Where to find help in your new country
Ask colleagues or neighbours for help or advice.
Our experience shows that work colleagues and neighbours are one of the best sources of reliable help and local information going. Not only is it likely to be good advice it helps to build up a relationship which is paramount in settling into a new country. Sometimes this query draws a blank, until the person remembers someone else who may be able to help, either way, you get the info you were looking for.
So, next time you need something, call around to a close neighbour or colleagues office, preferably with a bottle of wine in your hand and ask away. Our experience shows that this approach never fails!
The local Rag
Finding out what the local newspaper is and what day(s) it is published will be an extremely useful source of local information. Find out especially which days are best for each classified’s section.
Most local newspapers are a hot bed of gossip and local happenings, often including both practical help and details of upcoming local entertainment.
There may be adverts of sections on local markets, garage sales, field days, trade fairs, shop sales, promotions and classified’s ads; all of which can yield useful items for a new house set up.
Hopefully your prospective employer has a protocol for new people joining from overseas.
This may vary from paying for you to stay in a motel for a while, to a full package of a house and a car for a month or more. Hospitals for example often have accommodation on site, ranging from apartments to detached houses, which can be used by new or visiting staff members.
If you are not that lucky or you have not taken the advice to find a job first (!) and have turned up on spec, then we recommend that you arrange at least a weeks accommodation prior to leaving your home country. Trust us when we say that after a couple of 11 hour flights from the UK to NZ, for example, the last thing you need is to try and find accommodation on arrival, you WILL be tired and disorientated to some degree.
Try to find out about different types of accommodation before leaving, for example if you are renting, go online and call a couple of rental agents in the town that you are heading for. For example, in New Zealand finding furnished accommodation is difficult.
Depending upon circumstances and indeed location, most people need some sort of vehicle pretty much straight away. Public transport has its place, but when moving into a new house in a new country there can be no question that access to a vehicle is going to be very useful.
A logical place to start is to hire a cheap runabout for the first couple of weeks to give you a little breathing space in finding a reliable car. Obviously, where you go for a car depends mostly on your budget and the type of vehicle that you need.
The usual places are:-
The local newspaper, find out which nights are best for vehicles. Good for cheap runabouts and useful for locating local motor dealers and second hand traders.
Ask neighbours or work colleagues if they have a favourite place or know of anyone selling (gives you a great excuse to call around and introduce yourselves!); don’t forget to ask if there are places to avoid!
Local car auctions. Obviously, this is for the more seasoned second hand car buyer but it is definitely where the bargains are, if you know your way around.
Online auctions like Ebay (UK/USA etc); Trademe (New Zealand); Again, only for the seasoned (and brave) buyers but some good deals are available, again, if you know your way around a vehicle.
Some towns in some countries have a ‘commercial’ area where lots of similar businesses are grouped together; all the new car dealers, all the furniture suppliers etc
You could try supermarket notice boards or find out if there are notice boards at your place of work, hospitals usually have quite an active notice board due to lots of rotating and visiting staff. If you are only in town for a short while, consider trying to get a special long-term rental deal, these can work out cheaper than the maintenance of an older car or paying for breakdowns.
Join in with whatever rocks your boat!
Sounds obvious but it is surprising how many people sit home feeling bored and disconnected whilst all around are similar minded people. These people are always on the look out for new people to join in and liven up a club or organisation. Why don’t you become that person?
The local Newspaper will detail club meets and activities along with contact details.
Now, we know that it is often difficult to make the effort to join a local club and go along for the first time but our experience has shown that it really does pay off in finding new friends and most importantly of all, having fun!
It could be argued that it doesn’t really matter where you chose to live your life because the most important thing is who you choose to spend it with.
Now that might sound strange coming from a website that advises on emigration, but most people who have traveled around a fair bit will admit that it is often the people who they met while living overseas that made the experience great. Sure, scenery changes and there are undoubtedly some stunning places to live on this planet but ultimately, it all boils down to who you surround yourself with. Good relationships and good health are arguably the two most important things in life.
So, look after both, take care of yourself and get involved with whatever it is that rocks your boat!!
Help with your paperwork
One very useful piece of advice if you decide to go, although this will still work if you are just moving house. Go to www.personal-information.co.uk (opens new window), and click “download file” It is a simple template (WORD/EXCEL etc), that you can use to store all of your current important personal information. With this file you will easily be able to manage the hassle of the paperwork chase because you will know the exact status of everything!
Trust me when I say from experience that you need a personal information file to help you manage the dozens of calls to people and organizations that you are going to have to make. It is free (although donations are welcome).
Safeguarding your important personal information is vital. You need a clear record of all those reference numbers, bank account numbers, customer numbers, postal addresses, email addresses, web site addresses etc in one easily accessible and safe place.
How can the personal information file help me do this?
Your personal information sheet is a simple template that utilizes your existing skills in WORD or EXCEL to create a record or summary of all those details. Just download the sheet, fill it in and save it. No fancy programs or complicated stuff, just a big list of important info!
It is simple, easily accessible, effective and very useful, especially:
If you are moving house
If you are emigrating
If you have dependents or family
If you work away from home
If you are retired or take long holidays
If you live in a potential evacuation zone, floods, fires, snow etc
If you telephone or contact your utility, financial or other ‘service providers’
If you want to take stock of your personal or family situation
Simply add to your personal information sheet sheet over a period of time, save it on your computer, store it on a tiny USB pen/flash drive/stick thingy or print it out. Oh and DON’T forget to take it with you!
I hope that this site has given you something to think about and if you decide to move abroad or emigrate, good luck with the move and I hope that it all works out for you.