Saturday, May 18, 2013, AM | 1 Comment
The decision to go and work overseas can be a tough one – as well as
dealing with the cultural changes involved, and the possibility of being separated from your friends and family, you may also need to adjust to a new language, as well as handling the details of a major move.
Depending on how long you’re working for, and whether that means a short contract of a few months, or a much longer, ongoing contract, it’s important to consider how some of the following factors might affect you.
One of the main issues that people have to deal with when they go abroad is the cultural change, or shock, that’s involved – before travelling, you should try to research a culture in depth, as well as starting to learn a language before you immerse yourself in another country. Some countries and places can feature more radical changes in lifestyle, as well as difficulties in coming back home on a regular basis, so ensure you spend some time researching what’s involved in a move.
The process of applying for and receiving a visa can take a long time, and can be made even more complicated if you have dependents or family coming along with you. In some cases, your new employer will sponsor you for a visa, and can help you to speed up the process – employers may also be able to cover any fees, or will compensate you once you’ve paid them and started work.
Understanding the Cost of Living
When you move abroad, work out how much of a budget you’ll need from week to week – the cost of living may be significantly higher or lower than you’re used to, and might not always be accounted for in your wages. If you’re lucky, you’ll be working somewhere with a low cost of living, which means that you can spend a lot more time on going out and travelling.
You may find that an International Drivers’ Permit will be recognised by your new country, and that you can start driving straight away; however, it might be the case that you need to take a national specific driving test after a certain amount of time in a country. If you don’t drive, it’s worth looking into employee benefit schemes and travel cards for commuting.
Again, where you end up living can be affected by your new employers offering a good relocation service – in this context, you can often receive accommodation while you’re waiting to find your own place. People that get jobs with universities might also find that you can get private accommodation on campus.
Getting registered with local health services is essential, and can be combined with using European Health Insurance Cards if you’re moving to work in Europe from the UK; it’s still worth, however, getting the right prescriptions and records from your GP before you move to a new country, or stocking up before you travel.
Cancel any local policies before you move to a new country, and look to pick up new insurance – your employer might offer you some cover as part of a benefits scheme, but this won’t always be the case. Research international travel insurance, and decide on how much cover you need for the country that you choose to work in.
Rosette spent four years working in China, and is now back in the UK. She likes to blog about her experiences, and recommends investing in long stay travel insurance.