Relocation 101 — the resources you need to know about

We gather here the top 5 resources you need to take into consideration if you’re also thinking about making the big move.

Unlocking tech talent stories

November 23, 2018
A little over a year ago I decided to leave my hometown to experience a new chapter of my life in a new country. In the beginning it was just a blurry idea and then it turned into a complicated mission — as any moving process can be. It was a big task in which I made a few mistakes and learned a lot, so I decided to gather here the top 5 resources you need to take into consideration if you’re also thinking about making the big move.

🌍 Where to go?

Wanderlust? You’ll need more than that

Having a strong desire to travel isn’t enough. The first step is to decide where you want to go. This can be the tricky, because it sounds very obvious, but it’s definitely one of the most important steps.

Start by narrowing down your possibilities by picturing what you want for yourself and for your future in a certain place.

It’s important to understand if and how your expectations and desires can be fulfilled when you get to your destination. Visiting the place before the final move would be ideal, but if you’re brave enough or if that’s just not an option for you, then the solution is to study and talk with people who have been through that same experience. During my research I found these three amazing online communities that really helped me throughout the process:

  • Nomad List — it’s a crowdsourced database of cities in the world to help you choose where to go next.
  • InterNations — this one’s a great platform where you can talk to people who are going or went through the same moving situation.
  • Expatica — a must-read for expatriates and internationals all over Europe, filled with tips and local news reports.

💸 Cost of Living

Get your numb€rs straight

Ok, it’s not like you’ll have to go back to school, but yes, you’ll have to do some studying. Learning about the country’s culture, habits, economic situation and cost of living is not only important to understand if it matches your expectations, but it’s also helpful when you meet people and start to integrate with the locals.

One of the first things you’ll have to think about to start your relocation plan is how much money will I need? From my personal experience plus what I’ve learned helping candidates that want to relocate at, there are incredible websites and documents that will give you a very good idea of how much money you will need:

  • Teleport — Compare cities on quality of life, cost of living and salaries.
  • Numbeo — Compare costs of living among various countries.

If you’re interested in going to Spain you can check this Guide to Barcelona. In case you prefer Germany, these two documents are definitely a must: Welcome to Berlin and Working in Germany.

Tip: If you need a good platform to transfer money, I recommend Transferwise.

🏡 House-hunting

Planning where to land is everything

Welcome to the second part of the plan. Unless you have a fat wallet or a guaranteed job expecting you there, you will need a well-thought budget.

In that sense, the biggest expense you’ll have to consider is rent because most places ask for a one or two months upfront deposit on top of the first monthly rent, and that can cost a lot. On top of the hurdle it already is to simply find a home, the prices also vary according to the location and what you’re looking for, so, when you’re not a local, things can get tough. To help you, there are some good house-hunting websites where you can filter and compare values straight away:




United Kingdom:

💬 Learning the language

When in Rome…

English is known for being a global language thus there’s a belief that if you know it you can move to a new country and there’s no need to learn the local lingo. In cities like Berlin and Lisbon that may be true but in other places the reality can be a lot different. In some cases, the job opportunities state right away that the local mother tongue is mandatory but even when it isn’t a professional requirement, having some kind of fluency can really help you blending into the community, making friends and dealing with everyday tasks.

Duolingo, for instance, is a pretty useful tool to learn the basics of some languages. The platform is free and fun to use, but if you want to go deeper I recommend taking classes with a professional or taking an online course with Babbel or Udemy.

✅ Visas

All you need is love… and visa support

If you have an EU citizenship skip this part, but, if you don’t, then stick around.

Alright, you’ve made up your mind, you chose your dream city and you have a great plan, now what? Well, now it’s time to deal with borders and immigration. This is probably the most annoying thing on Earth but without it, you can’t go anywhere. So here you have two options:

  1. Get a job that gives you visa support.
  2. Have your own business and make an investment in the country.

Many companies in Europe offer visa support, but different countries have different laws and you have to pay attention to the details. Portugal offers the Visto D2 Portugal to people that are interested in investing in the country, for which SEF is the responsible organ. In Spain you need to get in touch with the Exteriores, and in Germany you can get the Blue Card, a type of visa that offers highly skilled workers of non- EU- States the right to work and live in the European Union.

You can also visit this website to check the list of universities all over the world marked as H or H+, from which graduates are, in theory, eligible for a Blue Card in Germany.

Enjoy the ride!

I know that all of this can be overwhelming and stressful but it can also be fun and exciting. Read, learn, ask questions and connect with other people… this is just the beginning of an extraordinary journey!

In case you still have some doubts or need support to take off on your next adventure, reach out to our Talent Development Team at and we’ll help you out!

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