What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.
Brought With: Computer. They are cheaper in the US and they usually
work everywhere (just check the voltage and frequency
qualifications on the equipment. If your company is
paying for the relocation, why not?
Before leaving, go hog-wild in the used cd store of
your choice. I used to love buying used cds for very
cheap ($3-5) and they were often independent artists.
I had my choice of a dozen independent music stores in
my area. In England a new cd costs around $25 and even
used cds are around $15. Even then, cds from
underground American artists are hard to find and
there are not as many big, independent music stores
Left Behind: An 8ft 2in couch. I found out when I got here that the
standard door is only 30" wide while in the US it is
36", so there was no way I could get the couch in.
Also, the apartments are much smaller; even if it had
fit through, it would have taken up my entire living
room. You can find bigger doors and bigger places, but
I was on my own (my company had not transferred me and
they were not paying for my housing). My toaster, curling iron, and hair dryer, too. These items
are cheap enough, just leave them behind.
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What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?
I would have contacted the 3 credit agencies
(experian, etc) and blocked my credit activity. As it
was, somebody got a hold of all of my credit
information and started opening credit cards in my
name. When I found out (after they had already charged
up 6000 dollars), I had to call all of the agencies
and report a fraud. Trying to deal with this situation
from abroad can be frustrating; it left me feeling
very vulnerable. Basically, if you have a foreign
address, they really don't want to deal with you. I
had to instruct them to block my account until they
heard in writing from me. Also, they won't contact you
if there's suspicious activity in your name because
you have a foreign address and phone number, which
some of them cannot keep in their databases. It was
only by a happy coincidence that I found out at all.
London Information for Expats: Introduction
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