Moving overseas can present quite a minefield to overcome. Although the planning stage is intense, you can naturally expect some hurdles throughout the process, until you have settled into a new normality.
One of the best preparations for your move abroad can be ensuring you are fully equipped to tackle the challenges that await you. These preparations can be both practical and mental aspects.
Thanks to the world of technology, you can utilise the plethora of tools, designed specifically to aid expat transition into a new country of residence. Among these are essential international travel apps which can make it far easier for early life as an expat.
Moving abroad comes with many a task and it takes a certain level of organisation to keep on top of everything. For your own sanity and stress levels, seeking the support of an app designed to aid your organisation, can be a sensible move.
Packing Pro is a superb free app for expats, enabling the user to create a customised packing list which helps you to keep track of the overwhelming number of tasks associated with moving your life overseas. Unfortunately, this app is only currently available on iPhones, but there are similar versions on Android devices.
With Wunderlist, expats can enjoy a seamless ‘to do’ list which can be categorised, organised by date and you can add a handy reminder to any task. The app is both free and accessible across all devices, making it an extremely useful app for new expats.
Evernote has everything an expat would need to manage their life! The app enables you to capture lists, reminders, ideas and notes, all in one place – the ultimate online notebook. The basic version is free and available on any device.
Making new connections is likely to be a top priority for many new expats. This can take time, as you gradually build up new activities. However, with the aid of technology, you can instantly connect with like-minded people.
InterNations is the perfect app for meeting other expats in a new country. The app allows you to access expat communities in some 420 cities across the globe and join groups based around specific interests and hobbies. Whilst the basic version is free, you can upgrade to a premium membership to access all the available benefits.
You may already be familiar with Meetup but you may not be aware that is an international app! It’s a fantastic tool to find local activities and make new connections with people aligned with your interests. Available on both Android and iOS, the app can be downloaded and used for free without much effort at all.
Whilst back in the day, Skype would be the only virtual communication option, there are now even more stable platforms to choose from. That’s not to say Skype is no longer an option, as it does continue to be a favoured application for such requirements.
Zoom is a popular choice for virtual communications across countries. The app allows you to connect with multiple people at the same time, based anywhere in the world! The platform is considered extremely stable when compared to other similar apps, allowing you to have an uninterrupted face to face chat with your loved ones.
WhatsApp allows the user to send and receive messages, voice notes, phone, and video calls. It is straightforward to use and makes for an easy way to stay connected with your loved ones back home.
The Facebook Messenger application is not dissimilar to WhatsApp in its functionality. Both are free to use and easy to download, so it just comes down to preference.
When you aren’t fluent in the language of your new country, it can be quite a challenge to get through day to day tasks. This is dependent on the specific country – many countries may use English widely, but not as much in more rural locations. Thankfully, there are superb translation apps available to come to the rescue.
Google Translate is by far the most popular app for an instant translation aid. With continued updates, you can now translate street signs, menus and of course instantly translate English to almost any other language.
Whilst you could easily get by with google translate, it is still advisable to at least attempt to learn the local language. Duolingo is a free app which offers a fun way to learn a new language.
Trying to get around in unknown terrain can be less than easy. With support from navigation apps, you can get around and find local amenities with ease.
When you’re in an unfamiliar place, it can be helpful to know the location of local amenities. Where to Go is a super tool for expats settling into a new country – from finding the most popular local bar to the largest supermarket. The only downside is this app is only available on iOS.
For expats relying on public transport, Moovit can be a great help. Available to download on both Android and iOS devices, this little app provides real-time updates for local buses and trains in over 800 cities around the world.
As a general navigation aid, download CityMaps2Go which is an offline map designed for travellers and expats.