How to Start a Life in Another Country

Starting a new life abroad is at once exciting and scary, a world of opportunity lies ahead, but there will be a few challenges along the way, of course.

So as your imagination begins to run wild, and you can’t wait to plan your big change, we’ve got the answers to all your questions about how to move to another country whether you are wondering about job hunting or finding housing, getting into the local social life and learning languages.

Once you’ve got all the basics covered, you can move to your new country with confidence, knowing that wherever you choose to go, you know how to make the most of the opportunity.

How to Move to Another Country: The Planning

The first choice you’ll be faced with when starting a new life abroad is where do I want to move? Choosing a new country obviously includes a lot of factors, but some of the important ones tend to be climate, visa requirements and work opportunities.

One of the best parts of choosing a new country to live in is the ability to choose your climate. Are you tired of grey and rainy days? Then you could move to a warmer climate, where the sun is a part of daily life for most of the year. Check climate and weather websites such as Accuweather to find out average temperatures in each destination through the year.

The visa situation will profoundly impact your choice, as some countries allow you to stay and work with minimal effort, and others are much more restrictive. Before you move, make sure you have researched your visa requirements and have all the paperwork in order. If you already have a job offer, then this might make life easier, or your company may be able to expedite the visa application for you. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is often a great preliminary stop for accurate information by country.

The opportunity to work will also be a major factor in starting a new life abroad. It will mean the difference between a real experience in your chosen destination, or an extended holiday that inevitably runs out when your money does. The local economy, how your skillset fits in and whether your visa allows you to work are key questions to answer before you arrive. It will make life easier to secure a job before you arrive, as you can settle in knowing you’re financially safe. You can always change roles once you know more about the local economy. You should also use this opportunity to learn some of the local language so you can get by in daily life, and not be stuck in a communication limbo where hand gestures are your only friend.

You’ve Landed: Now What?

Once you’ve chosen the country, applied for all your necessary permissions and got on the plane, the real work begins; how to start a new life in a new country. Use some of your freshly acquired language skills to find your accommodation. Buying a house when you arrive may be tough, as you won’t know much about the areas you’re looking in. It might be best to rent short-term until you have the lay of the land.

Deciding where to live will be a case of thinking about the distance from your work, the cost of certain areas and what type of community you want to be surrounded by. If you arrive with a budget in mind and an environment you want to be in, then finding a house will be much simpler. If you need time to settle in before you make longer-term decisions, then you could rent somewhere central until you know more about the location. Remember to take into account the local cost of living, some housing may seem cheap but check if that is true still once you’re earning in the local currency.

If you are looking to retire, choosing a country for starting a new life abroad may be influenced more by questions around proximity to medical care, how peaceful or energetic an area is and whether your new city/town is well-connected to home.

Once You’re Settled In

If you’ve found your house, your visa is arranged, you’ve begun your new job and your language skills are developing, it’s time to join in the local community. One of the best ways to get to know some of the local and expat populations is to take part in organised trips and tours and events. Companies like Internations can be very helpful in starting a new life abroad, but may limit your exposure to local groups. For more locally organised groups you can always check out the likes of Meetup and remember to have a search on Facebook, there are likely to be both expat and local groups focused on the area you are living in.

If you want to get in with some local social circles, then sports clubs can be a great place to start. Not only can you get your exercise in, but you’ll be socialising naturally and comfortably. Why not learn a new port and tailor it to your location? If you live surrounded by beautiful scenery perhaps a hiking group, or you could try surf lessons in Australia, Tai Chi in China or perhaps even paddle tennis in Spain.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; you’ll discover that living in a new country is much better if you can enjoy it with the local people as well as a supportive expat community.


If you’re considering a move and want to have everything organised before you leave, don’t forget to plan how your belongings will make the trip too. Use one of the best removal companies in the UK and take all the stress and hassle out of the process.  Get in touch with 1st Move International and find out how we can help you. Get an international removals quote now.