Moving abroad: tips

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  • Keep a small binder or folder with all pertinent travel documents with you in an easily-accessible location.
  • Scan your legal documents and e-mail them to yourself.  In moving from one place to another, you never know what could happen.  Have backups of anything you might need and keep them readily accessible by having them on your phone in the form of an email.  I sent copies to both my personal and school accounts just to be safe.
  • Unless you can afford a storage space or international movers (or have incredibly obliging parents) you’re going to have to get rid of a lot of stuff.  Start doing it as soon as possible.
  • Don’t trust those Pinterest infographics that tell you the best time to buy tickets is 8 weeks before you leave or whatever.  The best time to buy your ticket is as soon as humanly possible.
  • Find a temporary place to stay before you get there, even if it’s only for a week.  PLEASE don’t assume you can just arrive and find a hostel.  Don’t make any long-term living arrangements before you arrive.
  • Save as much money as you can.  I’m personally afraid to total exactly how much it cost me to move myself from the US to the UK.
  • Have a backup plan for everything.
  • A friend recently told me, when it comes to banks, multiply the amount of time you think it will take by 2 and then go up to the next unit of time.  So if you think it’ll take 2 hours, it’ll actually take 4 days.  I would say this is completely true (in the US as well as the UK).  I would also say it applies to almost anything legal or financial you’re doing, including looking for flats.
  • You’re going to need a lot of money.  How much?

Cost to move: single person, moving for school, 2 years

Visa fee = $502

NHS fee = $585

Airfare (extra miles + ticket + bags + exit row seat) = $150 + $265 + $420 + $83 = $918

Homestay, 1 month (deposit + payment on arrival) = $289 + $536 = $825

School deposit = $2346

Total = $5176

and then my plane landed in England.

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