7 Steps You Can Take Today Towards Moving Abroad

Carefree woman arms outstretched on the mountain

These 7 steps will get you closer to moving abroad, today.

If you've committed to moving abroad, you've already taken the hardest step. However, it can feel like the actual move is still miles away.

I knew from the day I graduated college that I was going to move abroad. Yet it took me three years of planning, saving and organizing until I actually took the leap. That time was valuable in taking all the steps I needed.

If you're moving abroad soon, but not THAT soon, here's what you can start doing today to get yourself a little bit closer to that move.

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1. Save.

I'll start with the boring one. You will need extra money for flights, visas and general life expenses until you start bringing in income abroad.

I saved 30% of my measly entry-level salary for two years. This was not easy, and I tapped into it every once in a while, but I was SO driven it wasn't even an obstacle. And all of a sudden, that savings added up.

Save what you can, and then, start cutting out the extras. The Netflix, the coffee runs, the Birchbox subscription, the restaurant dinning - all the things that make your life more comfortable aren't worth it in the bigger scheme of moving abroad. Cut where you can, and it will add up.

2. Simplify and Sell.

While you're at it, start paring down your possessions and sell anything you can. Whether you'll be storing important items while you're away, or are getting rid of everything, why not start now? When you are driven by the motivation of moving abroad, getting rid of things feels effortless. You won't be able to take much with you, so get down to basics.

3. Figure out the visa requirements.

Paperwork is one of the biggest barriers to moving abroad, and the reason why more people don't do it. It isn't fun or simple. Visas are complicated, confusing, take time and often money.

This might be something you can get the ball rolling on well in advance. Find the destination country's embassy or consulate in your region. Get in touch with someone who works there, and figure out what's required of you. It's not easy to get a hold of these people, and there's likely a long waiting list to get an appointment, so do this well in advance.

Read up, do your research, get your documents translated and start the process.

4. Leverage your network.

A big reason I got my first job abroad was because I had a friend who put in a good word for me. Just like networking at home, your international network will be your best asset.

Who do you know in your destination country? Do you know someone who knows someone? Get in touch with them, see who and what they know, and start networking. It will likely give you more information and potentially lead you down paths you didn't know were available.

Don't have a network abroad? Create one. Forums, Facebook groups and blogs on your destination country are a great place to start.

5. Level up your language skills.

This will get you both excited and prepared. Learn the basics if you know nothing or brush up on the language you learned in high school. You can never start learning a language too early. Duolingo, iTalki, Fluent in 3 Months and the Add1 Challenge are all good resources to start. However, if you can find an in-person teacher, even better!

Going to an English-speaking country? Study up on the slang, culture, holidays, food and traditions. You'd be amazed at how many things of day-to-day life will differ from your home country.

6. Get certified.

What are you planning on doing for work? Do you need a specific certification for it? Start getting your qualifications now. If you are going to line up a job beforehand you may need to do this in advance anyways.

I got a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate before I left, and I actually never ended up teaching. However, it was a great safety net for me, and I never felt too worried about work because of this.

7. Fantasize.

Seriously dream about it. Visualize it. See yourself there, doing the things you want to do, eating the food, interacting with the locals. It will feel more real and closer to reality, and you will actually help manifest it.


Whether you try one of these or all seven, you will be closer mentally and literally to making your big leap abroad.

Are you planning on moving abroad soon? Have you started any of these things or finding other obstacles in your way? I'd love to know in the comments below.

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