You know when initially you think something is no big deal and then when it comes to it, there are a million little nicky picky things to do that you never imagined? Well, moving abroad is no different. Although I guess it always would be a pretty big deal.
I’m planning on moving to Denmark around May this year and here are some things to consider if you’re interested in taking the plunge and moving to a new land as well.
1 Visas/work permits
Can you simply move over or are there formalities that you need to adhere to in regards to working? Within the EU, free movement allows people to move, work and study freely amongst the other 27 member states. This is a wonderful opportunity and the thing that makes me most sad about Brexit. However, moving further afield comes with many more complexities so make sure you’re aware of what steps you need to take.
Are you planning on renting, buying, living in a shared house? Get to grips with the housing system and work out which avenue you want to go down. I know that some countries in Europe have a whopper of a deposit if you want to rent privately (3 to 6 worth of rent, HELLO). Whatever you do, don’t get caught out at the last minute!
Learn yo currency! Euros and dollars are pretty simple but I for one have now got used to dividing everything by 8.5 (you cheeky krone, you). It helps to become familiar with the currency and keep an eye on the exchange rate if you’ll be exchanging any cash.
AS much as we have our beloved NHS, other countries have to pay for health insurance and/or cough up for any medical treatment needed. Make sure you know what to expect and can prepare accordingly.
I get it, languages are hardddd! But at the very least familiarise yourself with the pronunciation and key phrases to get you by. It’s respectful to try and speak the language of the country you reside in, so give it a go and try it out with the locals. Most people love to help you and once you get into it, languages are SO interesting.
Don’t forget that each country has it’s own traditions and little ways of life. Lie low for a bit, research into the culture and be respectful of anything that’s different to what you’re used to. I also find this insanely interesting and it’s fun to learn new aspects of the culture as you go along.
Research what you need to do as soon as you move out. Things like registering, opening a bank account, taking pets to a vet etc should all be done as soon as possible. There are also other little differences within the general way of life that you’ll need to check out. For example, in Germany you have to pay for TV even if you don’t have one and in Denmark you can sign up for free Danish lessons but need to pay a deposit to enrol (which you then get back at the end).
8 Work and tax
Find out the amount of tax you’ll need to pay as this will affect all your budgets and plans. Can you get a job easily? If you’re self employed, is it as simple as moving over and setting up shop? Scandinavia is known for high tax and high cost of living and things like this can really throw everything out if you’re unaware of it.
Have a lookie into the public transport options. Many cities I’ve been to offer a travel ticket which covers train, bus and tram but each place will differ; it’ll make life easier to have a little bit of knowledge about how you’ll get around.
Research, and ideally visit beforehand, different neighbourhoods. Get a feel for which suits you best and would make an ideal place for your new home!
That’s all for now. I’m sure I’ll have more tips and tricks to share as I continue on my way!
Have you ever moved abroad?
What advice would you give?