Hey all, I have recently moved abroad to work in Taiwan as an English teacher and if there’s one thing I’ve noticed from my past few months, it is that there is A LOT to consider while moving abroad. So, I figured I’d share my slivers of wisdom for moving to a foreign country!
Step 1. Make a list with a *Step 1* on it.
Seriously, I learned from experience that trying to manage the necessities for moving away can go a lot smoother when you have your ducks in a row. I know you’re probably bursting with excitement and just want to get there, but keep calm and list on!
Now for the fun part. What do you need to think about? Well for starters, get a job why don’t ya!
I’m currently an English teacher and use it as a stable way to fund my homesickness for strange far away places. At this point you’re going to want to grab a coffee/tea/whatever, sit down, and figure out how you are going to support yourself once you move. I’m a little biased, but teaching English has been an incredibly rewarding experience and the pay ain’t so bad, especially in Asian countries.
Some things you may not have thought about
Moving overseas has some very important considerations, but here are a few you may not have thought of as a Canadian!
Extending your provincial healthcare to make sure it is still valid when you return
To my knowledge there are very few articles out there on the web that talk about how crucial this step can be. If you are planning to spend more than 212 days outside of Canada within a 12-month period, then time to apply for an extension. For Ontario, so long as you have been in Canada for 153 days in each year of the past 2 consecutive years prior to your departure date, you will be able to extend your OHIP. There are similar stipulations for each province and the differences tend to be found in how many days before you must apply for an extension, and the type of information you must submit to the Provincial governments for the extension. Down side to no extension? No coverage. The extension will allow you to be absent from the country for a year, and then when you return, it’s as simple as a stop at Service Ontario to reinstate your coverage immediately.
**Hint: The application will make you specify the dates you’ll be absent, but you have up to 60 days after your specified date of return to re-instate your OHIP**.
Check out your Provincial health care website and consult with your provincial service providers for more specifics!
Collect your change and cash in! Moving abroad is not exactly an inexpensive ordeal. Although, this is not to say that you’ll never be able to afford it! There are many ways to keep costs down, and I would recommend checking out some other blogs for tips ands tricks.
One bit to note is that moving abroad with a safety net is a great idea. Travelling and working can be unpredictable at times and it is always a good idea to keep a healthy cushion for unforeseen events. For example, my girlfriend and I arrived in Taiwan expecting to begin working within two weeks. Cue 1.5 month later and we began teaching. This may not ever happen to any of you out there, but something to consider.
So how do you get your foreign cash?
My first recommendation is to look at the country you are moving to and see if banks/ATMs are included in PLUS or any other conglomeration of banks. This will save you handsomely on the other end! Although most standard accounts from Canada will include an international withdrawal fee, going to an ATM or bank that accepts PLUS will void the fees you pay to the ATM or the bank that you’re withdrawing from. This is crucial for your first month or two when you are without a local bank account and are trying to save money where you can.
I hope this has been helpful my friends. There’s a lot more to think about, but stumbling across the internet for pieces of advice is a great start!
Travel often, Love always
The Wandering Photograph