Maybe your friends have told you how challenging it will be, or maybe you, yourself, have been convincing yourself of all the reasons moving abroad is an impossible feat. There are a lot of legitimate concerns to keep in mind when considering a move abroad- however, there are also a lot of myths.
We’re here to tell you that some of these myths are just downright false and will prevent loads of people from pursuing their dream of embarking on a journey overseas. So, if you’re someone who has been dabbling with the idea of moving abroad, but feeling doubtful due to all the rumours of how challenging it will be… stay tuned and keep reading as we break down for you the most popular myths about moving abroad.
Getting a visa is impossible
Okay, so we’re not going to sit here and tell you that getting a work visa abroad is a walk in the park. It’s definitely not the easiest task, and there are usually quite a few steps to follow. But is it impossible or even extremely difficult? No!
Of course it's not. If that was true, how can there be so many expats living and working abroad? The process and rules for acquiring a visa will certainly differ by country. What you need to do first is locate the government visa website for the county you’re moving to. For example, the France visa page is France-visas.gouv.fr. We actually have a guide on how to get a visa in France, and if you’d like for us to write about how to get an international visa in any other country, let us know!
You will usually need a job offer in order to apply for a visa overseas. If you need help with this, Next Station’s mission is to help you find your dream job abroad, so don’t hesitate to reach out or check out our current job opportunities.
The number one rule to keep in mind when trying to get a visa, is to apply as early as you can! You never know how long it might take for a visa to process, so it’s always better to get everything organized as far in advance as you can manage.
You cannot live in a country where you don’t speak the local language
You totally can. This shouldn’t be a factor that holds you back, and it’s probably one of the biggest myths about living abroad. People imagine that they will be the only person who cannot speak the local language, and will therefore be looked down upon and feel like an outsider. First of all, you won’t be the only one. Particularly if you are moving to a major city, you can expect it to be quite international, meaning that you will not be the only expat, and there will definitely be a lot of people who do not speak the local language.
Also, don’t underestimate the ability of locals to also know more than just one language! You’ll be surprised at the amount of locals who can communicate in your language, as well. You can also view moving abroad as an amazing chance to learn a new language. Not only will you learn quickly by being immersed in it every day, but you can also use the help of apps such as Duolingo and Babbel. Or, if you prefer a tutor, check out Preply.
You need to be rich to move abroad
Nope. Not everyone who moves abroad is rich. There are loads of fresh graduates, for example, who move abroad with fairly low budgets as they start an entry position abroad. You do not need to be rich, but what you do need to be is smart when it comes to budgeting! However, this doesn’t just apply to moving abroad- no matter where you live, whether it be overseas or your home country, you need to know how to budget in order to live comfortably. In fact, you might actually find that some countries will offer a much more affordable lifestyle depending on your home country! When it comes to affording an apartment abroad, buying new furniture, or any additional expense you may need to settle in, this is something that can be made much easier if you try saving up in advance.
You will never find accommodation abroad
People like to say that finding somewhere to live overseas is impossible.
Well, it's not.
Finding somewhere to live anywhere can be difficult or time consuming. Sometimes, you get lucky and it’s not difficult or time consuming at all. You have several options when it comes to finding housing abroad.
First and foremost, start looking as early as you can. Depending on the country and city you’re moving to, it will take more or less time to find a place, so you might as well start looking as soon as possible.
Try asking your community first. Post something on social media and you might be surprised at what could come out of your connections. Someone might know someone who knows someone who has a place… doesn’t hurt to ask!
You should also check out all of the local housing websites. This is probably the most effective way to find housing overseas. Figure out through a simple Google search what the most popular accommodating websites are for the place you’re moving to. Consistently look at the websites every day to check for new listings.
Another option is to try Facebook. Honestly, Facebook Marketplace has led to successes for a lot of people! There are many scams, however, so please always be careful. Never send money online and do not offer any sensitive, private information.
You are escaping “real life”
Sometimes people feel a heavy weight of guilt when they imagine leaving their home country, family, and all they’ve known behind. There’s a stigma around moving overseas that makes it seem like people who do it are “running away” from reality. This is simply not true and also silly. You’re not running away from anything. In fact, you’re actually demonstrating a great amount of ambition and drive to take your life and career to the next level, all while getting to experience and explore a different part of the world. What you’re doing is actually what most people dream of but never take the initiative to actually do, probably because of all these myths!
You will never belong in your new home
One of the greatest fears about moving abroad is the idea that you will never belong. People imagine that, as an expat, you will stick out like a sore thumb and will always be the “foreigner” or “outsider.” One of the biggest misconceptions is that you will be the only one. In reality, there are always going to be tons of foreigners living abroad, and while your solo journey may make it feel otherwise, in reality you will be meeting so many people just like you throughout your time abroad. Not only will you make friends with other expats, but you will probably befriend locals as well!
“New” doesn’t have to be scary. The idea of experiencing new places, people, foods, and traditions should actually be an exciting concept. And ultimately, your time abroad is what you make it- if you convince yourself that you are an outsider, you may be holding yourself back from truly integrating into your new home and taking advantage of all there is to enjoy.
Once you’re there, you can never return
Moving abroad is not the end all be all.
Sure, choosing to pick up your life and take it overseas is a huge life decision. But it is in no way permanent. Your time abroad can be as long or short as you make it. In the end, you are the one who gets to lead your own journey, and there is no decision that cannot be reversed. If your life overseas turns out to be different than what you imagined, you always have the option to return to your home country or move somewhere else. And even if you don’t want to move back home, home will always still be there to return to for visits. Realizing that your decision to move to another country was not the right one is still better than having the famous “What if…?” in your mind for the next couple of years.
If you’re thinking about moving abroad or are currently searching for work abroad, Next Station is here to answer questions and help guide you in the right direction. Simply reach out and a member of our team will get back to you.