How to prepare for your year abroad

Getting Around By Rytis Cekauskas September 30, 2019

September in South America marks the beginning of spring. Whereas for European countries it’s autumn, and with this, the start of a new academic year. For recent graduates, this is the perfect time to chase their dreams of living in another country and move abroad.

If you belong to those dreamers who have decided to move overseas, it’s time to start planning for this new adventure. Check out the “finally moving abroad starter checklist” we prepared just for you!


Deal with the paperwork prior to your trip.

First, get your passport ready.

Second, apply for a visa.

This might be the least exciting step before going away, but it will all pay off, we promise!

If this is your first trip abroad, make sure to allow plenty of time to get your passport, it can take several weeks – even months – to get one. In case you already have a passport, make sure to verify its validity. Specific countries will require work, travel, or student visa. So, just like with the passport, make sure to apply for it on time.

Also important: If you are traveling long term for work, you may need to update your CV, work portfolio or even get some documents translated. In case you are going away to study you might need more information on health insurance, housing or the college application process in general.

Get information from locals or expats.

Do some research before taking off. Learning as much as you can about the country you are moving to is a great way to prepare. You can get first-hand guidance to make moving abroad easier by joining social media groups for international students and expats. These groups offer insights and information about accommodations, public transportation, finding a job, student discounts, and a bunch of tips and tricks for your daily life in general.


Write a bucket list.

Who says that planning has to be boring? You are taking the trip of a lifetime, so don’t forget to have fun! Once you have all your stuff ready, write a bucket list! A year sounds like a lot of time, but it could go faster than you would think.

Having a bucket list of all the places you want to visit or all the new things you want to try will motivate you to go out and seize the day. Cultural activities, local food or sports events – get out of your comfort zone and explore! There is nothing more exciting than checking things off of your bucket list.

Set a budget and review your finances in advance.

Another essential tip before going away on your new adventure is to review your budget and have your finances in order. While being in a new country might seem like the perfect opportunity to try new things out, it is easy to lose track of how much you are spending. Before embarking on this new adventure, make sure to review your budget, design a plan, and prioritize your spending. This will help you avoid unpleasant financial surprises.

No matter if you need to send or receive money abroad, either way, Western Union services have your back. With agent locations in over 200 countries and territories, the next one might be only a few steps away. Get the Western Union® app to track your transfer, find your nearby agent location or send money to your loved ones from virtually anywhere.


Check the weather.

To avoid any weather surprises, we recommend doing some research on local climate conditions and seasons before packing! The clothes you are bringing will accompany you for a long period of time, so it’s very important to be prepared.


Now, get ready to start your big adventure abroad!