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Preparing to Move Abroad: Here’s 7 Things You Need to do Beforehand

Moving abroad may seem like a mammoth task. Leaving friends and family can be difficult, and the thought of packing up your house may seem impossible. But there are plenty of handy hints and tricks that can help you through your big move, and to make it seem easier.

Once you’ve read our guide, you’ll be able to focus on the excitement of starting your life in a new county.

Be Brutal: Throw Stuff Away!

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Moving to a new country is a great excuse to get rid of lots of things you don’t need. It can be hard to part with sentimental items, but throwing away unwanted things will make your move easier.

When it comes to clothes, if you haven’t worn them in over a year, then donate them to a charity shop. Get rid of old paperwork, and give unloved furniture to friends and family.

Think About the Cost of Shipping

Shipping furniture and other items by plane or boat can be expensive. If you’re only moving for a couple of years and plan to come back, then it may be cheaper to rent some storage space until you return. If you’re going for good, then there’s no reason to be parted from your furniture.

Make sure you get quotes from different suppliers; it’s best to shop around. Read reviews from previous customers, as you need a company that you can trust.

Open a new bank account

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As soon as you arrive in your new country, you’ll need a bank account. Make sure you set one up straight away; taking some cash with you can be useful for the first few days, but a bank account is safer and more secure.

The website has lots of great practical advice and information about starting up a new bank account abroad, so make sure you download their checklist to keep handy when you move.

Learn the Language

If you’re moving to a place where people speak a different language, don’t panic! Download an app such as Duolingo and learn a few vital phrases before you go, so that you can direct removal workers, order some food, and get a taxi from the airport.

When you have settled in, book an intensive language course. It will be easier to learn the language while you’re there, as you will be surrounded by people speaking it! If you’re nervous, you can practice by starting small; thanking people in shops, booking train tickets, and so on. Keep a phrase book handy, or even a translator app on your phone.

Get a European Health Insurance Card

If you’re moving to a country within Europe, make sure you apply for a European Health Insurance card in time to take it with you. When you have settled into your new home, you will need to assimilate into the local health care system, but in the meantime this little card could be a life saver.

It will cover you for any short-term or immediate treatment, at a reduced price, or even for free.

Look After Your Health

It’s a good idea to have some health insurance in place before moving as it will cover most medical costs and protect you should you fall ill. You should also consider purchasing expat insurance. This will cover personal situations, and even ‘war cover’ if you’re in a dangerous country.

Most expat insurance companies also have staff who speak a variety of languages, so you will get a friendly voice on the end of the phone, should you have any problems. You should also arrange for your medical notes to be translated and ensure you have enough medication to cover you until you’re settled into your new country.

Tidy Up Any Loose Ends

When you leave it’s vital that you think of small details that need to be tied up before you leave. Make sure you notify your local council that you’re leaving, as well as gas, electricity, internet and water companies. Cancel your mobile phone contract if you’re getting a new overseas number, and make sure your post will be redirected. Do your research on your new country, print it off and take it with you alongside your passport, tickets, and any other I.D.

Now you’ve read our guide, you should feel more confident about moving abroad. Experts for Expats has a great list of the most common mistakes people make when moving abroad:, which will also be able to help you avoid any stress come moving day. Bon Voyage!

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