The chance to embark on a new journey and experience new cultures and customs is something many of us dream about.
Whether it’s short-term for a volunteering project or a longer relocation for work or lifestyle, moving abroad is a big decision.
But, where does one start? Jürgen Himmelmann, CEO of the The Global Work & Travel Co. shares his expert tips and advice to make the move as seamless as possible.
Choose your destination
Okay, it may seem obvious, but if you haven't had circumstance dictate your new home for you, there are a number of things to consider.
"Do you want to get a working holiday visa so you can work and travel legally in a new country? For this you need to check where you’re able to go," says Jürgen. "Each nationality has different options available based on the visa deals they have with other countries. If you want to volunteer, teach overseas or intern abroad, then you’ll have a lot more options. It’s important to do your research into each country can meet your holiday or volunteer expectations."
Arrange a visa
This is one of the most important things to sort before you leave, as they can be time-consuming and require a bit of following up.
"A company like The Global Work & Travel Co. can coordinate a lot of your travel requirements like visas, job opportunities, airfares, travel insurance and more," suggests Jürgen.
Alternatively, you can apply yourself, but Jürgen advises doing thorough research first-hand in order to choose the best option for you.
Book your flights in advance
"This will save you some money first of all and secondly, the countdown begins once you’re booked in. You can tell your friends and family about what’s happening and give yourself plenty of time to prepare for your upcoming adventure," says Jürgen.
Get your finances in check
After doing some research into the cost of living in your chosen destination, work towards a savings goal that will help you get set up and sorted for the first few weeks or months before you find employment.
"Some countries may even require you to show proof of your funds before letting you pass through customs or immigration," says Jürgen.
Purchase travel insurance
"This is a no-brainer, travel insurance is imperative when you travel abroad! You’ll need it to cover your travel and medical expenses just in case something goes wrong – it’s fairly rare that you’ll need to claim, but you never know what problems you may encounter," says Jürgen.
Start networking online
If you don't already have a job abroad, you can start applying and networking or making new friends before you set foot in the country.
"Travel websites like Lonely Planet and Facebook groups are great ways to connect with other travellers," says Jürgen. "Networking is a great way to learn about the local day to day life before you leave and offers great insight into any local tips and tricks to make your move that little bit easier. Not to mention, it gives you the opportunity to make friends in your chosen country," he says.
Pack the essentials
"Power adapters, copies of your passport, medical kits, medication, pocket guides, language books and visa documentation should be atop your list, so you don’t need to purchase them abroad," says Jürgen.
"Setting up bank accounts, phone sim cards and even formatting a resume can be different from country to country, do your research ahead of time to ensure you have the appropriate ID or paperwork needed to set up each of these things," he suggests.
"Make sure this is done. Whether you’re volunteering and get accommodation for free or you’re staying in a hostel or guesthouse for a month, have the booking and confirmation ready to go. No one wants to be stranded with their luggage after a long flight with nowhere to stay," says Jürgen.
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