Ten things you might be forgetting before you move abroad

Leaving the country is always stressful, especially if you have a one way ticket. There are so many things you have to think about, packing is arguably the least of your worries. Here are some things that I can offer some insight on, whether you’re going to study abroad, moving for work, or just travelling for fun.

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ONE: Visa

Okay so this one probably isn’t something you forgot if you’re leaving for over three months. If you’re moving for work your employer will likely figure this out for you, but if you’re going for vacation or to study you will most likely be on your own. My number one piece of advice here is to apply early. Figure your shit out sooner rather than later.

TWO: travel insurance

Very important because getting injured or sick in a foreign country is a lot scarier than it is at home. For me, if I’m taking full time courses I’m still covered under my parents medical (score), so I’m not really sure what the best options are, but I’m sure there are endless resources.

THREE: unexpected costs

Save!!! Your!!! Money!!! Things are often more expensive than you think they will be and who wants to rack up their credit card when they’re just trying to have a good time? Costs like your return flight if you buy a one way, travel insurance costs, transit, taxis, or unexpected events (theft, lost luggage, etc.), should be at the back of your mind.

FOUR: your vehicle at home

Depending on how long you’re going for, you might want to cancel your insurance, or even sell your vehicle. If your vehicle is old and kind of shitty I would sell it, because there’s some extra cash in your pocket. If it’s not too long or you’re personally in love with your car, cancel the insurance and park it somewhere to save money.

FIVE: gym membership/phone

Lots of gyms allow you do stop your account for a period of time, and then they’ll start it again when you return. I would also look into gyms in your area before you arrive. Lots of phone companies do the same thing, or you can just switch to the lowest possible plan while you’re away and then return to your normal one when you return.

SIX: phones, again

Speaking of phones, what are you doing upon arrival? Make sure your phone is unlocked before you leave and get a sim card with data. It’s so very helpful to not have to rely on wifi to be able to look at a map or get a transit schedule.

SEVEN: passport

Make sure it has at least three months before expiry, and if you’re going for a long time, renew it. Also it’s not a bad idea to keep a photocopy both with someone at home, and with you.

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EIGHT: prescriptions

Visit your doctor and get a copy of any prescriptions you need, and also refill as much as you can before you go.

NINE: cash/credit card

Make sure you have some cash for when you arrive so you’re not stuck searching for a currency exchange right away. Also, make sure you notify your credit card company that you are travelling so it works.

TEN: place to stay/ job search

Make sure you have a place to stay, whether it be temporary or where you’ll be staying the whole time. And, if you’ll be working, start hunting for jobs and making connections as well, because it’s difficult to find work in some countries as a foreigner (Norway).

It’s a lot to move, I know. Don’t panic. It will all be okay, and all of the stress and preparation will be worth it. I hope this helps you think about things before you leave, and don’t forget that any travel experience is good travel experience.

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