All Abroad

5 Essentials To Organise Before Moving Overseas So It’s Smooth Sailing

By Louis Costello

Depending on who you ask, the preparation work that goes into moving overseas is the most crucial element of the entire journey. Others might disagree and say that winging it worked for them, however, if you want to set yourself up and not stress upon arrival, it's handy to at least have a few considerations checked off the list before your flight.

To ensure you've got the best knowledge in your pocket, we teamed up with HSBC and spoke to Samuel Ottner about his experience moving to Sydney from Hong Kong.

Here are our top things to organise before moving overseas that will make it a far easier transition in the long run.

Budgets Are Your Friend

Trust us, you want to have a rough budget outlined before you embark on your soul-searching journey. The first step is to change your perceptions around budgeting. Try not to see it as fun-restricting, but rather, a guideline to keep you on track with your spending to ensure maximum fun while you live out your overseas fantasy.

Sit down with a calculator and Google Excel and start factoring in everything that costs money versus how long you intend to stay in your new chosen home. Think transport, food, fun (allow for more money than you intend to spend as spontaneity can blow it out on a random Saturday night), and at the top of the list, housing. Ottner's way to tackle the rental market came in the form of short-term accommodation organised by his employers, which eased that initial stress of finding somewhere immediately after he landed. The dream.

Learn The Lingo

It's now common knowledge that Australians have a lot of colloquialisms that don't quite translate to the rest of the world. As Ottner points out, "Everyone says, ‘How you going’. I had no idea what that meant and when someone said it the first time, I said, ‘What do you mean, how I’m going?’. I’m used to sayings such as, ‘How are you doing' or, 'Are you ok’.

This doesn't require as much preparation or effort as some of the heftier elements (see below), but even reading through different cities' subreddits or watching local content creators will give you a feel of how people in that area interact. 

Suss Out Your Finances

Another essential task to tick off is having access to your existing funds. "Fortunately, with HSBC you can open an account in different markets so it’s fantastic to know when you land you have a bank account and credit card from day one," Ottner explains. 

The key takeaway here is to learn what your bank can and can't do overseas and map out a plan to ensure you still have access to your money after you move.

Lock In Friend Dates

Some expats enjoy the thrill of making friends on the go, others prefer a safety net. If you have loose connections overseas, capitalise on them. Ottner suggests that after-work drinks at the pub can rapidly expand your friendship circle, so start networking at your new job from the get-go. 

Or, somewhat more unconventially, whip out those dating apps and make it clear in your bio that you're on there simply to make new friends. Unless, of course, you're also in the dating pool, in which case go for it. 

Jot Down A Bucket List

It's amazing how many former expats admit to missing out on crucial perks of a city because they either get caught up in their work, don't budget for the weekend fun, or perhaps lose track of what it was that attracted them to moving overseas in the first place.

An ultimate city-specific bucket list will become your go-to reference point. You can keep track of everything you want to see before you leave, you get to feel the sweet satisfaction of ticking the list off, and it can also serve as motivation to get you out exploring the city more often.

If you need any more convincing, let Ottner serve as inspiration: "In short, do it. It’s a life-changing experience and you gain a lot out of it for both your career and personal development."

So go ahead, take the plunge and start planning your next adventure. 

Editor’s note: this article was produced in partnership with HSBC. Thank you for supporting the partners who make Urban List possible. To read our editorial policy, click here.

Images: Urban List

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