Essentials for new expats in unfamiliar countries

Posted on 30 Jul at 6 PM in Working Abroad
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Essentials for new expats in unfamiliar countries

Essentials for new expats in unfamiliar countries

If you’re about to embark on your first reassignment overseas, preparing your basic requirements will keep your stress levels manageable.

Moving overseas for the first time is both exciting and scary for most would-be expats, but getting the important things sorted before you leave makes the transition far easier. An international bank account is your first priority, as your salary will be paid into it and you’ll probably need to make cross-border transfers, especially if you’ve rented out your home. Most international banks offer single log-in, totally manageable multiple worldwide accounts as well as the essential credit or debit cards you’ll need when ordering essentials online once you’ve arrived.

Perhaps the most impressive modern wonders for all expats moving to a country whose inhabitants don’t speak their language are the instant translation apps and language software now available. Learning as you go, at work and at home, is a far more efficient way of becoming fluent as you’re able to choose words and sentence constructions you’re most likely to need in your job and lifestyle. Talking back to an app isn’t half as scary as talking to your new boss, and it puts you ahead of the game linguistically.

You’ll need a secure network for going online in public places – as well as at home in some countries – with VPNs nowadays using top technology to ensure no-one’s snooping on your browsing or copying your latest idea. Side benefits are access to international TV stations, making watching your favourite programmes a breeze by swapping your servers. They’re also useful for accessing cheap flights offered to travellers in other countries.

If you’re on long-term medication, taking a stash of what’s necessary is essential, as it’s often tricky to find exactly the right pill or potion in a strange land, especially if you’re in Asia where copies predominate and might have dodgy side effects. If you’re planning to drive once you’re settled in, good navigation software is wise, at least until you’re cracked finding your way around a new, large city. CityMapper is recommended by expats, as is Transit, with both giving clear, detailed info on public transport as well as comparative costs for getting from A to B without attempting to get to grips with Google Maps.

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