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Job Hunting & Moving Abroad

Ten Things I Wish I'd Known...

Job Hunting & Moving Abroad

Ten Things I Wish I'd Known...

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. It's been almost ten years since that first flight, and boy have things changed. Here's what I know now that I didn't know then.

1. You don't have to pay every time you use an ATM

In today's 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 of 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. I'm now debt-free, and can easily say that relying on a credit card was one of the biggest travel mistakes I ever made.

3. Take more money

However much money you think you'll need, take more. It might take you longer than expected to find a job or a house; you'll need to put down a security deposit and you might not receive your first pay check for a month.

4. Get a mobile

Whether you bring an unlocked phone from home or buy a new one overseas, make sure you've 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

"It's in your best interest to omit details from your resume that concern how long you can stay in a country."

I'm not telling you to lie, but it's 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 -"I'd hire you, but 4 months just isn't 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 you're signed up, they get to work finding you work.

7. Take less stuff

My first suitcase was the size of a dresser, and weighed even more. I packed all of my 'essential' toiletries, clothes I didn't 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 don't. Pack wisely.

Pack light Pack less stuff - you seriously don't need it all!

8. It's 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 you're 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 wasn't 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 you'd like to live in and research housing options in the neighbourhood. Websites like Go Overseas can help you in this search, but as always with the Internet, use your instincts and proceed with caution.

10. It's okay to change your plans

"Moving overseas is challenging, you'll learn to use your resources, change your habits, and that you're 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, it's incredibly rewarding. You learn to use your resources, change your habits, and that you're capable of more than you ever thought. Don't let fear stand in the way!

Insure yourself


Heading overseas can be one of the most exciting things you will do in your life. Experiencing new cultures, meeting new people and seeing extraordinary things can be life changing. However, as at home, things can also go wrong abroad. A comprehensive, private travel insurance policy can help should anything happen while you're away.

  • Cover for Medical Emergencies, Cancellation & Curtailment, Lost luggage costs so you don't have to foot the bill to sort it out
  • Provides up to 2 years continual protection that can be purchased 60 days in advance and is available for anyone aged between 18 - 55 years old (inclusive)
  • Allows you to work while you travel by covering non-manual work such as; restaurant and bar work, fruit picking, volunteering, Au Pairs and many more
  • It also covers 1 trip home of up to 14 days - great if you get homesick or need to come home urgently
  • Covers student travel, stay protected on your gap year or if you're travelling for an extended period of time

Contributor: Jonny Blair

Advice from Jonny Blair

Jonny Blair runs a one man, seven continent travel blog called Don't Stop Living and has been around the world. His travel blog has been going since 2007 and is updated daily. You can contact Jonny on Twitter @jonnyblair or on Google+.

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