METCALF MOVING BLOG
Planning an International Move: 4 Tips for Moving to Another Country
Around 9 million Americans live outside the country, per U.S. State Department estimates. They move for jobs, relationships, or to experience a different culture.
But moving overseas is significantly more complicated than moving across the country. There’s more red tape, more costs, and more stress in general.
You’ll have to prepare yourself for things to be challenging for a bit. But once you’re finished moving to another country, you can enjoy life as an expatriate.
Sort Out Your Visa
Figuring out how to move out of the country is all but impossible without a valid visa. You need a work visa, school visa, or an equivalent.
If you’re moving for a job, then there’s a good chance that your new employer will help you figure things out. But you can’t assume that. You have to ask them what, if anything, you can do to speed the process along.
Don’t forget your passport as well. Before you can get a valid visa, you need to be sure you have a valid passport.
Update Your Equipment
The phone charger that works in the states isn’t going to work overseas. You’ll need to find a charger that operates internationally.
Also, do some research on the phone network when you move abroad. Someone traveling to England for a couple of weeks can get by with international roaming. But a long-term move requires a long-term plan.
Two things will help you here: an unlocked phone and a local SIM card. You can get the unlocked phone before you depart. The local SIM card, of course, will have to wait until you arrive in your new country.
Get Rid of Stuff
We all have clutter around our house. But the extra stuff looms twice as large when you’re preparing to move internationally.
You can be sentimental and still set limits. Designate one box as the sentimental items box, and then stick with it.
If you want to give away or donate some things, start early. Don’t beg your friends to come to haul your couch away the day before you move.
Once you’ve pared everything down, make sure to pack strategically. For instance, there’s a right way and wrong way to pack books.
If your move overseas is a temporary work assignment and you only plan to move a small number of items, ask your moving company about storing the rest of your items until your overseas assignment is done.
Leave Time for Goodbyes
The last few days before you move will feel frantic. But you can’t forget to say goodbye.
Moving to a different country is hard for you, but it’s also hard for your friends.
Ask your friends to meet you at a local restaurant or coffee shop before you go. Schedule something for seven to ten days before you go. That way, moving is close enough to feel real, yet far enough away that you aren’t completely overwhelmed yet.
Moving to Another Country: The Bottom Line
Not everyone gets to say they’re moving to another country. It’s a unique experience that’s bound to create lifelong memories.
It will also teach you things you didn’t know about yourself. That learning experience will start the minute you begin planning your move.
Still worried you’re missing something? Check out our moving checklist archives to make sure you’ll be good to go when the big day arrives.