How to Prepare for a Year Abroad

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How to Prepare for a Year Abroad

Many people want to spend at least one year living abroad, especially when they are young and before settling down. Naturally, there are also those family people who simply wish to change the environment and live in a country that offers better living conditions.

Today, however, many people have found themselves stranded abroad due to the current pandemic, which means they are stuck abroad against their will, but they have to make the most of the situation. Whatever the reason and situation, spending a long time abroad requires careful preparation. To help you make the most of your adventure, here are some tips, which should make your life easier.

Prepare mentally

You may think that a year is not a lot of time, but it might seem so when you’re not in a familiar environment. That’s why you need to prepare mentally before you leave. Try to meet with all those you’re going to miss the most while away from home and talk to them about the reasons you’re leaving and your plans. They are sure to give you all the love and support, which will mean a lot to you.

If they are your true friends, they’ll let you know what they think about your idea, support you all the way and help you overcome all the challenges you encounter.

The local language

You are likely to spend a year in a country where a completely different language is spoken and you can’t always rely on locals speaking English or some other global language. That’s why you might want to learn at least the basics of the local language before you get there. Being able to make a simple, everyday conversation will boost your confidence and help you feel safer.

Once you get to your destination, you should use every opportunity to practice the language. Not only will the locals appreciate it, but you’ll also realize that being able to communicate in another language is one of the best things in the world. Luckily, there are many ways to learn a language nowadays from the comfort of your own home, such as the popular apps for language learning.

Staying in touch

No matter where you go, it’s important to stay in touch with your family and friends for several reasons. To begin with, you won’t feel that lonely abroad and you stay in the loop when it comes to the lives of those you love.

Next, it’s important for someone to know your whereabouts, especially if you’re staying in a region with a high crime rate. Finally, if you have a reliable Internet connection, you might be able to do some remote work and support yourself while living abroad. So, look for the best fiber internet deals locally and always choose the best provider.


As you probably already know, you can’t leave your country and spend a year or more in another one without having to sort out some paperwork. Now, depending on where you live and where you’re going, you might be required to get various visas and permits. So, make sure you know exactly what papers and documents you need and how to get them. The last thing you want is to make all other arrangements but be refused entry to the country of your choice because of your oversight. All your documents need to be up-to-date and you should keep them somewhere safe, but also make digital copies of them in case you lose them or they get stolen.


A lot depends on where you’re going and what kind of climate is waiting for you. It’s clear you can’t take all the clothes and belongings you’re going to need and that you’ll have to do some shopping once you arrive at your destination. Just make sure you have enough clothes for the first week or so before you figure out where you can do your laundry. What is important is to bring the stuff that is impossible or hard to find in the country you’re visiting. For everything else, you just need to have enough money.

Budget well

It’s quite tricky to deal with your finances while living in your own country, let alone when you have to move abroad and possibly deal with different rules and laws. It’s vital you know exactly how much money you need to have a decent life while abroad, which is why you should do some research and find out how much it costs to live in the country where you’d like to go for a year (or longer). Then compare your expected income during that time and see if you can actually pull it off.

Also, it might be a good idea to find out if you are eligible, as a foreigner, to apply for a loan with a local bank in case you get into financial troubles.

These tips are just the essential ones that should help you turn your year abroad into a successful story. As you can see, the key lies in careful planning and obtaining all relevant and correct information before you set off. The better prepared you are, the easier the transition will be. If everything goes according to your plan, you’ll probably have the time of your life or at least an experience you’ll treasure for years to come.

Diana Wills

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