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Job offer: Do not take salary offers at face value.

Job offer: Do not take salary offers at face value.

If you get a job offer to work abroad, it’s essential not to compare the salary offer with your current salary. It might be higher; it might be lower, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is how much money you have left at the end of the month, after paying your expenses.

Some cities have a high cost of living and some don’t. For instance if you were to rent a flat in Paris, France, it will cost you two or three times the price of renting a flat in Hanover, Germany. Therefore when you are considering whether or not a salary package is interesting, you need to take a few things into consideration.

First, you need to make a list of all the financial commitments you will need to meet while you are overseas. Do you have loans that you still need to pay? Do you have to pay for child support? Once you have clarified these points, check with your recruiter that the salary offered will enable you to meet them.

Second, use the Internet and do some research. Check the price of rental in the area you will be living in, check taxes. It will give you a clear idea of how much money.

Third Check the "Big Mac" Index. It is a surprisingly accurate comparison of cost of living.  The “Big Mac” index works on the principal that a Big Mac should cost the same in every country. It is an excellent way to get a feel of the cost of living in the country you are looking to work.

Foreign Exchange Considerations.

Foreign Exchange Considerations.

Get you papers in order.

Get you papers in order.

Different countries have different visa requirements. Some countries solely need you to apply for your visa from abroad, and once that is settled, you are free to enter the country. Others however, require you to register or complete additional paperwork to complete your registration once you have arrived. So depending on where you are heading, you will have to face different requirement.

You may also have to apply for a local ID or driver’s license. This will help local government officials to identify you without having to deal with foreign papers. However, no expat experience can be compared to another. You alone will know the individual situation in your host country and what exactly it is that you need to apply for, get signed or issued.

It is essential that you take care of these things upon your arrival abroad. It will help you avoid the additional stress that comes with missed deadlines and waiting periods.

Things to think about include, but are not limited to: birth certificates (with or without apostilles), wedding certificates, educational certificates, medical certificates and records, etc..

Moving with or without your belongings.

Moving with or without your belongings.

A few expats considers that it’s worthwhile to ship all of their belongings to the new country, but most consider it to be a mistake.

In fact, it will depend of what you are planning on doing. Are you moving for a short contract? Are you planning on moving indefinitely? In this case having the comforts of home could be nice.However, it does not have to be done immediately. It is probably best to keep your belongings in a reliable local self-storage facility until you are sure that you will establish a permanent base in the foreign country.

If you are still considering shipping your belongings, you need to consider a few things:

·       The cost may not be worth it. Shipping old electronic items to another country where the electrical system is different would most likely cost more than simply buying new local products.

·       Will you have the room? If you bring items from home, you need to make sure that they’ll fit in your new home. For example European housing is often smaller than American housing. You might find that you can’t even get that large dining table through the front door of your new apartment.Another example: European beds and bedding are different in sizes and styles from what an American is used to. If you move your beds, you’ll also need the bedding.

Moving to a furnished or unfurnished place.

Moving to a furnished or unfurnished place.

If you are planning to rent, find out whether rented accommodation is normally fully or partly furnished
or unfurnished, and whether you are likely to have any choice in the matter. Definitions of furnished and unfurnished vary considerably between countries so check with your contacts or with lettings agents in the country in advance. Some expatriates have arrived in their fully furnished rented home in the middle of the night only to find that the landlord has not provided bedding, or kitchen utensils, while others have found that
an unfurnished property may not even have a floor or a sink in the kitchen! Details like these are important.

Renew your medical prescriptions.

Renew your medical prescriptions.

Ask your doctor, optician and other healthcare providers for up-to-date prescriptions and medical notes before you leave home, and make sure you take adequate supplies of any medicationthat is needed by you or your family members, especially prescription medication, as they may not be readily available at your destination. In some countries, such as Germany, you cannot even buy aspirin over the counter. You may find, conversely, that it is possible to buy drugs over the counter in your new country which were only available on prescription at home, such as some antibiotics. It is important to note that different names are used for various drugs and medications in different countries, so take extra care to ensure that you obtain the right medication. Paracetamol in Europe is known as Tylenol in the US.

Moving abroad with the family pets.

Moving abroad with the family pets.

If you are considering moving abroad – especially if you are relocating the entire family – one thing you might need to consider is your pets. From the much-loved hound to the moggy that pre-dates the children, these family members will need your special consideration

Things you’ll need to think about

Are you bringing the pets with you? Moving kids overseas can be a difficult thing to negotiate at the best of times; the news that Fido isn’t coming too might be met with dismay from the other family members.

What’s best for the animal? Consider that elderly pets may not appreciate the long journey and unfamiliar new surroundings or climate.

How long are you going to be away for? If it’s only a year or two, perhaps a trusted family member of friend can care for your pets during that time.

Where are you moving? What are the local laws about bringing pets over borders?

Should you engage a relocation service? This may be best left to the experts, and pet relocation services will ensure all the right paperwork is complete on time for your flight

Facts of pet relocation

Pets are transported in a secure cargo area in a plane with a ‘sky kennel’. It is dark and temperature controlled area specifically for live animal transport, and they won’t be checked on during that time

The PETS scheme is designed to stop the spread of rabies and other animals. The UK requires all pets to be transported with registered carriers.

Tips for the flight

Try and give your pet time to get to know its carrier before the flight

Putting a familiar smelling blanket or toy in the kennel will help your pet settle for the flight

Give your pet a light meal before flying and leave time for a toilet stop

Settling your pet in abroad

You will have to check that your new home abroad is right for animals –  Does your landlord allow them? Is there enough room in the backyard?

Where is the nearest vet and the nearest pet supply store?

What’s the pet culture in your new location? Attitudes towards pets might be substantially different from what you’re used to at home.

Learn a little bit of the language.

Learn a little bit of the language.

Contrary to what you might have heard, NOT everyone in the world speaks English. Besides, your life will be much more pleasant and productive if you know at least some of the national language. Even if your job can be done in English, it’s rude to be a monolingual Expat and locals sometimes do not take it well.  For instance, it’s amazing, in France, how people can be helpful if you can manage a few French words. Seeing you trying will make an all lot of difference.

You also need to be realistic: being unable to speak the national language is impractical. How are you going to fill your taxes if you do not understand the language? What’s going to happen to you if you get sick and you cannot understand your doctor’s advices? And do you really want your neighbor to help you translate that medical form?