TOP 5 MISTAKES TO AVOID AS A NEW EXPAT

January 27, 2021

So, you’ve finally decided to make that big move abroad. Well, congratulations! Deciding to move is the first step and can lead to many remarkable things. When I decided to move, I was nervous, not going to lie. You see, the thing about being a new expat is that you don’t have everything figured out.

And that’s fine.

Making that bold decision can change your life for good. All you need is to avoid the pitfalls new expats usually get. In this article, we shall be exploring some of the biggest mistakes new expats make when they get into a foreign country. Avoid these and your journey would be so much fun and hassle-free.


No Solid Planning

The biggest mistake new expats make is not planning and preparing enough. Becoming a new expat is not about just jumping on the next plane available. Serious consideration is required. Also, make sure you are ready for the possibilities.

Before moving from your home country, you need to do thorough research on the foreign country you are moving into. You need to understand their culture, rules, and customs. Not doing proper research is one of the biggest reasons for culture shock.

Solid planning goes beyond understanding the culture of the foreign country. You need to understand the activities over there. Understand how much it costs to live in your new location. How is the transportation? Which is the cheapest? Which is the most efficient?

Lack of solid planning forces many new expats to pay through their nostrils in the first few weeks. They make wrong moves and get scammed by dubious locals. Your planning is absolutely necessary. If need be, take some time off, visit the foreign country, and spend a week or two. This allows you to get a feel of what you are getting into.


Failing To Learn The Language

One of the important projects you need to take seriously is learning the language of the locals. Many expats don’t care about this. Yet a basic grasp of the language can help you work better and read things you couldn’t have been able to read.

Many others start learning the language and feel too embarrassed to speak the language, perhaps because they don’t want to appear stupid and clueless. Yet, it is only by speaking it that one can improve.


Failing The Explore And Mix With The Locals

Similar to the previous mistake, some new expats just can’t see themselves interacting with the locals. They only hang out with fellow expats. The problem with this is that they can’t fully settle into the new country. Being an expat should be fun. You are not a hostage.


Quitting Too Fast

Another mistake new expats make is giving up too fast. After the first month or two, many new expats may find out they are not yet used to the new culture. So, they call it quits. This is rather immature. Some people might take 3 to 6 months to start getting the hang of it, but this is all right.

This is why it is advisable to be proactive about learning the language and culture of your new location and hanging out with the locals. This makes you feel more relaxed at home far quicker than on your own.


Financial Mistakes

Many new expats find themselves in big financial troubles when they get to the new location because they keep making common financial mistakes. Some of these are:


Little Money

One of the biggest financial mistakes expats make when moving into a foreign country is not having enough money on the ground to keep running until you start getting paid. Adjusting your budget to fit the cost of living in the new city is important, but many new expats fail at this.


Ignorance About Tax

Many new expats get confused about how to file their taxes after moving into a new country. Some stop filing their tax return to their home country because they’ve moved out. For others, depending on their country of choice, they may be required to pay double tax – one to the home country and the other to the foreign country.

Make sure you speak to your financial advisor so that you don’t make this mistake and fall into some serious legal issues.


Not Getting Insured

While you may need to cut costs to the barest minimum, this doesn’t include your health insurance. Many new expats sometimes find themselves in bad accidents while outside their home country and have to part with thousands of dollars, all because they don’t have an insurance policy to cover it

Cutting insurance cost is a “penny wise, pound foolish” idea that may cost you a fortune.

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