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5 Things You Should Do Before You Move Abroad

Address Any Health Needs

Any time you travel to a different country, you're faced with variations regarding health and medical regulations. Depending on where you travel, these differences can be slight or dramatic; either way, you'll save yourself a lot of trouble if you address them before you go.

You will likely need, at the very least, proof of the vaccinations you've already had as a child (the obtaining of which can be tougher than you think) or as an adult. On top of that, you may also have to get boosters or, in some cases, completely new vaccinations if your destination is particularly exotic.

Making sure you've had the right shots -- and documenting that fact -- is just one component of the medical issues surrounding international relocation. Just a few of the myriad other ones include the following:

  • Will your current health insurance policy cover you as an expatriate? (Answer: Almost definitely not. Moving abroad will most likely mean you have to buy a new policy, probably from a company that specializes in international coverage.)
  • Do you have back-ups for eyeglasses, contact lenses, medical appliances and anything else that might be difficult to replace early on in your relocation if it gets lost or damaged?
  • Will you be able to bring refills for any necessary medications? If so, how many, and how will you get new prescriptions when you run out?
  • If you are bringing prescription medications, have you checked to make sure none are considered illicit drugs in your prospective country of residence?

It's also a good idea to research the overall health care system of your destination country so you know what to do, whom to call, where to go and what to expect should you need medical attention (or a simple checkup) during your tenure abroad.

Finally, back to the cash ...