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Going Abroad Topics 0

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Summary: A primer on moving abroad from Expat Exchange.

There are many aspects involved in any international relocation, and each one needs to be carefully considered. We have provided an overview of many topics below, and each one will receive in depth treatment in the articles that follow in this series.

What to Expect and Strategies - It is, of course, impossible to know exactly what your life abroad will bring. As with any part of life that contains some degree of uncertainty, the mindset of the expatriate will play a major role as to whether or not his or her relocation will be a success. The trials and tribulations must not affect the expat's desire to adapt to their new international lifestyle!

Ten Types of Expats - An American professor in Egypt recently defined the "Ten Types of Expats." Do you see yourself in the categories he's outlined? It's an interesting exercise in trying to understand what it is that has influenced you to even consider moving to another country.

Entry and Exit Visas - As most people know, in addition to your passport, you'll also need an entry visa and, in some cases, an exit visa. Each country has its own set of rules that must be strictly followed.

Benefits - If you are moving overseas because you or your spouse was transferred by your employer, you're probably wondering whether or not the relocation package is fair. We've outlined what to consider before accepting the offer from human resources.

Job Hunting and Work Visas - If you are considering moving abroad in hopes of finding work, you should know that the odds are fairly well stacked against you. There are some important facts to know in order to understand the framework in which you must work to land a job in another country. Also, if you are the spouse of an expat transferred overseas, it will be especially difficult for you to get a work permit.

Kids and School - If you are a parent, or hope to be soon, you have a long checklist to work through to make sure all of your bases are covered. Pregnancy, childbirth, education and many other issues must be carefully evaluated and planned for if you plan on being the parent of a child living outside of his or her native country.

Languages and Cross-Cultural Training - The inevitable question of whether or not you need to learn the language will often draw differing opinions. And the issue of cross-cultural training is just as important to consider - if not more so.

Safety & Evacuation Planning - Expat safety is obviously an important issue given the current state of world affairs. You'll receive contradictory advice from many people living abroad - some say they feel more safe outside of their native country than the foreign land they call home, while others will tell you how often they consider repatriating. The experts, however, all agree that you have to educate yourself on how to safely navigate your time abroad.

Pets - We hope you don't forget about ALL of you family members as you consider or prepare to move abroad. Just as visa laws differ from country to country, so do the laws regarding your pets. Don't forget you also need to consider what policies exist for bringing them back into your home country, too.

Finances and Taxation - Romantic notions of life overseas must give way to an assessment of the financial realities that are involved - even if you are wealthy. Tax laws, credit issues and much more promise to make your life miserable if don't plan ahead.

The Actual Move - What should you bring? What should you leave at home? Are there English bookstores in Tokyo? Can I use my CD player in London or Moscow? These questions are just a few of the dozens you'll encounter as you prepare to move your life abroad.

Are you an expatriate with a suggestion about the content of this article? Send it to participate@expatexchange.com

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and 5 Best Places to Live in Spain. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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First Published: Jul 09, 2004

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