So you’ve decided, it’s time to leave the UK. While you’re working out where next to roost it’s time to make some important considerations. Whether you’re emigrating for work reasons, money reasons or just because of the weather there are specific things you should check about each location you are considering before taking the plunge.
Before deciding upon a location to start your new life you’ll want to check the forecast. It may be hard to believe, but some countries can have even worse weather than the UK. Take Hong Kong for example. Although there’s no doubt you’ll spend most of your time there considerably warmer than you do in the UK, it’s also likely to be pretty wet. This is thanks to its sub-tropical monsoon climate that makes it warm but also prone to heavy rain and thunderstorms, particularly in the summer.
A bit of rain may not be the end of the world but other countries will have even more extreme climates. It’s important to consider how you deal with the heat and cold in the UK and factor that into your decision. There’s not much worse than constantly being uncomfortably hot or cold.
As English people we’re extremely lucky that our first language is the world’s second. However, different countries will have different levels of English adoption. Whereas English is widely spoken in and out of business in Hong Kong it’s a slightly different story in Thailand. Thai is still the dominant and business language in the country, although English is slowly rising in popularity. This means you may struggle to get by speaking English alone.
If you don’t have the time or inclination to learn a new language consider only emigrating to countries where English is widely spoken. If you’re open to developing your secondary language skills think about the difficulty of learning different ones. This could help you narrow down your country list.
One of the most important considerations you should make, whether you’re emigrating alone or with your family, should be the quality of healthcare in different countries. If Singapore is on your list you could do worse than consider it further. It’s home to one of the healthiest populations in the world and has one of the highest life expectancies.
Unfortunately, access to the countries world class healthcare systems, such as MediCare, is restricted to Singaporean nationals and permanent residents only. However, with a good health insurance policy you or your family will be well looked after. The same can be said for many other countries worldwide. However, it is always best to research the quality of facilities and medical staff in locations you are considering.
Although it may not be at the top of your list of things to check it is important to clarify the driving situation in a country you would like to emigrate to. In some countries, like China, the roads are in disarray in comparison to the UK. This can make driving a dangerous and stressful experience. There are also some countries where roads are so congested, and public transport so efficient, that there is almost no point in driving at all.
In addition to thinking about the driving experience, you should also consider driving license restrictions. Some countries will let you drive for up to a year on your UK license whereas others will need you to get a new one much sooner. You should also bear in mind that insurance companies may charge you a premium for using your UK license.
If you were to decide to leave your UK car at home for use during periods when you return you will want to think about getting an appropriate insurance policy. Keith Michaels offers very competitive specialist expat car insurance policies that allow you to keep your UK car ready for whenever you may require it. This will also avoid you having to get temporary insurance which can often be extortionately expensive.
Local Customs and Laws
Culture shock can be the hardest thing to deal with when emigrating to a new country. It is vital that you are aware of local customs and laws, especially ones that differ from our own. Of course, these vary massively from country to country but some things that are seen as normal in the UK are frowned upon or even illegal in others. For example, in Singapore spitting in public carries hefty fines.
One of the biggest determiners of local customs and laws will be the dominant religion in the country in question. Take Malaysia for example, as a predominantly Islamic country customs will be very different to those in the UK. Ensure you are comfortable with what will be expected of you under this religion before starting a new life there. After all, you are a guest there.
There are plenty of things to consider before deciding which country to emigrate to. However, no matter where you decide upon, Keith Michaels can offer you a competitive expat car insurance policy to make the experience that little bit easier.
If you want to find out more information about a specific country that you are planning on emigrating to check out our expat information page for our free guides. We’ll be adding more countries constantly so check back soon if you can’t currently find the one you’re looking for.