Making the decision to move abroad can be a big deal. It is a big step in developing your education, carrier or personal interests. You can be ready to go, packed, visa sorted, and plane tickets bought, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are prepared for the new life you are about to find yourself in.
Here are some of the things people don’t always tell you when you move abroad.
If you happen to be moving to a country where English isn’t the main language, it is highly recommended to learn as much of the new language before the move. This will help lower the anxiety that comes with moving. It will also allow you to communicate with new friends, coworkers, and neighbors once you move.
Even if you’re moving to another English-speaking country, you may be speaking the same language, but not all people will understand you. Australians use a lot of unique words and phrases in their everyday talk. Do a bit of research before you move. It is not in your interest to come off as offensive if a phrase or gesture that is innocent means something completely different abroad.
When you decide to live abroad, you should be prepared to do a lot of paperwork.
If you are traveling internationally you will need an up-to-date passport, but you will also need to apply for a visa if you wish to live or work abroad. That visa will allow you to remain in a country for a specified period of time and for a specific purpose. Depending upon how long you want to stay, you can apply for a short-stay visa, a long-stay visa, or a residence visa, which is what you will need to establish a permanent residence in another country.
Once you have moved into your new home, you will need to apply for a work permit. The work permit will give you the ability to get employed, but this document can be difficult to obtain in some nations. Regulations vary from place to place, so make sure to talk to migration agents in Sydney, in order to gather information on the application process, regulations, and requirements ahead of your move.
Other documents that you may need in order to enter a country, verify your identity, pay your taxes, and apply for your permits might include:
Medical, dental, and immunization records
School reports and transcripts
If you are planning on taking your pet with you, you will have to have their veterinary records and health certificates. You will also need to find out if your pet has to go through a mandatory quarantine period before they will let them into the country.
It is inevitable that you will get lost until you figure your way around the city. Don’t be embarrassed to stop and ask locals for directions. Sometimes, not even Google maps can save you when you’re on the road less traveled.
The entire act of living abroad is a giant orientation game. So when get lost, it’s best to try to live in the moment and appreciate wherever you end up.
Some friends will stop calling and writing. You’re going to have people you thought were your good friends forget you. And sometimes you might be the one forgetting. However you put it, you are going to lose some people and it is going to hurt. But, sometimes these things are blessings in disguise. People are busy, and only true friends are going to stay around.
Whatever happens, you will still have a number of great friends and you will meet some incredible ones on your journey.
Getting homesick is totally normal. No matter how awesome things may be in your new home, it’s normal to be down and miss home. Home is your safe space and where everything you know and love is. It’s normal to crave that every once in a while. Being homesick isn’t necessarily always bad. Missing home means that when you do go back you appreciate every moment. Also, care packages help. Take advantage of free online calls and video chats.
But when you go back the chances are you won’t waste a single moment.
In the same way that you come across struggles at home, whether that’s being able to get to the bus stop on time or arguing with coworkers, you will have to deal with the same stuff when you move abroad. But then, challenges might also include things like stress from an immigration officer or the stress that comes with not being able to speak the native language fluently and having trouble communicating.
It’s normal to feel lonely and down one day and totally delighted the next. The trick is to let yourself move through all of these emotions. They will come and go, just as they would if you were living back at home. Taking every challenge will bring an opportunity for learning and growing.
Your accent is what will identify you. Not your name or what you do, but unfortunately your accent. You will most likely be referred to as “the Australian.”
Despite all this, moving abroad can bring you so many amazing adventures. You will be able to experience things you may otherwise miss out on and see things that are very unique.
Moving overseas won’t be easy. You have to take the good with the bad that comes along. There are a few things that people won’t remember to bring up about living abroad, but if you are open-minded and you are prepared for all the challenges that come with it, you will be able to make the most out of your move. Find yourself, and let the experience of traveling and living abroad change you for the better.