Moving overseas, especially for the first time, is anything but easy. Here are eight top tips for making sure your international move is a spectacular success.
Whilst it is vital to communicate clearly with your international mover it is also important to discuss things with your family and friends. Try to avoid making decisions without speaking openly with loved ones. People appreciate being part of the decision-making process and just as importantly are much more likely to get on board with the concept of the move if they feel they have played a part. Encourage everyone involved to be candid about his or her feelings. An international move is much more likely to be successful if there was a general consensus among the people who feel the impact of the move most.
2) Plan in advance for a trailing spouse
International moves can become problematic and eventually fail for a variety of reasons however one common problem often overlooked is the situation facing a trailing spouse; a wife or husband who is forced to transition from a familiar wife, Perhaps working from home all taking care of a household who is suddenly in a strange environment with no friends or family members to help them through the initial period. This can lead to a feeling of hopelessness and sometimes develop into depression. Planning projects or challenges ahead of the international move such as a new job, sports and leisure opportunities at destination, or a new club membership provide an opportunity for a trailing spouse to occupy themselves promptly upon arrival which dramatically reduces initial feelings of helplessness and loneliness
3) Carefully select schools for your children
Explore schooling opportunities for your children as early in the moving process as possible. It is likely and that the more popular Schools are oversubscribed and waiting lists may be a factor that you need to consider. It is surprising water can be achieved these days online however if you are fortunate enough to visit your destination country ahead of the international move you may be able to review schools personally enabling you to see facilities, meet teachers etc. If you are able to do this accompanied by children this may be ideal. Happily settling your children into a good school is a major obstacle successfully negotiated and promotes a feeling of well-being and the comfort of knowing that your child is learning is not affected because of the move.
4) Be realistic
Moving to a new country with perhaps a new language and culture can be wonderful however there are likely to be a number of challenges. It is wise to approach the move proactively and with your eyes wide open. Do as much research as you can and as previously mentioned communicate with your spouse and children and ensure you acknowledge their feelings. Talk about any areas, which are likely to cause challenging situations. Think about how you will negotiate these obstacles.
5) Be prepared to return home
Many expatriates, who spend decades overseas, in multiple locations, have successfully done so because they have approached a new destination with an outlook of “if things really do not work out I can always go home”. Whilst this initially may seem quite defeatist it provides comfort knowing that you do not need to be forced to endure living conditions, which you may not be able to handle, and if you have given it your best shot, there is a viable option. In situations like this, do not prolong the agony purely in order to save face. This could have damaging long-term effects. Be willing to return home if necessary.
6) Try your best to integrate
Making efforts to fit in with the local culture may be easier and a lot more fun than you initially imagined. Learning the local language – even a handful of phrases, opens all kinds of opportunities. Making friends, learning about traditions and customs off the local people makes it much easier to participate in events and activities. People tend to react very positively towards new arrivals who are clearly making an effort to fit in and the relationships you form can be long-lasting and very rewarding. Integrating with your new hosts will likely to play a big part to a successful international move.
7) Be patient
A bit of patience goes a long way. Not everything is going to be simple and straightforward. Perhaps you have to spend one hour to get something done in the bank, which used to take 15 minutes at home. Or perhaps you are faced with a one-hour daily commute through a busy city compared to your 10-minute bicycle ride to work. In many cultures and countries the pace of life may be slower than what you are accustomed to. Losing your patience is often viewed as a weakness. Take a deep breath or count to ten, you can deal with it! In adopting the right attitude it is likely your patience will pay off and you may find this new, relaxed outlook enables you to feel right at home.
8) Take a moment to celebrate what you have accomplished
You have moved in, spouse and kids settled, before doing anything else, take a moment to reflect on all the hard work you have done and how far you have come. Few people have the inclination to move to another country, and even fewer have the conviction to follow through and make it a reality. For the first time, after all the commotion, you can finally relax. So do it! Book a table in a nice restaurant and celebrate your achievements.