Relocating to a new country can be stressful and full of uncertainties. There are a lot of things to consider and no matter how much you prepare, there are always things that will be out of your control.
If you consider moving to a different country – here are some of the things you need to know about the job relocation process.
Before you start
Even countries within the EU differ from one another. There are quite a few different attitudes, requirements and so on, so start from deciding where you would like to live by choosing the country and the city.
Study other ex-pats’ feedback, research as much as possible the country and if possible, spend some time there to test the waters before relocating. The more you know, the less chance to be disappointed afterward and the relocation process will be much easier.
Consider the cost of living
Figure out the cost of living before relocating – it can vary dramatically from one location to another. There are a lot of websites available where you can get an idea of the most common expenses.
If you already have a job offer, make sure that the salary will be enough to cover your daily expenses. Check the prices for housing and food and try to estimate what that will cost you in a month plus average utilities you will have to pay. This will be enough for a start to see if the salary you will earn will be sufficient. Each country is unique so the cost per living will vary.
Depending on the country, the salary might be lower than that in other countries, but always compare to expenses – check if the housing and food are cheaper, do you need a car for transportation, etc. And always consider other factors as well – such as tax advantages, quality of life, and advancement opportunities.
Know what your relocation package entails
Prior to relocating, ensure that you are well familiar with what your employer is offering in terms of relocation support. Some companies only cover basic expenses such as flight tickets and visa/paperwork, while others provide much more advanced relocation assistance such as housing. Generally, this depends on the size of the company but anyway pay attention to the details of your relocation package.
English vs. local language
This is another aspect of relocation you need to take into account – is English going to be enough or do you need to learn the local language? This will also vary from country to country but in most cases – and especially if you work in tech – English will be enough.
But even though if English is enough for your job, your daily life might be affected. Again, this depends on the country – for example, in Denmark you can do almost everything in English but in Germany doctors and the civil service will expect communication in German.
It is a good idea to check the EF English Proficiency Index to evaluate your destination beforehand. But either way, if you want to immerse in your new country, learning the language – at least to a basic extend – will be better for your day-to-day activities and communication.