There are reasons for needing to make the big move. In this highly connected world, work can take you anywhere on the planet. That work may be a permanent military posting. Maybe you just want to go to Italy to learn to make the finest espresso. Or maybe you have been stuck in Alabama all your life, and want to see how different the rest of the world can be. It’s your life. And you don’t have to justify your choices to anyone. But if you do have a family, there is some preparation you will need to make. You might want to start with these three things:
Get Familiar with the Culture
If you plan to move overseas (regardless of which sea), you will need a lot more than a couple of guys and a truck. Starting with where you will live. Will an apartment or a flat suit your needs? Or will this be your forever home? Then you have to find a property and arrange the financing too. When considering overseas mortgages this can be a particularly complex process to navigate, so you may wish to buy from Simon Conn or a similar overseas property and finance specialist, who has access to numerous overseas mortgage lenders. Then, once your place to live is settled, you will want a moving company that offers more than just a pickup and drop-off service.
United Van Lines is a good example. For international movers, they make the following claim:
Our moving experts can help ease your transition into your international assignment. From destination orientation to cultural training, we’re here to help plan your international transition.
Most companies can put nicely packed boxes on a vehicle, then at the destination, drop them off in your new living room. That might be sufficient if you are moving across town. Try to find companies that will help you culturally acclimate. Just don’t leave it entirely up to the moving company for that. Crack open a book. Study some history. Watch some local television programing. Learn the difference between bangers and Mash, and spotted dick. Culture is vital. Start the assimilation process well before you call the movers.
Learn the Language
You can never fully assimilate without learning the local language. That goes double for the kids. They will not be able to make local friends, and keep up in school without it. Even if you spend a year at the junior college learning the language, you will need a lot of practical experience with it once you get there. This practical experience can be gained through intercambios.
An intercambio is like a student exchange group for learning a new language, but far less formal. These groups often meet in bars. The participants speak in one language for 30 minutes, and the other language for another 30 minutes. This experience will be different from the classroom experience, as the teacher will speak slower in class. Also. average speakers do not use classroom perfect language. These intercambio groups play an important role in facilitating real world language skills.
Learn the Laws
It is the same everywhere in the world: Ignorance of the law is no excuse. As an American in a foreign country, you cannot count on leniency. To put it bluntly, Americans are not well regarded in many parts of the world. Don’t be surprised if you get the book thrown at you for a minor infraction.
It is also a simple matter of respect. Which side of the street should you walk on? What is the proper way to dispose of a cigarette butt? Where is it okay to smoke? What about recycling? There is a lot more to know than the proper side of the street to drive.
Make lifestyle, language, and law your top three priorities when moving overseas, and you will be off to a great start.