Choosing to work abroad is a brave and exciting decision. You get to live and experience an entirely new culture while earning money. There are all kinds of things to consider when taking a job overseas. Here are the some of the most important and overlooked aspects of working abroad:
Arrange Your Documents
Having all the right documents in place and ensuring they’re up to date is vital. Your passport should be your first point of call – if you have one already, check that it won’t expire while you are abroad (unless you plan to apply for citizenship in that country). Get a full working visa and print off any documents you may need surrounding this.
While most visas are now electronic, it’s safe to have some form of physical proof just in case they question you at the airport. Consider bringing documents for other things you may need such as travel insurance documents in case you need medical attention, medical prescription details and your license if you plan to drive. For some countries you may need an international driving permit.
Don’t Get Double Taxed
One issue with working abroad is that you may be taxed by both countries for whatever you earn. Many countries have agreements that prevent this, but some don’t. Check this and if double taxing applies, consider how long you’re planning on staying in the country you’re working in. In some cases it may be worth applying for citizenship in that country.
Re-route Your Mail
You’ll still receive mail to your home address while you’re abroad. If there’s no-one at home to check this mail for you, you may want to consider a mailbox forwarding service. This can re-route your mail from your home address to your international location wherever that may be. This could be handy for ensuring any important letters or bills don’t go unread.
Learn The Lingo
If you’re moving to another English speaking country, this won’t be a concern, however if the first language isn’t your own, you should consider learning a bit of the native tongue. Even if most locals are fluent in in English, knowing a bit of their own language could help you integrate with the locals more.
Consider taking some lessons before you go out or at the very least take a dictionary or download a translation app. I personally love both Duolingo (it’s free!) and Verbling when it comes to learning a new language.
Know The Exchange Rate
Working abroad might not always be the most financially secure option. The currencies of some countries may be worth a lot less than your own. You may find the living wage isn’t as livable abroad either, in which case saving up beforehand could alleviate a lot of stress.
This may also be important if you’re still paying for bills back home – you need to make sure that you’re earning enough to pay these and cover your living costs abroad. Keep on top of any fluctuation in currency rates so that you always know how much you’re earning compared to back home.
Have you ever worked or lived abroad? Let us know in the comments below!