Move to a faraway country / Study abroad

How to move abroad, a step by step guide

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Moving abroad is not as difficult as it may sound, it’s pretty much as easy as making a decision, saving money and getting a ticket. If it’s one of your dreams there’s no excuses, everyone who wants to go can.. with a bit of research, determination and inspiration!

Every since I was a child, moving to an English speaking country has been a dream of mine.
I have now moved my life with me to three different countries (America, Australia and New Zealand) and I’ve picked up a few tips on how to get on with doing it along the way…

Before anything else:

Save your money.
This steps usually starts long before any of the other ones. Save everything you can and avoid buying things like clothes before you leave. You will find anything you may want or need once you arrive and you’ll wish you’d left some items behind. Make sure you have a good amount of money saved up to keep you afloat.
When it comes to how much you need to bring, I’d say consider your experience and what you want to experience. If you’re going away to study you might need more, if you’re planning on working straight away you might need less, if you want to travel first then you’ll need more and so on.
If this is your first time moving abroad then you might need a bit more money stacked up. If you have experience and have done this before then you might need a bit less.
I would say, bring enough to live and explore for a couple of weeks without having to worry.

Make a decision.
This is an obvious step but seems to be the toughest one… Because once you’ve made this decision there’s no turning back right? Wrong. Whatever you decide to do, wherever you decide to go, you can always turn around and change your mind. The only thing you might’ve lost is some money and some of your time. Money can always be earned and the time you’ve spent would not be lost because it would reward you with experience.

Money won’t make you rich, experience will.

1. Do your research.
Research the city and the country you want to move to, in this step it’s important to take everything into account such as the living costs (Find out what the conversion rates are), the lifestyle and the language spoken.
Make sure it’s somewhere that you can afford living how you want to live, and that the city of your choice reflects your interests.

2. Buy a ticket and a VISA.
Next steps are one of the biggest and most awesome ones! Check your VISA options, decide what type of VISA you can get, this varies depending on what country you’re moving to, what you want to do when you get there, and what your nationality is.
When sorted, buy your ticket… Just do it!
Something I’ve learned about traveling is that everything will work out, once you have a ticket.

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3. Quit your job and sell your things!
You’re here! This is what everyone’s talking about, quitting your job to explore the world! The freedom of owning nothing at all but the backpack on your shoulders. And oh, what a freedom it is! Sell your car, your apartment, your furniture – everything that you won’t need!
Tell your friends, your family and your boss that you’re leaving to chase your dreams! Go go go!

4. Find out what documents you might need.
This is different to all nationalities and to every case.If you want to drive you may need an international drivers license (A translation of your license). If you need to carry any special medicines you may need a document with your doctors signature to be allowed to carry it through security and tolls.
If you’re studying you may want to print your offer letter and carry with your Student visa. (Students, you might want to get the ISIC which is a international student card which will give you discounts on things like experience tickets, food and all over the world. Read about it here.)

5. Get work experience.
If you don’t have any experience in any of the most common casual jobs (Hospitality, retail, office, nanny) for travellers then try and get some before you go. Even if it just means volunteer-waiting at your uncle’s restaurant or babysitting your neighbours kids, when challenged with a trial later on these experiences can be crucial.


6. Book your accommodation.
Finding a place to stay for your first nights will make you feel more safe. You know that you have somewhere to go when you arrive at your destination and you don’t have to walk around with your backpack/suitcase trying to look for one in a place where you’ve never been before.

7. Print your papers
Bring a copy of your passport, visa, your bank statement, your flight ticket, your offer letter (only for students), any bookings, birth certificate and your drivers license. Bring prints of everything that you could think of that you might need.
This way you don’t have to worry about finding a place that does printing once abroad or at the airport.
Extra tip: Spend some time writing your CV, make sure it is simple and well written. Try to get it proof read by someone who speaks English as their first language or a peep who’s English is good. Bring it with you in a folder, this way you can start handing your CV out as soon as you arrive if you like.

8. Get excited & be confident!
Now it’s time to start writing your bucket lists, start packing your bags and getting prepared for your big adventure!
Don’t forget, moving abroad is supposed to be a fun and thrilling experience! Make it count!
I’ve written a special post about how to make moving abroad as epic as you wanted it to be, you’ll find it here

Remember that whatever it is that is on your mind, it has most definitely been written about before. Even if it may feel like it sometimes, especially when far away, you’re never alone with your thoughts. So, google whatever information you’re looking for, find blogs that covers your topic (Like this one 🙂 and join forums and/or Facebook groups. People are usually very helpful and happy to answer any questions that might be on your mind.

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In Australia:

Get your RSA, Medicare card, a bank account, Australian phone number and a tax file number (TFN).
As soon as possible.
If you want to work within hospitality you will need a RSA. (Responsible Service of Alcohol) They tend to serve alcohol everywhere so you will need it even if you’re only planning on working in a café.
A medicare card will give you a reduced price when going to most doctors. Find out if you’re entitled to a Medicare card here.
You will need a TFN to be able to work in Australia, this is also what you’ll use to get your tax return at the end of your adventure.
When it comes to a bank account I would highly recommend Westpac. We got great service and a lot of assistance (even applying for a TFN) at Westpac and now you can even open an account before leaving!

You can get your RSA here.
Read more about Medicare here.
Apply for a Tax file number here.

In New Zealand:

Get a IRD number, a NZ phone number and a bank account.
In New Zealand you won’t need as many documents as in Australia but sometimes it’s a bit more tricky to get ahold of them.
You’ll need a IRD number, which is the equivalent of the Aussie TFN, the New Zealand way of register your tax payment.
You can apply for a IRD number and bank account (If you go KiwiBank which I would recommend because it’s the easiest choice in NZ) at the post office. You will need different points of identification (A paper copy of your passport & a international drivers licence will do it), a proof of address (you can get this printed at your hotel) and in some cases a bank statement or a receipt from your hotel.

Read more about how to get a IRD here.

Have you lived abroad and have more tips on this topic? Or maybe a question?
Leave your thoughts as a comment below!

8 thoughts on “How to move abroad, a step by step guide

  1. I loved this post! It’s so exciting to read. I am moving to Sweden in May from my home city Melbourne and I have applied for my working holiday visa, just waiting to hear back on that. I was just wondering if you were able to tell me what documents I might need for sweden?

    Thank you:)


  2. Hey there!

    I found this post very inspirational & something I needed to hear! I’ve always wanted to just go abroad and this is definitely giving me the confidence to make a decision. I was just curious about two things though (which may be in more of your blogs which I can not wait to read!) Do you have a degree and how old are you? You have moved to three countries now & that is impressive to me and like I said so inspirational! Keep doing what you’re doing 🙂

    xx Erika


    • Hi Erika! Thank you so much for your comment, it really warmed my heart, it’s people like you that inspire me to write :).
      I’m 27 and I have a Diploma in Photo imaging which I got while I lived in Sydney.
      Whilst moving to a new country by yourself can be a bit frightening and very challenging at times it’s even more amazing.
      Moving abroad is the most rewarding and exciting choice that I’ve made in my life. I believe that it’s something that is possible for everyone and I highly encourage it! 🙂
      There’s so many options and possibilities once you’ve made up your mind!
      Please let me know if you have any more questions! I’m excited to help! 😀
      xx Angeliqa


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