Thinking of Moving Abroad? Here Are Five Things to Know Before You Go

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With technology and online resources at your fingertips, and with similarly minded modern expatriates communicating and collaborating all over the world, it’s never been easier to live in a foreign land. But packing it in entails more than packing your bags. From tax codes to residency restrictions to health care systems, each country offers a slightly different introduction to expatriate life.

Daniela Coleman, 42, an American university administrator whose career has led her back and forth across the pond several times (she’s now a resident in Bologna, Italy), has faced all of these logistical hurdles at one time or another. Her advice: Make sure you’re ready. “A lot of people fantasize about living abroad, particularly after having a junior year abroad experience,” she said. “But one has to figure out: How do I want to do it?”

Here are five things you should consider before you make the move.

Anyone who isn’t marrying a foreigner and moving to that person’s country must check the visa requirements in their destination. When Jennifer Ceaser, 51, a freelance travel writer, moved from the U.S. to Europe in 2016, she assumed she had a visa sponsor through a relative in Germany. When that fell through, she faced “a year of frustrating appointments and a bureaucratic nightmare” — only to be denied. With the help of a lawyer, she made a second round of applications and finally got a two-year visa.

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