Moving anywhere presents a challenge for many people, even if you are moving to a nearby neighbourhood. Therefore, moving abroad, whether for work, marriage, school or other engagements, although exciting, is not the easiest thing to do. There are various areas you might need to consider, especially if you are moving with family. Therefore, what expat challenges might you face when moving abroad?

Cheerful diverse couple writing in notebook near boxes before relocation discussing expat challenges

1. Suitable Housing

Looking for a house suitable for you and your family is more challenging to undertake, especially if you are not in the country. Although there are housing agents who can present you with different online views of the properties available for rent, not all are trustworthy.

So what can you do? Experts advice, if possible to visit the country you would like to move to and familiarize yourself with its surroundings. If it is not possible to do so, then have some funds to stay at a hotel or an Airbnb housing or shared housing for less than a month.

Find time to search for a property by visiting trustworthy property agencies and physically going to view their advertised properties. Consider the security of the neighborhood. Is the house next to a transport system to get you where you want to go until you buy a vehicle or not? Are there convenience stores, malls, and other facilities that make it easier to purchase your everyday needs like food? Maybe visit a restaurant with hopefully friendly staff and ask them about the security of the vicinity during the day and especially at night. 

2. Children’s Education Facilities

Are you moving abroad with your children? If so, knowing good schooling facilities requires that you research the reputation of the school, the standard of education offered, and whether it is near or accessible to where you wish to live. You could also consider an international school for your children in the new country you have immigrated to – check out the benefits of choosing an international school for your children.

Kids do not readily adapt to new circumstances, especially if they feel they have to leave their friends behind or their new environment intimidates them. Being the new kid around the block and in school is intimidating. Thus, an excellent school that cares for its students is essential for both their peace of mind and yours.

3. Healthcare 

You might move from a country that has good healthcare systems to a country that does not meet the same standards or accessibility as where you left. Visit a hospital when you are not ill and find out whether it is difficult to access admission and doctors. Get to know two or three hospitals near your neighbourhood in case of emergencies. Visit private hospitals and facilities like private healthcare in Spain in case the public facilities offer little in terms of adequate health care.

Sometimes the country you visit requires that you have health insurance or a social security card to get healthcare. Find out from workmates, friends, or government systems how to access these healthcare documents. Do not find yourself in a situation where you or your family members cannot receive health services due to a lack of these documents.

4. Your Finances

Are you moving from a country where the value of your currency is weaker than the country you are moving to? Experts advise that what you can afford in your current country might not be the same abroad. The cost of housing, food, transportation, health care, etc. is more expensive in countries with stronger currencies. If you are moving abroad for work, do a quick search on the internet and analyze whether the salary offered can cover your family obligations comfortably. 

5. Culture

The culture abroad might differ from what you are familiar with back home. Having a mindset to accept and assimilate to the culture abroad is half the battle. Remember, you are a visitor or foreigner, so it is for you to integrate yourself into the new country’s culture and not vice versa. Make it your project to learn the local culture early on, how things are done, and it will be less difficult to settle down.

man sitting on gang chair with feet on luggage looking at airplane contemplating expat challenges

Conclusion

With well-prepared organization and planning, you find the challenges presented by your move will not overwhelm your daily life. If you have friends where you are moving to, ask for their advice and help to get the paperwork and accommodation before you move abroad. Don’t let these 5 expat challenges put you off your new adventure – expat living is exciting, rewarding and educational. Enjoy your new life.