An expatriate, or expat, is a person who lives outside of their native country. Today, more and more people are willing to leave their home country and experience a brand new job or lifestyle abroad. To better prepare you for your life overseas, we will discuss six simple tips on how to become an expatriate.
If you are interested in living abroad, the first step you want to take is to find a job in your desired destination country. According to research, one of the main reasons why people want to become an expat is that expatriate employers often offer relatively higher salaries. Therefore, expat employees are more likely to experience a higher standard of living while working abroad.
Expat resource center offers excellent information on job hunting. Practical suggestions such as preparing a CV and researching the job market before you move ensures that you have work permits at hand before leaving. To learn more, please view Expat employment – Job hunting tips.
- Study abroad
Another option to become an expat is through studying abroad, which is very popular among teens. According to NAFSA study, the number of American students studying abroad during 2015 grew from 304,467 to 313,415. Studying overseas can be a great way to get a global perspective and the chance to learn a new language. The cost of studying abroad can be expensive, but in some less developed countries, the tuition costs can sometimes be lower. However, more and more universities and colleges offer scholarships and bursaries. It is worth the time to research online for scholarship funds to support international students.
- Understand your destination’s culture
When moving overseas, you will most likely experience culture shock, which can be frustrating depending on where you are moving . For example, tipping in restaurants is common and considered normal in the U.S. and Canada, while in China or Japan, tipping in local restaurants is not required and can be considered insulting. It is suggested that future expats should do some research on your destination’s culture to avoid any embarrassment. The more research you can do on the customs and practices in your destination country, the more successful your expat experience will be.
- Visiting Foreign Destinations
It is always suggested that you visit your destination country before relocating as an expat. Through your short visit, you will get to know its culture, food, and people. You will have a general idea of whether the country that you are moving to will be suitable or not.
If you are traveling abroad for a short-term trip of up to one year, it is critical to obtain medical coverage for your entire trip that will cover emergency illnesses or injuries abroad. Our firm offers several travel medical plans from various insurers and providers. With IMG Patriot travel insurance coverage, you are covered with trip cancellation, lost baggage, emergency evacuation & repatriation, covering for as short as 15 days to 24 months. To learn more, please view the brochure below.
Retiring overseas is becoming more and more popular for citizens around the world and is a great way to become an expat. Generally speaking, South America, Asia, and Europe are among the most popular expat retirement destinations. This is not only because of its favourable weather and beaches, but also its relatively low cost of living. For example, if retiring in Thailand, the cost of living is much lower than in Western nations. It’s possible to buy a one-bedroom home in Chiang Mai for around $50,000, according to several sources. You will want to obtain tax and legal advice before retiring abroad as this can significantly impact your finances.
- Bring International Health Insurance with You
Last, but certainly not least, if you want to become an expatriate, it is critical for you to obtain an international health insurance plan that will provide medical coverage wherever you chose to reside. Medical expenses while living abroad can be extremely expensive and local medical care in your new country may not be up to Western standards, especially if you are moving to a developing country. In some Asian countries such as China and Singapore, the cost of medical assistance can be surprisingly expensive for expats. It is a good idea to get your expat employer to include the cost of health insurance and even expat disability coverage in your overseas employment package. You can contact us or even get a quote online before you finalize your expat job negotiations. The last that you want is to get overseas and have to pay for the expat healthcare when your employer would have paid for you OR you find out the allowance is not enough to cover your actual medical premiums.
If you are an American citizen, you will want to include coverage for the United States as most Americans will want to obtain serious treatment back home. Expats should make sure that their plan includes medical evacuation and repatriation coverage. Please contact us today for a quote and to discuss your expatriate insurance requirements. We would be delighted to be of assistance as we are expat insurance specialists.