. You don't want to risk arriving at your destination and being turned away from by border agents due to having the incorrect documentation.
3. Contact Your Bank
Make sure you inform your bank that you are moving overseas, if you don't the chances are you might get your cards blocks due to suspicious behaviour, e.g. using in a location different to previously.
4. Talk With Your Accountant & Tax Professional
Before moving, you need to settle down all the financial things, because the last thing you want to worry about is financial issues. American banks require proof that you’re a US citizen to keep your account open. If you don’t provide them with that thing, they have the right to close your bank account, and you risk losing all your money. To avoid this, consider talking with your bank, providing them with a copy, and for some extra precaution, try to leave copies of important documents to somebody you trust.
When it comes to finances, another big problem that can occur while you’re away is taxes. Many Americans that move abroad renounce US citizenship which helps them avoid paying the mandatory taxes. So, having a nice chat with a company that specializes in helping expats in terms of taxes will help you out a lot, and you’ll solve a huge problem before it ever rises.
Since you’ll be moving from your previous house, it’s only natural that you’ll bring a lot of stuff with you. But, always pack the things you’ll need there. For example, if you’re moving from Florida to the northern parts of Europe, you won’t be needing the surfboard anymore, but you’ll sure need some warm coats, mittens, and caps. You shouldn’t worry too much about clothes, because you’ll eventually buy yourself a new set of them, but why overpack with things you won’t be using anyway. On the other hand, don’t stress too much about anything material, because the less you bring with you, the less you have to unpack in your new home.
6. Give Yourself Some Time to Adapt
Moving abroad can be exhausting and emotionally draining. You’ll have the same feeling, no matter if you’re moving to a new city in the US or a whole new country abroad. You won’t feel at home the first couple of months, so it’s best that you give yourself some time to adjust. To help speed up the whole process, make sure to socialize with your co-workers and neighbors, walk around the city, try local food, and of course learn about the way of life and the people over there.
7. Be Prepared for Stereotypes
Every nation has certain stereotypes for other nations. The same goes for the Americans. Most people think that Americans are all about fast food and coke. Try not to take offense to those stereotypes. Instead, try to show people how wrong they are about your nation. After all, even you have some formed opinions about the locals in the new country where you live. Learn from each other instead of judging one another.
8. Dealing with Homesickness
You’ll miss friends, but you’ll make new strong connections as well. Life won’t be the same after you leave your home, but thanks to social media, you’ll be able to connect with all the people back there, without changing anything, but the distance. Try to make friends with locals, and the best place to start is your new neighborhood. Once you’ve moved and settled in, invite some of your next-door neighbors to spend some time together and get to know each other. The second best place is where you work. Grabbing a drink or two with coworkers can start something great, a whole new, strong bond with people.
9. Be Positive and Optimistic
It might even be the most important tip of them all. Being optimistic will make this huge change seem a bit easier, and also, it will help you not to take it too hard on yourself. Sure, moving can be draining, and it can be faced with challenged but there is a lot of excitement that comes with that. Don’t let the little things knock you back, always look forward and focus on the positives.
10. Have an Open Mind
Throw yourself into your new society and culture. Try to be as friendly and open as possible, be social and try to make friends. Knowing people in your new destination will really help with the adjustment to a different culture and country. Of course some things will be different, and probably normal everyday things might seem strange at first but you will soon adapt.
Moving to a new country can be a really exciting experience to enjoy a new destination, people, language and culture. Plan ahead as much as possible and so you are as prepared as possible. If you have any advice about moving let us know in the comments section below.