There is nothing more exciting than spending a year abroad. This is an opportunity for you to dive into some amazing new cultures, see some incredible sights and some experiences that you will never forget.
It does not matter how much you have read or watched about these different places, there is no substitute for visiting them yourself and immersing yourself fully. While there is a lot to be said for travelling to as many places as possible, there is nothing like living in a new country for a year.
However, it goes without saying that you will need to do your homework before you do so. You are always going to be taking a few gambles when you spend a year abroad, and you need to make sure that you have got all your bases covered. Here are a few of the most important things that you need to organize before you move.
Do You Have The Correct Visa Sorted?
Let’s start with the most important thing to organize. If you do not have the correct visa before you travel, then you run the risk of not being allowed into the country. If you do get in but it is later discovered that you have been living there with the wrong visa, then you could be deported.
It is so important to make sure that you have done your homework and applied for the correct visa, and that you have given yourself enough time to have it all approved before you travel. Say you are thinking of spending a year in Singapore. You should check the government website to learn about the specific requirements including funds and vaccinations.
If you are planning on working, then this may be a bit more complicated. If you are in any doubt, talk to your nearest embassy about the visa that you need for your specific purposes. While you are researching visa regulations, it will also be a good idea to look at any local laws that you need to know about.
Find Out Where You Are Going To Live
Once you have your visa organized, the next step is finding somewhere to live. This can be tricky before you move, as anyone will tell you that it is always easier to find a place to rent or buy when you are able to go and look around the neighborhood yourself. However, if you are going to be moving somewhere far away, this is not going to be an option.
The best thing to do is to find a property agent with excellent reviews that has a lot of experience in finding rental properties for expats. Say you are thinking of spending your year abroad in Singapore. There are plenty of Housing and Development Board flats to rent in some of the country’s best neighborhoods, you just need to know where to look. If you are looking for a HDB rental flat, visit PropertyGuru. They have been Southeast Asia’s most trusted property company since 2007 and they specialize in matching expats with dream properties.
Are You Ready For The Climate?
Most people think that they have are ready for the change in weather when they travel abroad, but the moment when you step off the plane is always the real test. What’s more, there is always a big difference between spending a week or two in a tropical climate and living there. If you are moving for a year, then you need to make sure that you know what you are getting yourself into in terms of the weather.
If you are moving to Southeast Asia, for example, then you need to pack appropriately for a tropical climate. Get ready for a lot of humidity and year-round heat and be ready for the rains when they come. It can be tempting to pack your comfort clothes when you are moving abroad, but if you are moving to somewhere tropical then the space in your suitcase that you have given to your jumpers may be better used on something else. Packing light when you move abroad is always a good idea anyway.
Do You Need To Learn The Language?
English speakers are often spoiled when it comes to moving abroad, as it is one of the most common second languages around the world. However, if you are thinking of spending a year abroad then it makes sense to have some grasp of the local language if you do not want to spend twelve months asking if someone speaks English.
In many countries in Southeast Asia, you will find that English is the official language of business. But there is a lot to be said for learning the language to get the most out of your time there. Carrying on with our example of Singapore, did you know that the most spoken language is Singlish, which is a mixture of English, Mandarin, Tamil, Hokkein and Malay? Knowing more about the native language will give you a more authentic experience.