Moving somewhere else in the world can get scary. Will the natives understand me? Will I understand them? Should I learn a foreign language? What’s that funny green stuff everyone puts on their food? Should I take along Pepto-Bismol? Will I get homesick—or never want to come back?
An international move means adventure. Each step of the moving process will be more complex and many may include language barriers. And more paperwork. An international move will probably require a passport and other documents. Good schools may be harder to find. Cultural differences may be difficult to overcome. Even your small appliances will probably require special adapters to get along with the local plugs. And finding new doctors, dentists, and other medical specialists can make you ill.
The whole thing can be either a problem or a challenge.
Questions about passports? Need an application? Find it on the Internet at travel.state.gov/passport_services.html.
Before you decide to make your home in a foreign country, you’ll want to know mucho about the country, the people, the food, the customs, and a million other details. Once again, books and websites offer mucho answers. Head directly for the travel section at your bookstore or library. Search for books aimed at the long-term resident rather than the four-day tourist. Look for current titles because laws concerning work permits, visas, and other topics can change quickly. You need up-to-date information.
You’ll probably need advice on the legal aspects of working and living in another country, as well as social customs, educational opportunities, shopping, language, and much more. The more informed you are about the country you are making your home in, the more quickly you will feel at home and the more quickly you will be accepted.
Tips for New-Country Movers:
- If you are planning to move your pet internationally, make sure you’re aware of all applicable laws. Some countries require a lengthy quarantine, others want documentation of the pet’s health. Very few will let you enter at will.
- Make sure you have the appropriate work and/or residence permit before you move to a new country.
- If you live in a metro area, you may find an ethnic restaurant nearby that serves the type of food you’ll soon be eating. Try them out before you decide to have kimchee flown in weekly.
- Remember to bring your important papers with you: passports, visas, birth certificates, and marriage certificate, as you move to a new country.
- The United States State Department can tell you about passports, visas, export permits, and more. You can also contact the embassy for the country you are going to. Check the white pages of a nearby metro phonebook.