Unique Challenges When Moving Internationally

Making an international move sounds so exciting. You’re going to an entirely new country. Maybe you’re starting a new career or expanding your current employment overseas. You’re going to have new housing and likely a new vehicle. And you’re going to be experiencing a new culture. Though it’s exciting you’ve got to expect some unique challenges.

Preparing for an international move is more complicated than a local or long distance move. Even if you relocate between states, you’ll still at least find a similar culture. Sure the scenery will change, but once you land in a foreign country, you’ll be in for a bit of culture shock. The best way to settle in quick is to prepare yourself. That starts with anticipating some of the challenges you might find.

Finding Housing

Possibly the biggest challenge you’ll experience is sourcing decent housing. Maybe that’s already looked after before you depart. Your new employer might offer you housing as part of the offer but if you’re in a position of having to find interim and permanent living accommodations you could be in for a challenge.

Beware of online scams like sending money upfront on a Craigslist ad. Airbnb has its risks, too. When you find something decent, be prepared for deposits, possibly first and second month rent in advance and don’t overlook extras like water, heat and communication fees.

New Culture

Blending in with the local culture will be another challenge. You’re going to have to match them. No one else is going to change for you. With foreign cultures comes the challenge of learning the language, understanding and respecting their cultures as well as adapting to their foods that don’t sit well in your stomach.

You might not think of little things until you have to find them. Simple household products and brands you’re used to might be hard to come by.


Even transportation can be a unique challenge in many lands. We’re used to hopping in a car and driving on the “correct” side of the road in America but be aware that some countries drive in the left lane. That could be a shock, never mind potentially dangerous.

Also, know that public transportation may be quite different from what you’re used to. Fares and instructions might be challenging to interpret. You might even find different licensing requirements and peculiar driving laws and habits.

Importing Goods

Something challenging could be foreign restrictions on importing foodstuffs and plants. Many countries have total bans on agricultural products and won’t allow you to bring your collection of indoor plants. Be aware of prohibitions on pets as well.

You might be allowed cats and dogs but birds, fish and reptiles could be out of the question. At the very least, you must have current vaccinations and documented proof that your pets are no risk to your new country.

Moving Your Belongings

That brings up the challenge that you’ll have to leave certain belongings behind. You can’t take it all with you. But don’t worry as long as you’re properly prepared. Dealing with a professional moving company that specializes in international moves is your best start. Check out the reputable moving companies for your best international moving options or get in touch with one of our moving specialists and figure out your next steps.

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