Moving to a new country can be intimidating. You find yourself in a new environment where the people around you talk a foreign language, they use another currency, the climate and architecture look different, and you can no longer go for a spontaneous visit at your parents or friend house.
All of us working at Nordisk Jobløsning have been through this process several times, moving around in Scandinavia, Europe and the world. Combined we have great experience of the Nordics and how it works in our different home countries. With that said, we hope that this page will help you with some tips and tricks on moving to a new country.
1. Prepare yourself before the big move
Out first advice it to devote some time finding out what the corresponding public authorities are called in your new country, such as the tax agency or the citizen services. Try to figure out what you need to do at arrival and when. We advise you to do this before you move, so once arrived, you have time to settle in and take on other unexpected challenges. Read up on the language, which bank might be the best for you and then perhaps if you can find any good leisure- activities or organisations. The more you prepare before, the easier it will be for you to get started. You can read about specific things to consider for every country on “practical help”. Yet, remember to relax! You don’t have to know EVERYTHING there is to know, there are some things you can’t prepare for.
2. Spend some extra time on finding housing
Try to figure out which areas you can picture yourself living in, and which areas you want to avoid? Do some research on the city and think about location! You probably want to live close by work since that will be your daily commute. Ten minutes extra might not appear long on google maps, but those extra kilometres will seem very far on a dark, rainy November evening.
On arrival, try to get started with all the administrative tasks to get set up in your new city. In some countries, you are required to register on the first days of arrival. Bureaucracy is not only extremely boring but also time consuming. However, it is something we expats must deal with to be eligible for e.g., unemployment benefits, pension and healthcare in the new country. If you find it complicated dealing with on your own, perhaps a colleague can help, otherwise the authority in question, or someone in our team at Nordisk Jobløsning.
When the bureaucracy begins to fall into place, you might want to do something about your social life. It is very common to get a feeling of loneliness when you move to a new country and city. In the beginning, it might be difficult to grasp the social norms or cultural differences. Don’t let that intimidate you! A common mistake is to get caught in this cluster of people from your own country or other expats. This group of fellow countrymen can often give you great support and understand your concerns, in comparison to the locals. However, while it sometimes can be extremely difficult to break through, try to socialise and get in contact with some local people as well and not only fellow expats.