When you’re moving to a new country, you’re bound to make some mistakes. Luckily, many Expats have moved to the USA before, and you can use their mistakes as your guide! We’ve compiled a list of 5 Common Relocation Mistakes to help Expats easily relocate to the USA.
1. Not Doing Your Research
Not doing your research before you move to the USA can result in a lot of frustration and out-of-pocket expenses. When moving, there is no such thing as too much information! Learn about the general culture of the USA, including common practices and the environment of the American workplace. The United States is a very large country, so there are a lot of differences in lifestyle and culture depending on what region you move to. Do research about the specific region where you are moving, and pay attention to the cost of living associated with the area. All of this research will help you understand the culture and minimize the culture shock.
2. Looking for Housing After You Arrive
Temporary housing is a great short-term solution for Expatriates moving to the USA. If you need a more permanent solution for your housing in the USA, you should not wait until you arrive in the USA to start looking. Finding a home helps you feel settled and can save on storage costs. However, it can take time, so starting early is advised. You should visit the country at least once before moving to the USA.
3. Last-Minute Planning
Moving to the USA can take a long time, so get started early! Plan a budget for each part of the relocation process, and decide how much you are willing to pay. Once you make your budget, stick to it. Researching for your move early on will allow you more time to shop around for good deals, helping you stay within budget. Being unprepared can result in out-of-pocket costs, and can have you overextending your salary in the future. A schedule must be put in place for each relocation category. Make sure each step of the relocation is handled in time. Waiting until the last minute can result in having to settle, which can lead to disappointment.
4. Overestimating Your Paycheck
The cost-of-living in the United States is higher than in many other countries, and the cost can differ greatly depending on what region you are moving to. Do some research to find out what the standard cost-of-living will be like in the area where you are moving. Having information regarding how much you can expect to spend on utilities, groceries, housing, transportation, and taxes is important. This way you can avoid disappointment, and budget more appropriately, so you don’t have to give up activities you love.
5. Being Unprepared for Culture Shock
As much research as you do prior to your move, you should still expect to experience some culture shock. Some things Americans do or don’t do, might surprise you. A great example of this is advertisements. Many immigrants complain about misleading ads with fine print, which are common here. Keep an open mind and remember that adjustment takes time but it will happen.
Even if you move with your spouse and children, not having friends around or other family members leave many expats feeling lonely. This is especially true when there is a significant time difference between your home country, and the U.S. Making friends takes time but will happen, so keep an open mind when meeting new people. Joining social clubs or activities can help speed the process along.