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Moving to another country in search of a better life or new experiences is no doubt one of the most exciting
adventures you’ll ever embark on. However, it can be easy to get caught in that excitement and forget to consider
important factors that can make living abroad very different from what you expected.
When you do your research, ask yourself these questions:
1 Job opportunities
Are there enough job opportunities in your field?
Before you decide to move abroad, make sure there are enough job opportunities in your area of expertise.
How can you do this? By finding the most popular job search portals in the country you want to move to, and see,
over a period of about a month, how many job opportunities there are for you.
2 Career path
Are there opportunities for career growth?
If you are planning to stay in that country long term, you have to think about the future of your career.
What would you like to be doing in five or ten years’ time? It may be the case that there are lots of job opportunities
that are perfect for the positions you want to occupy now, but not enough for what you’d like to be in the future.
How can you find this out? Again, by checking the job portals to see if there are job opportunities for the positions
you’d like to have in the future.
3 Work visas
How easy is it to get a work visa, a resident visa and citizenship?
If you are moving to another country permanently, it is a good idea to get to know the process in advance,
to know what to expect and to be prepared. Usually, the first step is to get a work visa, which can be for 1, 2 or 5 years,
for example. After that, you can usually apply for a temporary resident visa, which allows you to stay in the country forever,
but with some restrictions. Then, you can apply for a permanent resident visa, and finally, after a few years, for citizenship.
4 Social life
What is the social life like?
It’s not all about work: you need to have a lifestyle you enjoy. And if you like to socialize and be active,
there are a few things you should consider. One of them is the weather, because it can affect your lifestyle.
If you are used to warm weather, but move to a country where it’s cold most of the year,
you probably won't want to leave the house. Another one is the nightlife, if that’s your thing.
Are there bars and nightclubs? If you are an outdoorsy person, find out if there are interesting things for you to do outdoors.
Is there food you will enjoy?
At the beginning, food that is different from what you are used to can seem exciting, but after a while,
it is common to miss the flavors of your country. If you are going to a cosmopolitan city, this may not be a big issue,
because the bigger the city, the more options there tend to be. Anyway, it is always a good idea to do some research on
the food you are going to find in the city you are moving to, to avoid disappointments and know what to expect.
Is there a good healthcare system, and is it free?
In some countries, healthcare is public, which means you don’t have to pay for it, but in others, it is private,
and it can be quite expensive. Find out if the company you are going to work for provides healthcare as a benefit.
This is something important especially if you are moving with your family, because again,
if you have to pay for it, it can be rather costly.
Is education good, and is it free?
In some countries, education is public, but in others, it is private.
In the UK, New Zealand and Australia, schools are public, but the quality of the education varies depending on the school.
How easy is it to go back to your country to visit friends and family?
Things to take into account are ticket prices and flight length. How long would it take you to fly back to your country?
How many flights will you have to take? Is there a direct flight, or will you have to make connections?
Does the city have an international airport?
9 House pricing
How affordable are houses?
Will your salary allow you to afford a house if you wanted to buy one? Also, find out if it is possible to get a mortgage when you
are on a work visa, or if you have to wait until you are a resident.
10 Cost of living
Do the salaries of the jobs you are interested in allow you to have the lifestyle you want?
One of the main reasons people move abroad is to have a better quality of life, so make sure the salaries you would
be able to get will make that possible.
By asking yourself these questions before moving abroad, you’ll have clear expectations,
you will be better prepared and have more time to focus on the excitement.
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