Ten Things to Do Before Moving to Europe

Contributed by Welcome Center Malta, 10 September, 2019

Travelling to Europe can be an exciting and, at the same time, scary. It is always advised you take the following steps into consideration when planning your trip, and these are outlined in this article.

1. Take care of your finances in advance

You need to find out the amount of money you will need for the journey. Research the cost of living in the host country. This information is freely available in the embassy. You will be told the amount of money you need to have in the account when you enter the new country. In case you will be receiving money from other parties like parents or sponsors, gather letters and show them at the embassy. If you are going to work, there needs to be a work permit, and you will be asked to show it at the embassy.

If you are going to do some home-based freelance work for a company, you will be asked for a letter of agreement signed by your client. Though the letter of intent does not indicate an official agreement, it can be used to show reference for outside authorities.

2. Get easy access to your money

Get in touch with your bank representative. Come up with a good plan for your inputs and outputs. While still at home, get your account ready so that it meets your needs during the travel. If possible, try to set up at least three accounts. There needs to be one that will take care of you abroad, a professional one, and the last one should be a fixed account to cover your monthly bills.

With your professional account, you will receive money that you get through work. You should get a local bank card. While staying abroad, you want to avoid using your bank card from home for transactions since the transactions fees will be very high. Instead, you need to create a local account through which money will be transferred from home to cater to your living expenses abroad.

Note that you will be charged a fee for every successful transfer. If you do a few transactions, keeping track of your cash flow becomes easier. Since you need to monitor your finances from a distance, you must have both phone and online banking systems. If you can work with just one bank, you should go for this option. In case both your credit cards and accounts are managed by the same institution, then you will have an easy time making transfers. Consider asking your bank to link you with a personal advisor whom you can contact at any time for the best financial advice.

3. Look for a visa

If you are going to stay for more than three months in any European nation, you will be asked to hold either a student or work visa. For convenience, you need to start getting in touch with the embassy of the country you are looking to visit, six months earlier. At the embassy, you will have to show a passport with a validity of up to two months after returning from your visit.

If you want to move to a European country such as Malta from a non EU country, you can opt for a Citizenship by Investment. This is usually given to affluent individuals that have a good position when it comes to contributing and investing in Malta.

4. Have your personal belongings safely stored

In the US, having the items stored cost as little as $60 a month. You need to do this carefully since you want to keep a list of all your items. This way, you can have them right back when you return.

5. Look for insurance

Since you might develop some healthcare complications, you need to arrange for insurance. You also need one for trip cancellation, accident, and other risks. For convenience, you want to budget for between $500 and $1,500 per year. Some insurance companies offer the best deals for learners and other travellers.

Apart from that in some countries, health insurance is mandatory by law for any resident. An example of this is Germany. Any resident living or working there needs to opt for a German health insurance.

6. Have your cards and IDs renewed

You might get stuck in a foreign country if your identification documents expire while you are there. This is why you have to leave after having your passport renewed. The other things you should update include credit cards, health insurance, and your driver's license.

7. Get a legal personal administrator

If you give your personal administrator the power of attorney, you will not have any problem doing transactions from the foreign country. You will need an attorney to clear a huge visa bill, pay a storage company, and have things settled with your car insurance. A personal administrator would especially be important if you are staying in Europe for a lengthy period.

8. Sort out your mail

If there are institutions that you are dealing with, you want to inform all of them about the change of address. These could be banks, schools, government departments, and clubs. Inform the US postal services so that they have your mail redirected, but they will do this at a small fee. However, if possible, you can have someone back at home to collect all your mails and keep them till you return.

9. Use Skype, email, or direct phone calls

Even if you are having a good time in Europe, you want to keep in touch with your loved ones back at home. Currently, there are international phone calls that can be made cheaply. You can also keep in touch with your family and friends using social media platforms, video conferencing services like Skype, and email. With web software such as Skype, you will not need a lot of money to communicate with your loved ones.

10. Be ready to socialise abroad

Though you will need expats for support when moving to Europe, you still want to socialise with the locals as much as possible. There are a lot of things you need to learn, and you can do that with new friends. Even if you are making friends, you want to ensure that you stay safe at all times. You must have the contacts to your embassy so that you can reach them in case something goes wrong. Don't share your personal details with anyone you come across.

Tags: Lifestyle | Expats | Travel | Lifestyle |



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