Deciding to move abroad and live as an expatriate is a scary decision for many. It’s a less-traveled road for many first-timers who don’t know where to start or what to expect. Nonetheless, it can be a step in the right direction, depending on how you plan for it.
It’s then critical to research widely and choose your destination wisely. There are good destinations with great career opportunities and excellent healthcare. Before you start preparing your travel checklist, there are many things to know, though.
Where should I start my expat life- what are the best destinations?
Moving abroad can be a fulfilling experience; it may present many opportunities and better life. From a warmer climate, cheaper cost, or living to better healthcare, the list of foreign counties to choose from is endless. There are many countries with the best healthcare systems for expats, these include;
As an expat in Singapore, you’ll benefit from great career opportunities, low tax rates, and generous financial packages. Education is quite expensive in Singapore, but it’s highly rated globally. What of healthcare? Healthcare is a critical consideration that attracts most foreigners. Singapore’s healthcare system is very effective and rivals many private clinics in most countries. You’ll get superior quality services in most hospitals. However, these come at a cost, and your budget dictates your choices.
Thailand is yet another hot spot for expats. It’s famous for its tropical climate, sandy beaches, rich culture, and attraction sites. Its friendly tax system translates to high disposable income. That’s not all, though! Thailand boasts of world-class hospitals, and the medical tourism sector has been booming for years. You’ll find modern technology in most hospitals and a wide array of medical services.
What if I don’t understand the local language? This shouldn’t bother you. Thailand is one of the tourist-friendly countries. There are many
English translators in key locations and most hospital staff speak English. Moreover, the cost of healthcare is reasonable, and services in most private hospitals are reasonably priced.
Switzerland boasts low unemployment rates, and expats don’t need to worry about finding a job. The country offers exciting career opportunities and high living standards. The schools are also good with high standards, making it a nice spot for anyone with kids. What’s more? Switzerland has a good healthcare system will well-equipped facilities. It also has an extensive network of private hospitals and doctors.
How should I start life as an expat- What do I need to know?
People choose to move to other countries for various reasons. Nonetheless, all experiences are individualized and may vary from one person to another. There are common things that you’ll likely encounter, and there are things to know before moving.
1. Being an expat involves continuous learning.
The first battle as an expat will be a language barrier. If you move to a country that speaks a different language, it may take you some time to learn the basic phrases in the city. You may even have to enroll in classes to master the new language. Sounds interesting? This may be uncomfortable at first but gets better with time. In most cases, you may have to learn the language before seeking a job, thus affecting your career.
2. Expect to battle loneliness!
It may sound exciting moving to a new place. But, when homesickness strikes, you may experience low moments and loneliness. Being away from friends and close family members isn’t easy. You’ll also miss important family gatherings and events and may sometimes feel guilty about your choices. However, you’ll overcome this with time and probably enjoy life in the new place.
What are the key things to consider?
There are multiple tips to start your expat journey, the most important things to think of are; accommodation, hospitals, security, and more. If your company doesn’t offer accommodation, think of where you’ll live. Consider living near your office; this will save a lot of stress before getting used to the new place. The neighborhood also matters; think of the security, availability of transport, and other amenities like shopping malls, schools, and hospitals.
Check the available modes of transport and their schedules. For a start, go for a busy location with almost everything nearby. It’ll make it easy to access many facilities without moving long distances. Once you get used to the city, you can relocate to a neighborhood that matches your family’s needs and preferences.
Moreover, learn the local language and culture. You’ll likely find most English speakers in most counties, but understanding the local language goes a long way. The locals will also appreciate it, and it’ll make you feel more comfortable.
Still, you don’t want to experience culture shock; research widely about the culture before moving. Be flexible and embrace the new culture and environment.
Moving to a new environment can be stressful at first. However, how you embrace the idea determines your comfort. Make friends, tour different places, and look for expat support groups in the city. Most importantly, have health insurance: your health and that of your family matters.