Things to consider when moving overseas

Expat life is all about change. People find themselves in a new country, where they come face to face with a totally different language and a seemingly radical way of living and organising life. While this experience can be exciting, it is also unnerving, given how far out of their comfort zone expats find themselves.
Here are couple of things to be conscious of when adapting to life overseas.
Practice makes perfect when it comes to language
There is some truth that for English speaking expats, picking up a new language can be challenging, in contrast to foreign speaking professionals relocating to the UK for example, who finding it easier picking up the language.
The reason for this is two-fold. Firstly, the English language is as universal a language as there is, a by-product of the British Empire’s global reach and the country’s central role in world politics for the last 300 years. Consequently, learning English is part of the curriculum in many schools outside of the UK.
Secondly, it is, despite its richness and extensive vocabulary, a fairly easy language to pick up. Take for example a Portuguese professional moving to England. The possessive pronoun in Portuguese comes in four forms, taking into account gender and whether it is plural or singular (o meu, os meus, a minha, as minhas). In English, there is only one form of my.
When it comes to learning a language, practice makes perfect. It can be difficult getting used to accents at first, but by regularly listening to the way certain words are pronounced and practising them, people will get a feel for what is being said.
The most effective way of doing this is by getting out and about and doing the kinds of things you would back at home, like shopping for groceries, and by staying in and watching the local news. Mix it up and soon enough people will find that they have learnt more than expected.
Look after mind and body
A healthy mind, a healthy body, so the old saying goes, and it couldn’t be truer when abroad as an expat, where looking after oneself can be rather challenging at first.
Health insurance is perhaps one of the first things that people need to arrange, possibly ahead of a move. It doesn’t have to be long-term, which is something many have predetermined ideas about, as many providers offer flexible, and to a degree, bespoke packages.
A good reason for taking out health insurance is financial, explains Cigna, a global health service company.
“Consider what would happen if you were working abroad and required an emergency procedure or needed to visit the doctor,” it explains.
“Without oversees health insurance, you may be liable for any expenses related to the treatment you received. A worldwide medical plan will give you piece of mind and confidence that your health and wellbeing are covered when living and working in a foreign country.”
Many organisations offer healthcare packages as part of their relocation package, so it is well worth professionals to consult with HR about whether this is applicable to them. This way, they can truly save money.