By Nick Young
If you are an expat relocating as part of your career, what are the relocation services that provide the greatest benefit (aside from immigration)? We asked Nick Young, a writer who has relocated internationally with his work on many occasions.
Taking a job in a new location is a wonderfully exciting experience, although it can come with a number of difficulties as you adapt to this totally new living and work environment. Fortunately, a wide variety of relocation services exist to help ease this transition and make moving to a new place an enjoyable time in your life.
As a relocation specialist that has helped hundreds of people relocate to different countries, I’ve provided a full menu of relocation services to my clients. While each service plays an important role, I believe that the services I’ve listed below proved to be the most essential in allowing my clients to get started on the right foot in their new location, and I hope it can provide you with guidance if you aren’t quite sure which services to select as part of your personalized relocation package.
Get started with an orientation tour
So often, people who have just moved to their new location feel dizzied when trying to figure out where they are and how to get around. Many of these people had previously visited their new location on a business trip or perhaps even a vacation, but they soon discovered that there is a distinct difference between spending a few days somewhere as a traveler compared to living there as a resident. This is why an orientation tour with a locally based relocation consultant is extremely useful.
As part of a relocation with your company, you may be offered the opportunity to have an area orientation as a first step in order to help you identify and select between different potential neighborhoods.
As part of a standard orientation day spent with a local relocation specialist you will typically be collected from the airport and then be taken on a tour of your shortlisted locations. Your local relocation specialist will provide you with an insider guide to everything you need to know. You will get to know the different neighborhoods of interest in your new location, visit places related to your specific needs and hobbies, school options for your kids and gain a better general understanding of local geography. Your local relocation specialist’s expertise will be extremely valuable to you for your decision-making.
Ultimately, this service gives you the added confidence of feeling immediately orientated in your new home, which will help make for a successful beginning to your relocation.
Get professional school search assistance
If you have children of school age, you will have some big decisions to make. Having the support of a school search specialist will help with getting to grips with the schooling options at your destination country and which are the best for your children.
Typically, this service will involve the support of locally based education professionals who are able to provide introductions to schools. Your choice of school will also have a knock-on effect of where you choose to live too.
The help from a home search professional
The home search is the most exciting and most personal part of the relocation process for many people, but it is also the task which can cause stress. People often tell me that they don’t feel truly established in their new location until they find the right place to live, so conducting an efficient home search is essential to start feeling connected in your new destination.
A proper home search service involves a local, and independent, relocation professional understanding your housing needs and budgets and then taking you to visit these properties in your selected neighborhood. You will be accompanied for viewing of a variety of housing choices and receive helpful direction on costs, benefits and details of the local real estate or rental market along with how the local systems work – which can vary greatly between countries and even regions. They can also help sort out the contract and aid with negotiation on your behalf.
Having a local relocation consultant organize your home search will provide the knowledge you require to get started, save you time in making a schedule for appointments, and ensure that you secure the property you desire. This expertise provided by a local relocation consultant makes home search assistance an invaluable service to save time and provide confidence and peace of mind as you find your perfect place to live.
Integrate more easily with cultural and language training
A common source of angst for people arriving in a foreign country is the fear related to their ability to communicate and interact with local people. Nobody wants to make a faux pas or come across as a complete fish out of water as they make their first impression with colleagues and neighbors.
While you can expect that it will take time to get down the finer points of the language and have a solid understanding of the new culture you are in, it’s a great idea to get a head start with cultural and language training provided through a relocation company.
Other expats have told me that entering their new environments with a basic knowledge of the local language and some key phrases, greatly improves the quality of their interactions and provides the basis for developing this skill. By having a language teacher who understands the needs of a newly arrived expat and giving you the tools to get started, you will increase your likelihood of having an excellent start in your new community.
In addition to language, having some cultural background knowledge is important as well. To better understand the culture you will be living in, it’s essential to have some understanding of the local history, know what values are embraced, and to know how to best make a warm first impression.
Use household goods moving support
This is the part that most people will focus on when they think of relocating. An international relocation will mean that you, and your family, will need to leave a lot of what feels familiar behind. Therefore, having your personal items at your new home can help to provide a foundation and offer a sense of stability when everything else has changed. Being able to have your favorite things with you, your own bed, comfy sofa, all the personal items that are the story of your life so far.
You could choose to pack these yourself, but it is recommended that you use an expert for moving your household goods to ensure everything is packed correctly and details such as customs procedures are managed correctly.
You may already have your moving company predefined, but if you are selecting one yourself then you may like to read this article on choosing a moving company.
Professional relocation support can fast-track your success as an expat working and living overseas. Choosing the right combination of relocation services will help you to excel in your new home country. The better prepared and well taken care of you are through the help of local relocation experts providing important relocation services, the more likely you are to have an amazing and successful start to this new and exciting chapter in your life.