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7 things to consider when moving abroad

Shipitwise tips 12.10.2016

Exciting times are coming: You’ve decided to move abroad!

You’ve got accepted to a university, landed your dream job or met someone wonderful and decided to be closer to them. Hey, we’ve all been there! Either way, excited doesn’t even begin to describe your feelings about this decision.

A lot of unanswered questions and doubts also arrived about the moment you made this decision. And that’s totally understandable.

We live in the era of globalization and travelling is quite easy comparing to what it was just a few decades ago. But moving abroad permanently is still hard work. Especially if this your first time doing that.

Fortunately, many services such as shipping can make it easier on you. To help you further, we took some time and asked our fellow expats for some tips for those going through this big change in their life. Here are the seven things that all of them told us about.

7 things to consider when moving abroad

1. Do some research

Teleport screenshotBefore taking that exciting leap into unknown, pause and find out more about the place you’re planning to make your new home. Depending on your reason for moving and the destination, there are various details you might want to know before starting anything else.

Teleport.org is an invaluable resource of information for you at this stage. It allows you to check for any details connected to living in a particular city: job market, cost of living, quality of life, etc.

Knowing all these things will make it easier for you to proceed to the next step.

2. Plan your finances

Once you found out more about your future home, it’s time to get real. Can you afford it? And what needs to be done to secure your financial situation in the new place?

A good start would be to deal with your finances at home. If there are any unpaid debts or old credit cards that need to be taken care of? It’s time to deal with them. And not only because it feels good to leave no unfinished business behind. Because of currency fluctuations or income difference it might become a lot harder to do so from abroad.

After this is done, you should write down your financial plan for the first six months after moving. If you’re moving for work, calculate whether your income will be sufficient for settling down. If your move’s for studies or setting up a new business, distribute your saving equally, so that it’s enough to live comfortably.

The final step is to think about where you’ll set up your bank account abroad? How to get health insurance? And how much taxes will you be paying?

This is tedious work, but trust us – it will save you a lot of headache later.

3. Learn some language

LingivstUnless you’re moving to a country where they speak the same language as your native, it’s not negotiable! You gotta learn some language.

It’s easy to find excuses not to do so. Yes, English has long ago become an international language. And you’ll most likely be able to communicate, study and work without leaving your comfort zone. But do you really want to be that kind of expat?

If you at least make an attempt to learn some basics, your chances of adjusting better increase. You’ll be able to relate to everything around a lot more. Finally, being able to have at least a small conversation in the language of a country that’s about to become your home is just a polite thing to do. So no excuse, go get that dictionary or an app. And start learning!

4. Do your paperwork

The world might be a global village nowadays, but those visas and residence permits are not gone anywhere. And, depending on the country, it can be quite expensive and time-consuming process.

So make sure to get started on that as soon as possible. Have patience, too. Unless your intentions are unclear or there’s something wrong with your documents, it’ll all going to happen. Just give it some time.

5. Get a place to live

So, your finances are sorted out and the new visa is looking fly in your passport. It’s time to find yourself a new comfy home as well.

Depending on your budget, there are many options for this. Renting, flatshare or maybe even buying. This already might require taking a short trip to check out the apartments.

Lifehack: there are normally facebook groups for expats in every major city of the world. Consider joining them and asking there. Usually, those who went through the exact same process a few years ago will have some useful contact and recommendations.

6. Sort out your belongings for moving

Now, this is something completely right up our alley. Of course, we’ll be happy to help you move all of your stuff. No questions asked. But should you really take it all, or is it better to leave something behind?

The way to decide between “take it” or “leave it” that our fellow expats recommended is really an easy one. Just ask yourself a question: “Have I used it in the past year?” If not, it has to find a new home or be thrown away. Anyway, it’s not coming with you.

For the rest of your things – shipping awaits! Just contact us and it’s done.

Here are some examples of how much it has costed various people when moving to another countries:

  • €190 – a computer and some clothes from Tallinn, Estonia to Edinburgh, Scotland;
  • €200 – a similar sized bag filled with clothes and a bunch of books from Tallinn, Estonia to Los Angeles, California;
  • €1’400 – the contents of a two bedroom house from Swansea, Wales to Tallinn, Estonia;
  • €1’600 – the contents of another home from London, England to Marbella, Spain.

7. Take it easy on yourself

It’s ok to feel stressed and lost.

It’s ok not to like your host country at first (or even at all).

As the saying goes: “If you don’t like where you are, move. You’re not a tree.”


Are you planning a move abroad soon? What’s your destination and what are the steps you’re taking to make it as smooth as possible? Share it with us using #shipitwisemoving. We’d love to hear from you!