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5 Things to Do Before Moving Your Family Abroad

Moving your family internationally can be a nerve-racking but exciting undertaking. There are many things to consider and weigh, but keeping these few things in mind can make your move more rewarding than stressful.

Gather, Back Up, and Organize Documents

International DocumentsWhether you’re moving abroad with help from your current employer or accepting a new position, your employer will help you arrange for your work visa and travel permits. Make sure to speak with an immigration official first hand to get all details about requirements and deadlines. Also, order multiple copies of all paper work so you can keep a copy for your own records. In addition to your visa and passport,  have all medical records, your child’s transcripts, birth certificates, job contracts, and marriage certificate.

Safeguard Your Health

Many countries require proof of recent immunization before allowing travel. It is important not to put this off until last minute, because you don’t want any possible side effects to delay your trip. Also, purchase foreign health insurance and find a covered physician before moving so there is no gap in health coverage.

Choose a School

Depending on their ages, moving overseas canSelecting a School be very disorienting for children.If your child is already of school age and you plan on returning to your home country before the child graduates, seeking out an international school may be the best option. However, international schools in some countries can have tuition upwards of 50,000 dollars. If the international schools in the region are out of your price range, consider online schools based in your home country or assisted home schooling, which can have very reasonable prices and are flexible.

Pack and Purge

Packing for moving your family overseas is quite different than moving across the country. First step is purge unneeded things, and be ruthless in the process. Books, excess furniture, and clothing can be donated. For personal items like photographs and mementos, scan them into digital albums so they can be with you without adding excess weight to your shipment. Whether you’re shipping by air or by sea, it is a smart idea to hire movers to help you pack and load what you are taking. They know how to ensure all your items arrive in good condition and on time, so this is not an area to skimp or do it yourself.

Brace for Culture Shock

Finally, begin to embrace your destination’s culture before you leave. For the months up until departure, take a night or two a week to explore the language, food, and customs with your family.  Remember that no matter how distant your departure date may be, there is always something you can do now to help your family prepare legally, physically, or emotionally for the transition.

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