Conventional wisdom says moving house is one of the most stressful experiences around. With many Singapore expats relocating overseas every 3-4 years, that’s a whole lot of potential grey hairs. Singapore relocation company Sir Move has been overseeing successful expat relocations for the last decade. In honour of their 10 year anniversary, co-founder Shyla Mathews shares 10 tips on how to make your move overseas a breeze.
1. Do your research
Before confirming your overseas move, it’s important to visit the country in advance if possible. Learn about the culture, the climate, the cuisine and so on, and be sure it is somewhere you and your family can be happy.
2. Be prepared
Start early and be ready for mishaps. Paperwork often takes longer than expected (checklists are a great way to keep track of things) and house and job hunting may not run smoothly. Put together a budget before you go and have enough money to see you through at least the first few months.
3. Job hunting
If you need to find a job in your new country, start looking online. This will help you understand the market, the requirements in your field and whether or not your existing qualifications will be recognised.
4. Learn the lingo
Learning a few phrases in the local language can have an incredibly positive impact on your transition. Being able to speak a few words (and understand a little) of what is going on around you helps you connect with the locals and feel more at ease in your new homeland.
5. Organise your important papers
Moving overseas comes with a lot of bureaucracy. Getting your important documents in order means you’ll have everything at hand when it’s needed. There’s nothing more stressful than hunting down your original university certificate that you just know is tucked away safely in a drawer. The trouble is, which one?
6. Update your contact details
There’s a whole host of people that need to know where you are headed. Be sure to inform family and friends of your new contact details and set up a postal redirect so you don’t miss any important communications.
7. Moving day
Have a “key” box on the big day itself. This small box should be marked clearly and placed for easy access. During the move, should you or the moving crew find keys, locks, remote controls or other loose items, they can place them in the key box.
8. Get insured
Good insurance is a must for any overseas move. Talk to your relocation provider to understand exactly what your contract covers and if you need to purchase additional transit insurance. Also make sure you have appropriate health and travel insurance for you and and your family.
9. Tie up loose ends
Make sure you let your bank know you are moving and find out if you need to close your existing accounts. You’ll also need to inform your mobile phone company and any utilities companies (gas, electric, cable etc.) of your impending move so that contracts can be terminated and final payments made.
10. Electric devices
Check whether your TV, hairdryer, alarm clock and any other electrical appliances will work in your new country, and if so, are they covered by an international warranty?
We have plenty more tips for anyone considering a move to Singapore.