An increasing number of people from the UK are opting to live abroad, either permanently or for a fixed period. Excitement, culture, lifestyle, climate and work: it’s not hard to see why so many UK nationals make the choice to move. However, as with any other major life change, a successful outcome is all down to careful planning and preparation.
Making the Right Choice
People choose to move overseas for a variety of reasons: work, a better climate, a new life experience or to live somewhere where a fixed-income, such as a pension, goes further. Your starting point should be to assess your reasons for wishing to move. This will then help you in your choice of which country best meets your expectations and to decide how long you wish to commit to living there.
It’s important to do your research before committing yourself; the country you visited on holiday may seem idyllic, but what’s it like to actually live there? You should read extensively about that country, search for articles online and take part in forum discussions. If you can, speak to ex-pats from the country or, perhaps even more importantly, to Britons who have returned.
Before moving abroad you need to ask yourself some hard questions, because all of life’s issues that we all have to deal with will still be there whichever country we live in. So where will you live? What are property prices and rents like? Will you be able to find a job? Will your skills be in demand and your qualifications accepted? And, when push comes to shove, how will you cope without having your extended family and close friends at hand?
Before You Move
You will need a checklist of tasks to complete before moving. Top of that list will be making arrangements for where you will live and having a job to go to. Just as important will be ensuring that your documentation is in order, particularly your work permit, visa, health and welfare registration and your banking arrangements. If you are a parent, you will need to apply for a school place for your child.
To make the most of a period abroad it is important to embrace the local culture, so don’t neglect making an effort to learn the language and understand and respect the culture of your new home.
Finally, although it is important to immerse yourself in the life of your new country, it is also wise to not burn all of your bridges should you ever wish to return home.
Visit theroadahead.co.uk to find out more, as discussed in more articles by Simon Barnett. This article may be used by any website publisher, though this resource box must always be included in full.