A Quick Guide to Moving Overseas

Moving overseas is a big change from living in the United States. There are many considerations that people do not even think of when they are planning to move to somewhere such as Europe. By addressing several big issues hopefully this article will give you an idea of what to expect as an ex-patriot (or expat) living in a foreign country. It is important to do your research concerning the economic state of your intended country of residence, if you are moving because you were offered a job with a raise keep in mind most of the countries in Europe have extremely high costs of living. In Scandinavian countries for example the taxes can range from 30% to upwards of 40% of your pay. So your raise may get you as far as you would expect. Also if you are working in a foreign country but you still have money in an American bank account be prepared to pay both American taxes and the taxes of the country in which you are living.

Economic considerations aside, culture is a large part of living in a foreign country. In the USA when you go to work it is customary to greet coworkers that are just acquaintances with a “hello”, or “good morning”. In northern countries especially people tend to be more reserved and those friendly greetings are met with odd stares or a halfhearted mumble. Grocery shopping and cooking is another unexpected challenge, the USA and Great Britain are pretty much the only countries using the imperial measurement system so all your recipes and measuring utensils are no good. If you have lived in the USA all your life you have to ask yourself are you ready to move overseas to where Root Beer, Twinkies, and Oreos are only available in military commissaries on base, and not available to civilians.

Communication is also a key factor, starting with the oversea movers; you may have trouble explaining what goes where and what you want them to do. There are some moving tips that may help the transition into a new culture go a little more smoothly. If you are taking the position of another expat, in your company get in touch with them and see if you can buy their appliances cheap because American appliances use a different voltage and have different plugs, transformers are available if you really want to use your American appliances. Setting up doctors and trash pickup, tasks that are simple here become infinitely more difficult, see if you can find someone at work or other expats that can help you and recommend English speaking people.

There are many considerations for both you and your family when moving to a new country. You have to consider how hard it will be for them to cope in a country where they do not speak the language. Local sports teams are great ways to get them involved and exposed to the language and culture. Moving overseas is a great opportunity and it is important to make the most of an incredible experience.