Questions to ask before moving abroad

Whether you’re taking the plunge to follow a new work opportunity or just fancy a break from leaden British skies to seal your place in the sun, moving to a new country is a hugely exciting step.

Immersing yourself in a new culture is a great way to grow and develop as a person and don’t discount how much bravery it takes to go through with it.

There are all sorts of things to put in place before you swap homes, but these key questions should be at the forefront of your mind.

Why am I moving?

Chances are you already know the answer to this question, but you might find yourself asking it quite a bit in the time before you do pack up and move!

It should underpin all of the decisions you make between now and then, from trivial things like how much of your wardrobe you take to potentially life-changing ones like continuing relationships.

Do I need a visa?

Whether you need a visa to move to a new country will depend on where you are going and why you are going there. 

If you are moving to study, there will likely be a time limit on your visa. If you have secured a job ahead of moving, your employers might be able to sponsor your visa application.

As soon as you know for sure that you are moving, it is worth applying for your visa. Any delays could seriously hamper your grand plans.

How will my finances work?

You may need to open a bank account with a provider in your new country, although some institutions that operate in the UK do so in several other countries, so check with yours first.

You may need to register for tax services – much like someone moving to the UK would need to get a National Insurance number.

Another consideration is your credit score. Even if you’ve built up a flawless credit report during your time in the UK, you can’t take it with you if you move. You may find yourself needing to build up credit again as you’ll be starting from scratch.

How can I acclimatise?

Acclimatising to your new home will be crucial in making a successful life there, and this can encompass many things.

If necessary, learn the native language before you go, nailing the basic conversations that you will need when you arrive: help finding shops and local services, simple greetings and ice breakers.

It may also be a good idea to try a few local dishes before you head over as well.

What will I do about healthcare?

Some countries will offer you emergency care for free, but medical insurance will make sure that you can receive treatment whenever you need it.

If you already have a policy in the UK, there’s a strong chance it won’t cover you if you permanently move abroad – be sure to speak to your provider beforehand.