So you have accepted your first overseas job and want to know what you need to do before you make the move. First off I would like to say congratulations and I wish you well on your new adventure. Now lets get into some of the things that you have to get into order before you make your move. Banking can be a very hard and frustrating thing to deal with if you do not bring the right information with you. You will want to make sure your passport is up to date. Contact your company and find out what kind of mail service you will be using. A drivers license will be needed whether or not you need to drive to work you may at some point decide to buy yourself a vehicle. Making sure you have a copy of your medical records is a very important thing to do. You will want to make sure you can call back home to friends, family, and for any personal business you may need to have handled when you are gone. There are many different things you will probably find yourself needing when you get there but there are only a few that you may want to get ahead of time.
Get your Finances in order
One of the hardest things to deal with is a bank if you do not have the correct contact numbers or understand how you will be limited when it comes to their services when you are located overseas. You will need to know if they have a special contact number to call if you are overseas. If they do not have sufficient online banking for you to handle most of what you need over the internet you will want to find another bank. You will want to find out the procedures to wire money somewhere when you are unable to go to one of their branch offices. Make sure you have the routing number and SWIFT code of your bank so if you need to wire money there you will be able too. This is also needed for setting up your direct deposit with the company you will be working for.
Check Your Passport
Most places require you to have at least six months left on your passport before it expires. You will want to make sure you renew your passport before you go if it is getting close to that point. Ensure that you have enough pages for visas and stamps from customs. If you do not have may pages left you will want to have pages added to your passport.
Find out what kind of mail service you will be using when you are there. You may use the countries own mailing service or your company may have a PO or APO Box for you to mail too. You may want to look into a mail forwarding service if you plan on getting mail while you are there. If you plan on placing orders through Amazon or other online shopping sites there will be many things you can not get shipped without a street address from your home country.
Your company may say you will not have to have a driver's license because you will be busy from your accommodations to work and back each day. This is all great but you may want to buy a vehicle at some point so you can get around when you are not at work.
Go to your doctor and make sure you get copies of your medical records. While you are doing this make sure you find out if you need any shots. You may need to show your records again when you get there to avoid getting the same shots twice.
You will find that calling home can get expensive and is not always that easy. You should look into a VOIP line. A voice over internet protocol line lets you use your home phone number overseas and can save you a lot of money because each call is like making a local call home. 8X8.com.com and Vonage.com are two popular VOIP services. To be able to use your VOIP line you will need to get an internet connection that meets the bandwidth requirements of the VOIP service. I have a bandwidth of 250K and have not had a problem with my 8×8 VOIP service.
What you should bring
When you are going overseas you will run into problems with your electronics compatibility with local power. Find out if you are going to live in a place that has a different voltage standard then your home country. You may need to convert 240V to 120V or 120V to 240V. A simple voltage converter is all you need to solve this problem. You will also want to get a power adapter with a variety of different styles of plugs. A power adapter does not convert voltage although it is only used to allow you to change the style of plug you use to plug into a wall socket. You may want to get a money belt to try to avoid getting pick pocked. A laptop is always good so you can access your bank online and check your email. Before you pack a lot of things though ask someone at your company what you will be able to buy there and how much more it will cost compared to if you bought it at home.
These tips can really help you out when you are going to a new country to work. The more you plan ahead the less time it will take you to adapt to your new environment. By preparing ahead of time you can help make your first time overseas a very good experience. Keep an eye out for more articles that will go into more detail on each of these topics at the Expat Water Cooler .