Lauren Fitzpatrick from Go Overseas (www.gooverseas.com) shares her tips and tricks for surviving a move, house hunt, and job search overseas.
Before I moved abroad for the first time, I was terrified. I landed on my 22nd birthday without any idea what I was going to do. Its been almost ten years since that first flight, and boy have things changed. Heres what I know now that I didnt know then.
1 - You Dont Have To Pay Every Time You Use an ATM
In todays world, there is no reason for you to pay international ATM fees. Before you leave, open up a bank account that is travel-friendly, which will of save you plenty money in the long run.
2 - Your Credit Card Is Not A Source Of Income
"Relying on a credit card was one of the biggest travel mistakes I ever made."
When I was running out of money in Australia, I applied for my first credit card. Three weeks later, it arrived. Fast-forward five years when I found myself with a huge credit card debt. Im now debt-free, and can easily say that relying on a credit card was one of the biggest travel mistakes I ever made.
3- Bring More Money
However much money you think youll need, take more. It might take you longer than expected to find a job or a house; youll need to put down a security deposit and you might not receive your first paycheck for a month.
4 - Get A Phone
Whether you bring an unlocked phone from home or buy a new one overseas, make sure youve got one. The cost of a pay-as-you-go SIM card will pay off in dividends during your job hunt.
5 - Be Strategic With What You Put On Your Resume
"Its in your favor to omit details from your resume that concern how long you can stay in a country."
Im not telling you to lie, but its in your favor to omit details from your resume that concern how long you can stay in a country. When I first arrived in Ireland, I stated that I was on a working holiday program and could stay for 4 months. And guess what most people said Id hire you, but 4 months just isnt long enough.
6 - Sign Up With Recruitment Agencies
The first thing you should do when you arrive in your new home is to make registration appointments with recruitment agencies. Once youre signed up, they get to work finding you work.
7 - Bring Less Stuff
My first suitcase was the size of a dresser, and weighed even more. I packed all of my essential toiletries, clothes I didnt even wear at home, and very nearly stuffed my roller-blades in there. Guess what: your new country has clothes. It has toiletries. You might think you need all that stuff, but you dont. Pack wisely.
8 - Its Not That Complicated
I was so confused when I went overseas. I barely understood what a visa was, let alone why I needed one. People asked me how I was going to find a job, a house, friends, a life and I had no answers. Then it dawned on me: pretend like youre in your hometown. How would you begin looking for work? An apartment? Turns out, the process is the same in many parts of the world.
9 - Get Online
When I first went abroad, the Internet wasnt a big thing (gasp), but now it allows you to do a lot of the grunt work before you even board the plane. Get a feel for what area youd like to live in and research housing options in the neighborhood. Websites like Go Overseas can help you in this search, but as always with the Internet, use your instincts and proceed with caution.
10 - Its okay to change your plans
"Moving overseas is challenging, you'll learn to use your resources, change your habits, and that youre capable of more than you ever thought."
When I started my trip I had a few rigid guidelines in place. I wanted to find easy receptionist work, and not in the food industry. I had an obsession with staying for the full 4 months of my work visa. I wound up working at a coffee shop, and left a month earlier than expected to start a new 6 month adventure elsewhere. And you know what? It worked out just fine.
Moving overseas and starting from scratch is challenging. On the flip side, its incredibly rewarding. You learn to use your resources, change your habits, and that youre capable of more than you ever thought. Dont let fear stand in the way!
Contributor: Lauren Fitzpatrick
Indiana native Lauren Fitzpatrick never got a proper job. Instead, she got work visas for Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Korea after spending a year studying in England. She has held over 30 jobs, including carny, English teacher, and movie extra. Today, Lauren blogs about travel and working abroad at Lateral Movements and Go Overseas. Contact Lauren on Twitter @GoOverseas or Google+.