Tips for Relocating Overseas for Work

Tips for Relocating Overseas for Work

Embarking on a journey to work overseas is a significant life-changing decision that offers exciting opportunities and fresh experiences. For Australians seeking new horizons and opportunities abroad, the process of resettlement can be both exhilarating and daunting.

In this article, we’ll explore the motivations behind Australians moving abroad for work and provide essential tips to ensure a successful transition.

Why Australians Choose to Work Abroad

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade estimates that at any given time, there are roughly one million Australians living overseas, each with their own reasons for choosing to live wherever they do.

Many Australians seek opportunities to advance their careers, gain new skills, and broaden their professional networks – even if they have to leave Australia to find it. A 2021 report by expatriate networking portal InterNations revealed that amongst Aussies, 46 per cent relocated for various work-related reasons.

The People at Work 2023: A Global Workforce View report by the ADP Research Institute also found that 30 per cent of Australian respondents expressed a desire to continue working for their current Australian employer while resettling in another country.

Working abroad provides exposure to different work cultures, practices, and perspectives, enriching personal and professional growth.

The desire for adventure, exploration, and the chance to experience new cultures drives Australians to embrace the challenge of relocating.

Some Australians move abroad in pursuit of higher salaries, better job prospects, or a lower cost of living.

International opportunities for education and training attract individuals seeking to enhance their qualifications or acquire specialised knowledge. That desire to learn outside may have had roots during undergraduate study, under the auspices of the government’s New Colombo Plan.

Preparing for the Move

Any expatriate will tell you that starting a new life in another country will be a massive undertaking. Here are some important things to consider when preparing the move.

Research the Destination

Thoroughly research the country you’re moving to, including its culture, customs, language, climate, and cost of living.

Legal Requirements

Understand visa regulations, work permits, and legal requirements for living and working in your chosen country. Although the Australian government and its diplomatic missions will assist Australian nationals whenever possible, they will liaise with the host country for other specific matters involving expatriates. The DFAT also recommends reading the Consular Services Charter and associated travel advisories.    

Financial Planning

Develop a budget that covers relocation costs, initial living expenses, and a safety net for unforeseen circumstances. Additionally, there will be logistical concerns to consider, particularly if you are bringing multiple pieces of luggage containing clothing and essential items.

Healthcare and Insurance

Investigate healthcare options in your destination country and ensure you have appropriate health and travel insurance coverage.


Arrange accommodation in advance, whether temporary or permanent, to ensure a smooth transition upon arrival.

Language Proficiency

If the local language differs from your own, consider language lessons to facilitate communication and integration. Some companies that recruit foreign talent may require individuals to undergo language classes either while working or before starting work to gradually build up their proficiency. Many Japanese companies, for example, would consider foreign candidates to have passed at least the JLPT N2 licence to ensure they can professionally converse and write in Nippongo, but others might accept N3 passers who could be reviewing for the N2 exams. 

Professional Networks

Mobilise professional networks, social media, and online forums to connect with expats and locals in your new destination. It may even be just as good if you are in contact with friends who are also expatriates in the host country. 

Cultural Adaptation

Embrace cultural sensitivity and prepare for cultural differences to facilitate a seamless integration process. Some travel experts claim that understanding the culture and customs will gradually make the locals warm up to you as one of their own. 

Remote Work Considerations

If moving for remote work, ensure you have a stable internet connection and a dedicated workspace. The InterNations study noted that 76 per cent of Aussies are capable of remote work opportunities abroad and 67 per cent would like that opportunity if it came their way.  

Emotional Well-being

Recognise the emotional challenges of leaving familiar surroundings and establish a support network for both before and after the move. This may include leaving behind contact details with loved ones back home.

Adapting Successfully to Your New Life

While relocation abroad is challenging, you can still make sense of it all.

Before you set the ball rolling on the move, start consulting experts in international relocation for guidance on legal, financial, and logistical matters, especially for your prospect country.

Start by embracing new experiences and be open to learning from different cultures and viewpoints. Form connections with locals and fellow expats to establish a strong support system.

Take the time to read local news and events to integrate seamlessly into your new community. Even if that community has some Australian expatriates, they will underline the importance of getting to know the locals, such as immersing themselves in local attractions, cuisine, and customs.

Strive to cultivate a work-life balance by participating in activities that evoke joy and promote relaxation. However, never forget to stay connected with loved ones back home and share your experiences.


Relocating to another country for work offers a multitude of opportunities for growth, learning, and enrichment. Australians seeking international adventures should undertake thorough research, plan meticulously, and be prepared for both the practical and emotional aspects of moving abroad.

By understanding the motivations driving this big move and adhering to essential preparation steps, individuals can transition successfully and create a fulfilling new life in a foreign land. Remember, every challenge presents a chance for growth, and embracing the journey with optimism and resilience will contribute to a rewarding experience “over there.”

DISCLAIMER:  This article is for informational purposes only. 2 Ezi has no relationships with any government agency or company mentioned, and neither supports or downplays migration as a career option.

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