Submitted by Rebekah Charping
As a person makes plans to move internationally, he must make several important considerations about entering the country to which he wishes to move, transporting his possessions, and working out the logistics of international air travel. First, he must understand what is involved in getting into the country. Understanding and applying for a visa is vital to being able to move into another country. A visa is a license for a person who is not a citizen of a country to live in that country for a certain amount of time, and usually specifies the purpose for which he is living there. Some common generic categories of visas include tourist, student, and work visas. For example, a person who wants to live short-term in a country for its tourist attractions would try to acquire a tourist visa. Another person seeking to live in a country to study its language or culture, or attend school in that country would apply for a student visa. A person seeking to live and work in a country for a longer period would probably seek after a visa related to their specific work, or perhaps the country offers simply a work visa. The types and availability of visas will vary from country to country.
Furthermore, a major adjustment involved in getting into a country is experiencing foreign cultures and languages. Because the cultures in every country differ from each other, a person moving internationally will almost undoubtedly experience culture misunderstandings with the people in the other country. Sometimes the newcomer will misunderstand the actions and intentions of the local citizens, and sometimes they will misunderstand him. Differences in language can also cause confusion for both newcomer and resident. In some countries, many people are bilingual and speak major languages such as French or English to a small degree. However, in many countries or certain areas of countries, there are very few people, if any, who speak external languages. Therefore, a person moving to a new country should work to learn about the culture and study the language of the country to which he is going, in order to communicate effectively with the people. However, he will still encounter some culture shock and language confusion, but this adjustment will become less difficult over time.
The next consideration a person must make when moving internationally is what possessions he will take with him and how he will transport those possessions. Deciding what possessions to take when moving to another country depends on various factors including availability in other countries, prospective safety or hazard for sentimental or valuable items in the new location, and price of transport. For example, a person moving to a third-world country in which certain items were unavailable, such as small household appliances, medicines or first aid (such as Tylenol or Neosporin), or other things like quality footwear, he should consider how he could bring those items with him. In addition, particularly if a person does not plan to live the rest of his life in a foreign country, he should perhaps consider leaving certain items of monetary and sentimental value in his home country, with friends or family. This decision would depend on whether the items would be potentially damaged or stolen on the trip over or in the country or area in which he plans to live.
The two main methods by which a person can transport his possessions to a foreign country are crating and checking baggage. Crating, while expensive, would allow the person to bring larger items and furniture to his new home. This would be the best choice if he would not be able to obtain those items in the new country. Checking baggage through an airline is alternative way to transport possessions. This method is more simple and economic, and would be the best method if furniture and other large necessities would be available in the new country. These are all considerations that a person has to make when planning how to move his possessions internationally.
Finally, a person moving internationally should be aware of the logistics of international air travel. International flights are much different from domestic flights, therefore, the way that a person prepares for them will be different. First, an international flight requires that people arrive even earlier than they do for domestic flights. In addition, once a person has left his own country, he may have trouble finding where he is supposed to go for connecting flights. Depending on where he is from and what country he flies into, airports in other countries may not have his language written on signs or spoken over the intercoms. In order to avoid confusion or missing a flight, a person travelling internationally should be sure to study his flight schedule ahead of time, be well informed about the airports that he will fly into, always make sure that he goes to the correct gate, and ask someone for help if his gate changes. Furthermore, an important thing to remember about traveling internationally is that there is often a drastic time change, which will confuse a person’s sleeping routine.
Another element of international travel that is important to consider is layovers. A layover between international flights can be short, such as two or three hours; other times it can be long, such as eighteen to twenty-four hours. Because of this, a traveler needs to gauge his time wisely. He must decide whether he needs to go directly to the gate for the next flight, or if he has time for food. If he has a longer layover he must decide whether he has time to rest, and, if he does, whether he should rest for a few hours in the airport, or if he should get a short visa so that he can spend the night in a hotel. Additionally, a person should be cautious when in an airport on a layover. It is important that he watch out for his belongings and luggage, to be sure that no one steals them. He should be alert to the people around him, and, unless his belongings are secure, he should not sleep, especially if he is moving by himself. Thus, when a person who is moving internationally is conscientious in considering how to prepare to enter a new country, how to transport his possessions to that country, and how to successfully get through international flights, he can eliminate some of the stress that comes from traveling across the world and moving to a new home in a new country.
Submitted by Rebekah Charping
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