Ben Todd | Apr 16, 2017 | 3
A Guide To Living And Working Abroad
It has never been easier to live and work abroad. The logistics of travel are more simple, and many elements involving the law and finances have been standardized so you will have no trouble setting up your bank accounts and such when you are in a new country.
Get The Visas Long In Advance
Many countries demand that you have a visa in order to work or live there. You need to get the visa well in advance of your leaving because the last thing you want is visa trouble when you get there. Be very careful if you have already worked in that country within the last six to twelve months because many authorities will look upon you with great suspicion if you return for any reason.
Go Over There With A Contingency Fund
The biggest catastrophes happen when somebody goes abroad to live or work and they do not have enough money to get back to their home country. Do not save up a contingency (backup fund) when you are there because that rarely works. Instead, you have to save up your contingency fund to be sure you have it as soon as you arrive. That way, if your job falls through, or your housing is inadequate, then you can return home right away.
Learn The Frickin Language
This sort of thing should be common sense. There are too many people who go to work or live abroad and do not bother to learn the language because they figure they will pick it up when they get there. They are heavily mistaken! All they do is make a fool of themselves for around a year until they have just enough of the language to get by without offending people or getting robbed.
If you are in a country legally, then the government is going to be ultra-sensitive about you and your taxes. The last thing they want is foreign people coming into their country and taking money out without paying their due. Find out as much as you can about their tax system, especially with regards to people who work on visas and such from other countries.
Have A Housing Backup
This is a little more difficult, but not impossible–especially if you are going to live and work abroad with a team of other people. If your housing options fall through, you can pre-arrange to live with them as a backup plan until you find another place. You should also look up hostels and other local facilities that may allow you to stay until you find other housing options.
Go On Vacation There First
There are plenty of people who go to live or work in another country and come back within six months because they hate it. If you have not had a vacation there yet, then try to go over for at least a week or two. The longer you spend out there, the more prepared you will be. The longer you stay out there on vacation, the more likely you are to spot deal-breaking flaws that convince you that you shouldn’t go.
You Need To Be Saving Whilst You Are There
If you are planning to stay in the other country forever, then you need to start investing your money and making plans to build your wealth as best you can. If you are only planning to spend a few months or years there, then it is imperative that you perpetually add to your contingency fund. Not only does this give you more options whilst you are out there, it also acts as a form of self insurance so that you have money spare for if something goes dramatically wrong.
Put your money into a savings account so that at least you are earning a little bit of interest from it. In addition, it is always better to return home with an account full of money after working abroad. The experience may be nice and enriching on a personal level, but it often feels a little hollow if you return with an empty bank account.
Learn As Much As You Can About The Laws
You do not have to become a lawyer to move abroad, but you need to familiarize yourself with as many of the local laws that contradict and/or are different to your own laws. For example, many countries have different rules around driving, and many have different laws regarding work and working conditions. For example, in some countries, your boss is allowed to underpay you or fire you for no good reason. In some countries, you may get in trouble for singing or for being an unescorted woman.
Check the Internet whilst you are still in your home country and look for rules, laws, customs and traditions that differ from your own. Sometimes, travel bloggers will mention such things, especially if they include personal faux pas they made whilst they were traveling.
Familiarize Yourself With Their Customs
If you want to make friends and avoid offending people, then it is a good idea to learn common customs. These include things such as where you lay your knife and fork when you finish your meal, or when you are supposed to bow when meeting somebody.
Be Careful About Your Employer’s Insurance
Your employer may not have or need insurance. If you have an accident, you may be fired, and even if you are not, you may find yourself without wages whilst you are ill. There are plenty of countries that do not force companies to take out liability insurance, which means you have to sue them if you want any chance of compensation or your medical expenses paid.
You Will Probably Need Health Insurance
In well-developed countries such as the UK and Canada, you will get free healthcare if you have a working or living visa. However, in most countries they ask you to pay for your medical care. If you don’t have the money right away, then you will find yourself in debt.
Get Out Of Debt First
Speaking of debt, if you are planning to go abroad, you need to get out of debt. Some people think they can hide from debt companies in other companies, but when they return they find themselves arrested in the airport. Furthermore, paying debt whilst you are in another country is not fun. It weighs you down and makes it more difficult for you to build wealth and/or save money.
Make As Many Friends As Possible
It helps you get over some of the stumbling blocks that present themselves. Having friends in the country gives you extra support for things such as finding the nearest dentist, to how many times you are supposed to kiss a stranger’s cheek when meeting. Friends in the country are able to give you advice and help with many of the issues mentioned in this article. Plus, it is nice having friends in the new country when you are so far away from the family and friends you are used to.
Go With Another Person If You Can
Moving abroad to live or work is difficult if you are taking children, but if you are going with another adult it can become a lot easier. The benefits range from having somebody you know that speaks your language for company, to things such as one of you working about how to pay the electric bill whilst the other figures out how to register with a dentist.
Can You Make Savings Whilst You Are There?
One of the big benefits of moving and working abroad is the fact you can often save a lot of money. However, it is imperative that you work out how the local economy works. It may only cost you 50 cents to hire a taxi for a day, but are your wages going to be as low as a dollar per day? In some countries, you may get a reasonable good wage, but the cost of living may be so expensive that you are unable to save money.
If you come from somewhere such as the UK, then most placers have lower living costs. The UK is one of the most expensive places for non-millionaires to live, which means when they move to another country they enjoy lower rent costs, but is it the same for you? For example, in the US there are places where your rent may be as low as $300 per month and as high as $3000 per month. If you are looking to save money, then first look to your rent without subjecting yourself to living in a slum part of time.
People used to go abroad to go on holiday, but these days they go abroad to have plastic surgery. You can go abroad, have your plastic surgery, spend two weeks in a hotel and return home for the same price as a simple surgery in the US. The cost of plastic surgery is so high in the US that it may be worth having some work done while you are over there.
There are some fantastic learning establishments around the world. Get a first-class business and science education in the UK (Great Britain), or a world beating communications education in Russia, or a top-notch technology education in Japan. The US leads the way in programming, or you can go to France for a first rate art history degree. You can often save a bundle on your education if you pick the best institution in the country of your choice.