What should you do when you arrive as an expat in your new country?

What should you do when you arrive as an expat in your new country?

You can’t predict most of how your time overseas will unfold. Be willing to adjust and remain adaptable to reap the greatest rewards.

When you arrive to live and work as an expat in a foreign country, you should:

  1. Start forging new relationships.
  2. Get a mobile phone.
  3. Decide on your primary means of transport: bus, bike, car, etc.
  4. Find a place to live and sign rental agreements, if you haven’t already.
  5. Compare and sign up for health, vehicle and home insurance.
  6. Open a bank account
  7. Explore. Explore. Explore.

Your ability to build a reliable personal network abroad will make or break your experience overseas, so we recommend investing in new relationships from day one.

You can join some of the local clubs that you find, as well as connecting with fellow expats.

If you don’t have a job already lined up, getting one will give you an instant community. Tapping into any alumni communities abroad can be useful for further developing your professional network abroad.

Also see: 10 things you should absolutely do BEFORE you move abroad

Using online services like MeetUp.com to find events in your new locale with like-minded people is another great way to meet people in a foreign country.

If you have children, look for parenting groups in your area to gain further recommendations for settling in.

In addition to making friends abroad, determine what you need to do to access local health insurance and car insurance, as requirements will vary from one country to another.

Just keep in mind that you can’t predict most of how your time overseas will unfold. Be willing to adjust and remain adaptable to reap the greatest rewards.

How Can You Find a Job Abroad?

To find a job abroad:

  • Use your networks, including your work contacts, your social media networks and affiliation groups, alumni groups, and your friends and family. You never know who might have the right connection to help you find work overseas.
  • Apply to jobs abroad online, as there are many international job boards that you can find with a simple search. You can also attend job fairs once you move abroad to meet local employers.
  • Employ the help of hiring agencies and recruiters who can check your resume and match your skill set with the appropriate temporary or permanent jobs.
  • Consider volunteering or interning as a means to meet employers, make a solid impression, and potentially get hired to fill a full-time, paid position.
  • Work as a freelancer in order to start making money while also making valuable connections in your new locale. There are a variety of global freelancing platforms that connect talent with jobs based all over the world.


How Can You Save Money When You Move Abroad?

  1. Use OFX instead of your bank to get better exchange rates on all your international bank-to-bank transfers saving up to 75% on exchange rate margins.*
  2. Assess any employment contracts in light of costs of living and additional expenses incurred when moving overseas.
  3. Read expat forums to get insider tips for how to save in your particular locale.
  4. Use group buying sites like Groupon and LivingSocial to get introductory offers to key attractions and nearby restaurants.
  5. Investigate study abroad scholarships, if you plan to study overseas.
  6. Consider hiring a tax professional who can help ensure you take advantage of all double-taxation treaties.
  7. Review how your move will affect any retirement contributions both back home and abroad.

Once you arrive overseas, you’ll likely want to get a new bank account, but we also  recommended that you keep your old bank account open. It may help you maintain credit-worthiness for when you return home.

Once you have a local account ready, you can then use OFX to transfer your funds swiftly and securely from your old account to your new one at a great exchange rate. You can even use OFX to transfer your pension if you are retiring abroad. And you can use OFX to transfer money for everything from paying your rent or mortgage, to paying everyday bills until you have found steady employment abroad.

Start Your New Life Abroad

Making a fresh start in a new country comes with a fair bit of admin, but the advantages of living overseas are too numerous to count. At OFX, we’re inspired by the risk-takers and adventurers who seek out new experience. Check out our other guides to managing your finances abroad or dive into blog for further reading on all things expat.

AustralianTimes.co.uk proudly partners with OFX on Currency Zone.


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