The Student's Guide to Everything

The Student's Guide to Everything: university student and graduate life from a New Zealand perspective

My Photo
Location: London, United Kingdom

I'm a marketing communications professional, writer and blogger. I can't live without the internet, I love to travel and I'm a photography nut.

Monday, November 10, 2008

What people don't tell you about moving overseas

There are some things people don't tell you about moving overseas: sure, it's exciting. But there can be huge hassles involved as well. Here are some of the things I've discovered:

Everything will take a lot longer than you expect. For example, three months ago (in July) we shipped a bunch of boxes from San Francisco to London, expecting them to be there when we arrived. They weren't. After a few frantic phone calls, the shipping company responded. It would ship the boxes on the 24th of August. We still haven't got our boxes, and it's November. Almost winter in the UK, and we mostly have shorts and t-shirts. It's freezing.

Everything will cost more than you expect. You'll probably blow through all your savings in the first month. Mostly on transport.

Save copies.
The bureaucracy of most overseas Government agencies means that they're bound to lose something. Take photocopies and date yours before you send anything. If it's especially important, use registered mail which gives you back a receipt.

You will get annoyed and upset over weird, small things.
Like why the US and UK still use pennies. It's actually part of culture shock. It's OK. Vent to your New Zealand friends, not your foreign ones. They won't understand, because it's part of their everyday life.

It will take you longer than you think to find a job.
Even a bar-tending job. This does not mean you are not employable. Promise. Just keep looking. Use the local websites such as Craigslist in the US, or Gumtree in the UK, to find casual jobs. Or simply walk into the places you want to work at, and ask if they're hiring.

The most unlikely things will go wrong.
Things you've never thought of, or even knew existed. You'll lose your wallet on the subway. You'll get off at the wrong bus stop and have to walk for miles. You'll get lost. A lot. It's normal. Don't beat yourself up.

Dealing with these things will help you grow as a person.
Fast. It's not all bad. You'll become more resourceful in strange situations. You'll be calmer. Most of all, you'll know that you can deal with whatever gets thrown at you, because you've handled craziness before. While it may be horrible at the time, it's part of travelling, and you'll be a better person because of it.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home