After years in higher education, many young adults graduate fully-prepared to take on a career in a field related to their education. Others leave college and university ready to take on the world, literally, by moving overseas after graduation. But, before you jump on that plane and head east or west, there are some steps you should take to ensure you’re overseas leap of faith has you landing on solid ground.
Look for Work in Your New Location
Notice how “look for work” is pretty much the same advice you’d get if you stayed stateside after graduation? That’s because it’s hard to live anywhere without steady income. For most of us, that means work. Use online job boards and other tools like social media to search for jobs in your desired location that suit your education and talents. From here, sites like LinkedIn will help you network with people and companies in your new overseas location. Make sure your profile and resume on any site you use is up-to-date before you reach out.
Get Your Documents in Order
Long before you step on a plane, or even buy tickets to head overseas, you’ll want to be sure you have two important documents covered: your passport and your visa.
Passport: Without a valid passport from your country of citizenship, you’ll be unable to work (or travel) in most foreign countries. If you don’t have a passport yet, it can take several weeks – even months. The U.S. Department of State website (assuming you are an American citizen) is an excellent resource to help you apply for, or renew, your U.S. passport.
Visa: Every country has different rules for who gets a visa and for how long. Depending on the country, and how long you wish to stay, getting a visa could take months. Head to the nearest embassy of the country you’re planning to visit and get the process started as soon as possible.
Take Care of Your Money
If you’re going to be overseas for more than just a couple of months, it’s a good idea to set up a bank account with a local bank. Otherwise, you may be stuck with a ton of transaction and ATM fees that will eat away at your money – and your fun. Also – make sure to tell your U.S. bank that you are moving overseas to avoid the unwanted risk of having them freeze your account because they suspect that triple latte your bought in Paris was bought by a scammer with your stolen debit card. Un-freezing an account can take days, so it’s always better to let your financial institutions know ahead of time.
Find Healthcare Coverage
It’s last on our list, but it’s among the most important things to consider when you travel abroad – getting access to healthcare. If you’ve landed a job overseas, ask your employer if they have any health benefits. As for national healthcare coverage, some countries may offer you to participate in their health plan right away, while others may make you wait a certain period of time before eligibility.
Also, ensure the legality of any drugs that have been prescribed to you here in the U.S. We don’t often think about it, but a drug that is legal in the United States could be illegal in a foreign country. This is not a chance you want to take if your bags are searched as you enter the country, or during your stay.
The Final Word on Moving Overseas After Graduation
Yes, there are a lot of important things to consider when it comes to moving overseas after graduation, but each of the things we mention here are all easily done with the right amount of preparation and planning. Use all the resources you have at your fingertips to make the process as smooth as possible.
Einat Mazafi is the owner of NY International Shipping, an International Shipping and moving company based in New York. She is also a specialist in providing the best relocation solutions to clients worldwide.