For many, the concept of living abroad has to do with being rich, being a student or knowing the right people who can place you in a prestige company earning you millions. However, that is not so. You do not need to belong to either three to be able to experience life in a foreign country.
As in my case, I was not on a student exchange program, I was not referred by an amazing company, nor did I have the money. I chose to sell all my belongings and simply checked the internet and did my research. Not so difficult. And here I am seven years later, still living abroad and still pretty much doing the same thing.
There are many financial misconceptions when it comes to living abroad, so let us take a closer look at these and find out how you can move abroad easily and live the dream!
Myth 1: You need to be a student
Being a student can sometimes seem the easiest option of finding a way to live abroad and there are many people that keep on taking more and more courses so they can prolong their stay in the country of their choice. However, that need not be the only route to living abroad.
You do not need to go through some study abroad or student exchange program to have the chance of living in the country of your choice. Actually, you will find that study abroad programs can be one of the most expensive ways of living abroad. It is not just the program costs, but you are limited to how much you can work and where you can live.
Many people believe that they need to go through a study abroad program to be able to experience what it is like studying or living in a different country at a different school. However, you will find that it is possible to attend local schools and that they only cost a fraction of what you pay for a study abroad program.
Of course, it is an easy and a convenient option, and granted, you do not have to worry about all the paper work, logistics of everything as everything will be taken care of. But that is also what you are paying for. So, for those that would love to study abroad, but do not have that spare cash, look into native schools, even if it involves a little more work.
Myth 2: You have to speak the language
If this is what is keeping you at home, then fear not, as you do not need to speak the language perfectly – if at all - before going abroad. If you are a student, then you will find that many of the university courses nowadays are in English (depending on the course). Universities will also offer language courses to help you get started and to deepen your understanding of the language you have been learning.
If it is your plan to work in a foreign country, then again, depending on the job you are looking for, no language skills may be required at all. Having said that, should you already possess some good knowledge of the language and decide to learn a bit ahead of time, then undoubtedly, it will help you land a better job – but it is not always a requirement.
In either case, being a student or looking for a job, you will find that once you are immersed in a country and hang out with the locals, you will learn the language in no time. And if you need some more help, you will find enough courses or language exchange partners to help you improve your language skills.
Myth 3: Jobs are really hard to find
English teachers, web developers, designers, au pairs – there are so many jobs you can apply for or work for as a freelancer to live in the country of your dreams. If you believe that every expat has a high paying job then you are greatly mistaken. You do not need to wait on a high paying job to live abroad. This is a common misconception people have back home. They believe you have the right connections or must earn ridiculously huge sums of money, get paid way too much for what you do and that you must live a fancy life style.
If you are a native English speaker, chances are, you will always and easily find jobs. Yes, it might be a little more competitive in some places, but then you will also be able to find jobs that you could never find back at home or would have as easy access to. Especially if you are a freelancer, you pretty much have the freedom to work from wherever you want.
There are enough jobs out there for expats that do not offer grand salaries and where you receive the same pay as locals. But it does not matter either as you will always find enough options and things to do for the budget you have or to supplement your income because you are a foreigner. You do not need the ambassador lifestyle to be able to survive abroad.
Ask yourself, do you want to experience the richness a culture has to offer or do you just want to earn big bucks?
Myth 4: Living abroad is too expensive
As with every country, you will always find places that are more expensive than others, but you cannot generalize that for an entire country. Depending on your lifestyle of course, yes, it could get expensive. This kind of goes hand in hand with the previous myth. Do you want to live like a king? Then you will need a pretty decent salary – as with any country! Or are you just out for the adventure and the experience? Well, should you opt for the latter then you will surely experience the culture a whole lot more if you live, work and shop along with the locals.
That is great if you can land a high-paying job straight away, but it is not a necessity or a requirement to move abroad and to start living in the country of your dreams!
What myths can you add to this list? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below!