Is working or studying abroad right for you? It might be, especially when:

a) You are looking to learn and enrich your life experience.

b) Your current employer offers you the possibility.

c) You can grow your career in another country.

There may be many more reasons why working abroad might be right for you, but you shouldn’t pack your bags too early, with nary a thought and a prayer. Careful thinking is needed, so let us help you consider the viability for you.

1. Are you ready to leave your regular life behind?

Sure, the prospect of working abroad is exciting. Many new possibilities await you on both a professional and personal level, but what about your life at home? Are you ready to give up the life you have become accustomed to? And if so, is it still practical to do so?

Think about these things.

Your current job role – If your employer has asked you to work abroad, then you don’t need to worry about this at all; well, not unless you are leaving your favorite coworkers behind.

On the other hand, if you are planning on giving up your job in favor of a new job or career path abroad, then consider the consequences. Will you be missing out on job opportunities at home? Will you be stepping off one career path into a riskier one? If you are already progressing nicely, is it worth starting again elsewhere? Answer these questions as you consider a potential move.

Your partner – Are you in a relationship? Are you married or engaged? If so, what do they think about your decision to work abroad? Will they be coming with you, or are they staying at home? If you’re planning on working abroad for the long-term, then you shouldn’t go if your partner isn’t moving with you. After all, is it worth jeopardizing or breaking off a relationship for your career? If you’re in love, then the answer has to be a resounding ‘no.’

On the other hand, if you intend to work abroad for a short-term, are you sure a long-distance relationship will work? They can visit you, of course, with the services of for a partner visa. And they can also Skype you, so you will still have daily contact. They might even move with you. But consider what your partner’s needs when you are contemplating your next step.

Your family and friends – Being a long way from home can be isolating, and it may take you a while to build up quality relationships. While you will have both your family and friends on speed dial, it isn’t the same as having them with you, up close and personal, with an encouraging hand on your shoulder, and a hug when you need it. You might also miss special family occasions, such as weddings, anniversaries, and festive events. Are you ready to leave all of that behind?

There may never be a right time to move, of course. And if your heart is set on working abroad, then you might not want to miss out on the fantastic opportunities it can afford you. However, you do need to think about what you are leaving behind, as you don’t want to suffer any regrets when you’re thousands of miles away in another country.

2. Can you afford the move?

It’s possible to get a cheap flight, so getting to your chosen destination may not be the issue, especially if you have savings behind you. But you need to take a couple of things into consideration, as each one might impact your finances.

Think about these things.

Your money management skills – How good are you with money? If you have a habit of mishandling your finances, you may not have anybody to bail you out if you’re halfway around the world. Taking a cue from one of our previous articles on money management, you need to have the skills necessary to cope financially when you’re far away.

The cost of living – In some instances, the cost of living may be cheaper in the country you intend to move to. Housing may be cheaper, the price of food may be lower, and your utility bills may not be as high as yours may currently be. The exchange rate may indeed work in your favor.

On the other hand, the reverse may be true. You may be moving to a place that will put increased demands on your finances, so you really do need to secure a job role before landing abroad with only your savings to see you through. Taking all of that into account, there is some handy information here on the cost of living worldwide, so if you are still considering where you might move, read what is said, and think about the financial implications in the place that you (might) move to.

3. Will you be able to cope with living in another country?

Living abroad might be right for your life, in theory. And the financial consequences may have been considered and dealt with. But will you be able to cope? The reality is often a lot different to what you might have in your head, so considering who you are as a person, you need to take some things into consideration.

Think about these things.

A different culture – You’re going to get a culture shock; that’s a definite. You will be moving somewhere that will pose some differences to what you are currently used to. But will you be able to cope with the change? You will be meeting people with different traditions to yours. There may not be the home comforts you are used to, such as clean water, a decent internet connection, and foods that you like.

Your faith may be challenged too, especially if what is practiced in another country is alien to your own. God will be on your side, so you should consider our article on faith over fear, but whether your faith is strong enough or not, you do have to understand your limits and capacity to change when considering a move.

Other potential issues – Think about working conditions. There may not be the same employment laws you are used to. Think about the healthcare system. Will you have to pay for medical treatment? What insurances will you need? And think about the weather. A lot of sun and/or rain may not be a big issue, but think of the extremes. Persistent snow blizzards? Possibilities of flooding? Hurricanes? Are you ready for any of these things?

Finally, is working abroad right for you? By reading this post, and thinking through what was shared, you might have found your answer. I hope this helped a lot!