Tips for international relocation
Moving abroad for work is a massive step to take and one that should be considered carefully. There are plenty of benefits to be gained from taking this step, including the opportunity to learn new languages and about new cultures, and it is therefore something that should be considered carefully if the opportunity arises.
The first thing is that you need to be realistic about your potential relocation. Moving abroad is something that will be a culture shock for you and for the rest of your family if they are traveling with you. Find out about the area you are going to first of all and then figure out whether you and your family would be happy to live there. Your employer should also make it clear what is expected from you when you relocate to another country so that there are no shocks on the work front when you get there.
The next thing is to make sure that all the relevant paperwork is in place before the move happens. You may need visas, work permits and other documentation before you can start work in another country. Find out in advance how long it takes to get everything in place so that you can set a realistic date for the move.
Your employer may be able to arrange additional training for you to enable you to find out more about the language and culture before you travel. It is worth asking about this and if it is offered, take it. You should also make sure that you ask whether there will be somebody in your new working environment who will be assigned to help you to settle in. This is common practice for companies in the Middle East, for example, as the culture is so vastly different to the west.
Accommodation is the next step. There may be somebody in the company who can arrange temporary accommodation for you while you make your own arrangements, which can be particularly useful if you are going to be there on a long-term basis and while you are waiting for your moving company to ship your furniture and other possessions.
Additionally, find out what support will be offered to your spouse or partner. They may be giving up their own work to go with you and assistance from your own employer may be available to them.
Find out whether medical checks are going to be a part of your application process for visas and other documentation, as these will need to be arranged in advance. You should also find out about health care arrangements in your new location. Will you need to buy health insurance or will your company arrange this as part of your benefits package? This is particularly important if you are taking your family with you, as you need to make arrangements for them too.
Finally, ask your employer whether they already have people in the new location who have been in the same situation as you. Such people will have invaluable advice about your international move and you can pick their brains about what to expect when you get there.
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