A relocation to a new country brings both challenges and opportunities. It’s an incredibly exciting time, but can also be stressful so we’ve put together a short guide with some tips for helping you to settle into your new home in a new country.

Give yourself time

Whatever your reason for moving to a new country, it will take time to settle in. Don’t expect to feel right at home or to have ever last detail sorted out right from the word go. Instead, see the move as an ongoing process and a journey that will take you months or even years to travel through.

Consider a short-term let

One of the best ways to get started in a new country, or a new location within your own country, is to sign up for a short-term let. This gives you time to find a longer-term or permanent housing solution that is perfect for yourself and for your family if you are bringing one with you.

It’s extremely difficult to assess a potential home remotely, so renting a place for a short period will allow you to get life’s little details sorted out and arranged in situ. If you are looking for a job following a move, a short-term let will enable you to attend interviews. If you are looking for a house to buy or rent longer term, a short-term apartment will allow you to get to know the area and see properties in person before signing on the dotted line.

Get your finances organised

For anyone planning to set up a new life in a new country for any significant period of time, or to work, for that matter, setting up a bank account is a minimum requirement. You will also need to look into the tax implication of living and working abroad and ensure you notify the right organisations.

Make friends

Making friends when you become an expat has never been easier, largely thanks to the internet. In many locations around the world, and especially in major cities, there are organisations, online tools, forums and meet-up groups that can help you get to know local people and also other people from your home country.

It’s a good idea to put yourself ‘out there’ so to speak, if you value your social life. It isn’t always easy, but looking for something in common can really help. This might be having young children, playing or watching a particular sport or even speaking a particular language. There are hundreds of opportunities to meet like-minded people wherever you are in the world.

Find a doctor

Finding out where you should go to see a doctor and a dentist and getting yourself signed up should be a priority once you become an expat. Locating your local A&E, or equivalent, is also a good idea – particularly if you have children. Consider different scenarios and make sure you have the knowledge you need to seek assistance in various circumstances. For example, what number do you call if you need an ambulance? How do you pay for medicines prescribed by a doctor? Where is your local 24-hour pharmacy?