Getting ready to move to a new country can be exciting, but it’s also daunting. Speaking from first hand, when I moved to Australia for six months in 2012, there was so much to plan! After all, there are lots of things to organise if you want your everything to run smoothly.
To help ensure you settle into your new host country as quickly and easily as possible, here are three important things you should know when you’re gearing up to go.
Careful financial planning is a must when you move abroad. Offering advice on this topic, RL360° Quantum notes that many popular expat locations don’t provide state pensions. Because of this, it’s essential that you find a portable and secure home for your investments and savings. The company also recommended speaking to a qualified financial adviser to help you find solutions that match your needs.
As well as thinking about saving for the future, it’s a good idea to try to clear outstanding debts at home before you set off to start a new life abroad. Settling any personal loans and credit cards will make managing your finances less complicated when you move overseas and it will mean you don’t have to worry about currency fluctuations impacting on your repayments.
It’s worthwhile keeping your current account in the UK, but let your bank know you’re leaving and ask for a reference letter. This will make it easier to do things like rent property when you move abroad. You may benefit from opening an international bank account too as this will enable you to bank in different currencies.
You’ll also need to get to grips with taxes in your new host country. If you’re not careful, you could end up paying levies both in your new country and in Britain for a period of time. Some countries, including the US, Canada, Australia, Spain, France and Italy, have ‘double tax agreements’ with the UK that dictate which nation has taxing rights on specific sources of profit or income. If you’re not sure about anything to do with taxation, make sure you speak to a financial adviser.
Plenty of research is essential
The more time you spend researching your destination country before you set off, the more confident you can be that things will go to plan when you arrive. Make sure you check out everything from the visas you’ll need to the healthcare systems that are in place, the rules governing renting or buying property and how to get a driving licence. If you’re taking kids with you, you’ll also need to check out schooling provisions.
It helps to get to grips with any cultural differences before you arrive too. This could impact on a wide range of things, including the clothes you wear and how you interact with people socially or at work. Making sure you’re in the know when it comes to all these issues will mean that you don’t experience any unwelcome surprises once you arrive.
Expect to feel homesick
It takes time to settle into a new country and you should expect to feel homesick to begin with. You’re bound to miss friends and family and you might also yearn for the familiar sights and sounds of the UK. Being in regular contact with your loved ones and planning trips back home should help you cope. However, it’s also important to focus on settling into your new community. Taking language classes, socialising with your colleagues or neighbours and exploring your surroundings are all things that can help you start to feel more comfortable and confident. Over time, any homesickness should ease.
In general, the key to moving overseas is to start your planning as early as possible and to make sure you’re fully clued up.
As I’ve always been a travel lover, during my time at university I opted to spend a semester studying abroad in Australia. I had the most amazing time; I made new friends, saw more of the world, and learnt things I never would have in the UK.
In case you’re thinking of studying abroad for part of your degree, I thought I would share some of the benefits, as well as a list of the best countries to consider studying in.
Of course, one of the most obvious benefits of opting to study abroad is getting to see more of the world. Unlike when you go abroad on holiday when you’re actually living in another country, you get a real feel for the culture of the place. You also get lots of time to see and explore the country.
Do you love meeting new people and making new friends? If you do, studying abroad is a fantastic option for you. You’ll get to study with a group of people who you’ve never met before and will be able to build lots of friendships. Many of which, will last for life. If you opt to live with a host family or halls, you’ll most likely become close to them as well as the other students in your classes.
You will also get the chance to apply to some of the best schools in the world. I was able to gain a place at Griffith University in Australia to study a combination of marketing and psychology modules. Griffith University ranks in the top 5 per cent of universities in the world. It has 43000 students on five campuses in South East Queensland.
The great thing about taking part in a semester abroad is that you’ll get to learn in an entirely new way. The chances are that the college or university that you go to will teach in a different way to what you’re used to. This will teach you how to learn in new ways and adapt more quickly to change – both useful life skills to have.
The best places to consider
Take the time to review all the universities on your list, and find modules that are relevant. I already had an idea of certain parts of the world I wanted to visit, and then narrowed my list down to 3 – 4 universities.
There are lots of countries to consider when it comes to where to spend your time abroad studying. Where you can go may depend on which educational facilities your university has links with. Or, you may be able to choose any country that you want to spend a semester at.
I considered Japan (third on my list), however I was worried it was going to be too much of a culture shock and a language barrier. I didn’t want my education to be impacted by trying to overcome these daily challenges. I figured that moving somewhere new would make university hard enough, as it is!
Australia is a fantastic option if you fancy spending your time in another country that speaks English. Although you’ll need a visa and a clear criminal record to get into Australia, the application process isn’t too difficult. The same goes for Canada, which is another great option (second on my list!) if you want to study abroad in an English-speaking country. To find out more about Australia’s process of gaining entry to the country visit their home office website. To learn more about getting access to Canada, check out https://official-canada-eta.com/ and read up.
These three were at the top of my list, as I wanted to explore part of the world I didn’t usually get a chance to visit. Usually flights to places on my bucket list are pretty expensive but I managed to pick up flights for Spring Break to Bali from Australia for a fraction of the cost of what tickets from London cost.
But if you would rather be a little closer to home, Europe can be a fantastic option. Admittedly, we don’t know how long we’ll be able to visit mainland Europe without a visa, thanks to Brexit. But for now, nothing’s changed. So if you want to study abroad somewhere that’s not too far from home, Spain, France or Italy are all great options.
So there you have it, a guide to the benefits of travelling abroad, as well as the best places to consider.
It’s pretty common to see Australia’s Queensland region noted on lists of favourite travel destinations. However, the mentions are often pretty brief, vaguely mentioning the beauty of the area and then moving on to the next place on the list. In this post, we’ll look at a few more specific reasons to visit Queensland and the Gold Coast along with what there is to see and do there. Let’s get straight to it!
The first thing to put on your list is a trip the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. For those who have never been to Australia before, this will touch on a lot of the things you see on postcards and in friends’ photos. It’s essentially a zoo, but it also has adventurous activities to enjoy, such as the adult high ropes course. But most importantly, you’ll get to feed and observe kangaroos, and if you’d like, hold a koala! It’s a bit touristy, but it’s also absolutely wonderful.
When you’ve knocked this basic tourism staple off the list, it’s time to get out and explore the region a bit more, And for that, nothing beats a tour that takes you through different cities, coastal views, and even wine producing regions throughout the east coast of Australia. Dial a Flight, a UK-based travel assistance website, has a number of prearranged tour options involving this coast exploration. There are choices available for various stretches of coastline, each with a different focus (wine, beaches, cities, etc.). And even if you don’t pick one of these in particular, they can help you to get ideas for exploring the region.
For a specific outdoor site to check out and enjoy in a way you won’t find many places in the world, stop by the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk. It’s just a short way inland (to the northwest) from Gold Coast. You’ll feel like you’re walking right through some sort of fantasy series as you explore the walkways, which take you through and over the trees in a lush, beautiful rainforest.
In addition to specific attractions, glimpses of the rainforest and wildlife, and tours, you should also include a few popular beaches in your stay. There are a number of options you can enjoy throughout Gold Coast, but Surfers Paradise is probably the biggest hub for tourists. It offers a festive stretch of beach right outside the city that’s always alive with activity at shops, restaurants, etc. The beautiful Broadbeach is a bit more low-key, but it’s also very enjoyable.
Finally, you’ll need to find the right place to stay in Gold Coast. While this comes down entirely to what you’re looking for in your accommodations, there are a few places worth taking a look at. The Gold Coast Holiday Park is a nice in-between option, with the comforts and convenience of a luxury option but at fairly reasonable prices. And for those seeking out more affordable, backpacking style accommodations, there are plenty of apartment and hostel locations in and around the city.
It’s still just a beginning to planning your trip. But if you’re taking off to the Gold Coast area any time soon, keep these tips and destinations in mind to start you off!
This is a guest post by Stan Porter. Originally from the UK, Stan is an international travel enthusiast who enjoys sharing his travel writing and photography with various blogs and sites online.