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Thinking about living/working overseas
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Posted 01 January 2016 - 04:45 PM
So it's very tentative and hypothetical at this stage, but there's been discussion in our household that we might look to have a stage of living and working overseas in a few years.
Neither of us are well-travelled (DH has never even held a passport) and we're probably a bit clueless about the reality of what that would be like and what we need to think about, even this far out.
Any wisdom from others who have done it?
Posted 01 January 2016 - 04:51 PM
No wisdom as I've never done it, but I do long to do at least a 2 year stint in another country so I'll be watching this thread with interest!
Posted 01 January 2016 - 04:57 PM
I have done it sans kids, but some things to consider would be:
Can you both work in that country?
Schooling for your dd
Would you return to your job/city?
Would you store or sell your car/furniture etc?
Do you require different accreditation in other countries to work?
I say go for it. I loved and and we are considering doing it again in the future.
Posted 01 January 2016 - 05:12 PM
I've done it before and after kids. We all loved it and are aiming to do it again in a few years.
I would just try and figure out your work visa situations first and check online for jobs verses cost of living. If you are planning on renting out your home maybe look on sabbaticalhomes.com to see what you could rent out (or swap) your place for.
Schooling is a big consideration, international schools can be pricy but you might find your cost of living/wages offset your costs.
It is a great experience, I think you should go for it if you get the chance!
Posted 01 January 2016 - 05:13 PM
Well i have lived in the UK for 3months, 18months then properley (in our own places) for 6 years theb vack to australia with our son - all spur of the moment decisions we have talked about Singapore, US, Iran and Malta but doubt these - we love traveling.
Posted 01 January 2016 - 05:16 PM
I would do some research on expat communities of the countries that you are interesting in living and working in.
There are generally some great links and resources about what to expect, where to find work, cultural customs etc.
Where to live, ex pats selling cars, furniture, leases etc.
Visas, sponsorship etc
I travel and have lived in various countries for work- this is always my first port of call.
Of interest, some for countries require one years rent in advance- something to be aware of when budgeting.
Google will help- just search under country name and expat community/ forum
Posted 01 January 2016 - 05:16 PM
We're thinking of heading overseas this year with our 2 kids. DH is from Scotland and my family from Ireland so we're thinking of a year in Ireland, partly to travel and partly so the kids can spend time with their rellies. We have previously lived in Scotland before kids but not since having children.
I think it's a fantastic thing to do, for both yourselves and your kids.
Have you got any right to work in other countries by any chance? You could check if you have any foreign born parents/grandparents, many european countries are much easier to gain citizenship or right of abode in than Australia and this means you can work anywhere in the EU.
Posted 01 January 2016 - 05:18 PM
Ange, one other thing may be vaccinations for you all depending on what country you go to.
Posted 01 January 2016 - 05:38 PM
Lots of things to consider.
Availability of work for yourself and partner.
Cost of living in new country
Cost of moving
Cost of schooling (public is not always an option if you are not citizen/resident, or may not speak the local language)
Visas and any restrictions you may have on work. IE you get granted a work visa, but your partner does not.
Also, depending on country, you need to consider
Health care availability
Any current health issues you may have and how those will be treated there
Tax implications on any money you earn
What to do with any property you have here
Storage of goods you don't take
And a weird one hat friends of ours encountered was having to get their employer to guarantee their rent and utilities as they had no credit history in the country.
Check out expat forums for your chosen country as well as any business networks you may be able to tap into
Posted 01 January 2016 - 05:45 PM
Ange you will also need to take into consideration the effect on your DD of such a change, and of interruption to any EI that she may be undertaking.
Sorry to be a wet blanket but having a child with a diagnosed disability does add an extra layer of complexity to such a move: doesn't make it impossible but it may be a bit trickier.
Posted 01 January 2016 - 06:25 PM
Am currently doing it. Did it a number of times as a child. Firmly think there is nothing better for children (hence why we are doing it now for our own kids). But I have no idea how this would impact your child as an individual.
The world is not well connected. Finding places to live and schools for the kids is easy, we had everything organized months before we left Australia. You will, however, need some sort of visa/work permit that allows you to reside in whatever country you are going to. Once you pass the age limit for 'youth' visas, many places have quite strict limits on how long you can stay and what you can do on a tourist visa. The first months can be hard as you are disconnected from your family and other social networks, but making new friends in some cultures can be hard, especially if there are language barriers at play. Expat communities are great - it can be slightly disappointing to go overseas and continue to mostly have social interactions with Australians... But by the same token social capital is important, so don't discount these networks.
Personally, I think moving to another place is not a huge deal and is enormously fun!
Posted 01 January 2016 - 06:29 PM
Have you got any right to work in other countries by any chance?
Not because of family but I think being clergy makes it easier in a lot of places (religious worker visas etc).
Benevolent Dictator, that's one of the big things we'll have to plan carefully, and one of the reasons I'm asking questions now (at least two years before we'd actually do it).
ETA: Thank you all for all the ideas and things raised. I hadn't even thought of expat forums!
Edited by Mitis angelam, 01 January 2016 - 06:30 PM.
Posted 01 January 2016 - 06:35 PM
Also keep in mind that for many types of work visas, you may need to have a job offer and/or an offer of sponsorship from your employer before you can apply
Posted 01 January 2016 - 06:45 PM
Best thing we ever did, pre-kids. Mind you it was London which is fairly benign as far as 'living O/S' goes!
Posted 01 January 2016 - 07:33 PM
If you have school age kids a good international school is the way to go if you are going to a country that English is not first language They can be very expensive though.
Depending where you go, developing nations I would only live in expat compound.
Working visa and restrictions of visa is something to investigate. Every country is different.
Posted 01 January 2016 - 07:43 PM
Definitely definitely look at the tax implications before you start the budgeting process. It is possible that you will be liable for taxation in both countries even if you are employed locally. Lots of people aren't aware of this and don't budget for the (sometimes quite large) Australian tax bill.
Aside from that we moved to Bangladesh (originally for onky six months), two years ago and love it. I will happily stay on for as long as they let me. It has been a great experience for our children and completely life changing (in a positive way) for myself. Don't get me wrong moving countries is damn hard work but really worth it.
Expat forums are invaluble for when you are starting out.
Posted 01 January 2016 - 08:00 PM
I've lived overseas pre-kids and DH moved to Australia to be with me, so I've seen this kind of thing, to some extent, from both directions.
Living in another country has many positives and is a wonderful learning experience. However it's important to understand how much work it can be. You will miss things about home and be irrationally irritated by different things in the other country: little trivial things that "aren't quite right", and you'll have to be continuously nice about that to everyone there, because they just won't understand why there is anything wrong with that perfectly good whateveritis. This is hard to do.
You will also be lonely. If you move to a place with a large time difference it is hard for people at home to get their act together and phone you - we've found that all of the work at staying in touch seems to have to come from our end, and that is wearing. It takes time to make connections in a strange place, and more time if you don't speak the local language fluently. I reckon it takes at least a year and usually more like two years to begin to feel really settled in a new country (and that's assuming you actually like it). I know that when DH moved to Australia he massively underestimated how hard it would be, and he was familiar with the culture here and spoke fluent English.
That said, it's a really valuable experience for many people, myself included. Just don't underestimate how hard it may be.
Posted 01 January 2016 - 08:19 PM
While I agree with tenar to a degree, moving overseas can also be an amazing experience and you can make some lifelong friends.
I found moving cities within Australia more lonely and isolating than moving overseas.
Posted 01 January 2016 - 08:31 PM
Have an exit plan. Have enough money & the means to get home if & when necessary.
Posted 01 January 2016 - 08:42 PM
I actually found it easier living overseas with kids then before we had them. I think going to daycare/school in a new city helps you meet other parents the same way it does here.
I also found close friendships with other parents formed quickly as we were all in the same situation. Luckily we had kids the same age so they could play together while we could swap info on where to shop/eat/schools etc. it was a kind of fun "adventure" feeling rather than being the odd one out in an already set up group of friends.
Everything depends on what country you are looking at living in though. And obviously whether you are thinking small town with more locals or big cities with lots of expats.
If you don't know which country yet then maybe think where your interests lie and what you'd like to get from the experience and try and find the country that's the best fit for you.
Posted 02 January 2016 - 02:20 PM
We're currently living in Malaysia. If you have a child with learning difficulties, be aware that a lot of international schools do not take any child with any kind of learning disability. Whether it be dyslexia or ASD. They just don't take them. They are also extremely expensive - at least here in KL. Our school costs way more than the most expensive schools in Sydney and Melbourne do even or primary school. There are no religious schools here so no staff discounts!
We are not allowed to got to the local schools so have no other option.
Somewhere like the UK or Canada would be much easier to live in than here!
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