mobile phone as soon as possible. People will need to contact you but won’t want to phone an international number, and you certainly won’t want to be paying for long-distance calls. Most, if not all, mobile service providers won’t offer you a contract without evidence of your salary, so ask your human resources department for a letter stating your wage. If you’re unemployed when you move, buy a SIM and pay as you go.
Bank accounts When you arrive your top priority should be to open a bank account. You’ll need one to pay the rent, although you may find it difficult to open an account without a permanent address. To avoid being caught in a Catch-22 situation, use a friend’s address, or ask your company (if you’re moving with one) to give you a letter confirming your identity and salary. If you’re staying in a hotel or serviced apartment, ask the management to
Currency The last thing you’ll want to do after moving countries is to pay foreign exchange charges, no matter how favourable the exchange rate. Before you leave your home country, speak to your bank to see what they offer in terms of telephone banking and currency transfers. It goes without saying that it’s best to earn
some local currency as soon as possible; you won’t want to have to live off your savings for too long.
Explore Use every opportunity to meet people who may know more than you about your new city. Initially, that means everyone, so talk to people on buses, strike up conversations with neighbours and definitely take up offers to meet friends of friends. Go online to see what people are talking about on websites and blogs in your new home. You’ll not only learn the language (or a bit of it), but also meet new friends to help you discover the peaks and pitfalls about town.
write one on your behalf. Obtaining a local credit card could take some time, so make sure you bring one from home for emergencies.
Communication Get a local SIM card for your
DON’T FEEL PRESSURE TO IMMEDIATELY ‘GO LOCAL’. TAKE YOUR TIME, THAT CAN COME LATER
Archie Pollock, from Glasgow in Scotland, moved to the Netherlands after completing his
As the gateway to China, Hong Kong is popular with expats seeking shelter from
Nannette Ripmeester, founder and director of Expertise in Labour Mobility
EURES is the European Commission’s central job mobility portal. Features