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Moving out of the country may be an exciting new journey, but can also be terrifying at the same time. You will be leaving the familiarity of food and loved ones behind. However, a new adventure lies ahead!

For people who may be moving internationally or to study abroad, moving will be much different from a regular relocation from one town to another. Here are some quick tips to take into consideration:

  • Apply for visas: If you’re studying abroad for a quarter (or semester), you will definitely need to obtain a student visa. Act quickly—visa processing may take up to three months, so right when you receive your admission letter, apply for a visa! Likewise, research what type of documents you may also need—import goods, other visas within the same country, work visas, or to take up residence. Your best friend will be the Embassy or Consulate General of the country in which you plan to live.
  • Passports/Photo Copies: We all know we need a passport in order to fly out internationally, but you might want to check out when your passport expires. If it is expired, make sure to renew your passport at your local Post Office, or you can renew by mail. Also, you may need to obtain new photocopies—make sure it is in color, printed on photo quality paper, and in 2×2 inches (51x51mm) in size. You can obtain your photos from most photo processing locations—Costco, Walgreens, Post Offices, Kinko’s.
  • Determine the approximate size of your new home: Many countries, such as in Asia, have much smaller housing when compared to the U.S. Rooms are more narrow, and do not have much spatial room. Research and prepare for this type of information, because it may be helpful in terms of want to bring—furniture, clothing, and personal belongings. If you’re staying in a dorm room for study abroad, pack lightly because there will be little room for both you and your roommate.
  • What will you do with your current residence: This may vary, but if you are planning to come back in a few years, you might want to sublease your place. However, if you do not want the extra work of subleasing overseas, then consider selling your place.
  • Hire an international moving company: You probably will need help moving into your new home! No sweat. Interview and hire a moving company in advance to make sure they are available on the dates you plan on moving.
  • Obtain all vaccinations: Give yourself (and your children) plenty of time to complete shot series. If you are studying abroad, obtain your health records from your doctor and photocopy the documents.
  • School records: If you are a parent, obtain your children’s school records and grades. You may want to contact the school your children will be attending at your new location. Determine what documents or paperwork needs to be completed.
  • Arrange for transportation for your arrival: For study abroad students, you can sign up for a Buddy Program, where someone will pick you up, or you can take a taxi or shuttle. Make sure you obtain a map and know your destination address.
  • Notify your bank that you will use your ATM card abroad (if you are a study abroad student) The last thing you want to happen is not being able to withdraw money!
  • Photocopies of everything—your visa, passport, permits, health records, school records, etc. You never know when you will lose your belongings at the airport! So make sure you email yourself the documents, make multiple copies, and have someone at home have a copy as well.

These are just some basics you will need to complete, but there is much more to do before moving! However, these basic tips are a great start for making this transition as smooth as possible.

Need to get rid of some furniture or belongings? Check out some tips on garage sale!

For further information on travel:

For study abroad students (in CA):


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