Moving abroad (examples: The UK, Australia, Poland). To-do list.

Apr 14, 2020Australia EN blog, travel tips, United Kingdom

Moving abroad

Moving abroad is a challenge, an adventure, the beginning of something new. It is also a step into the unknown in which we must re-organize our lives. These beginnings in a new country can be very stressful. I know because I’ve already done three removals (About me fears you can read here.) How to deal with stress? It is worth preparing and rethinking the action plan.

For people who live in one place for years, preparing for emigration can be difficult. Challenges await. Nevertheless, this is part of the adventure.

I can help you a little, show you the way to the first few steps that you need to do in a new place.

I suppose that my list will not work in every case, but probably in many cases.

 Acclimatisation in a new country – to-do list

1. Accommodation

It is difficult to find a dream place online/remotely. You don’t know the city, you don’t know where you will work, which districts you like more or less. Therefore, in the beginning, I recommend a short-term rental. Airbnb works well for us. In Melbourne, Australia, it took us 10 days to find a room for longer, but we knew the city. However, if you are travelling into the unknown, maybe book more time to search and fight with jetlag.

Our Airbnb in Paris.

2. Bank

The bank is really the most important point after accommodation. First of all, it’s worth checking online the terms and agreements in various banks while in your country. Some banks, such as CommBank in Australia, give you the option of creating an online account (activating at a branch upon arrival). That safe time. The UK is more restrictive and you must provide your home address, tax number and local telephone number here. So try to prepare those documents fast. What’s more, it’s worth checking what documents you will need in your case and get them ready while still in your country! Some banks require translations, proofs, etc.

3. Tax number

You must have a taxpayer number to work legally in every country in the World. In Poland, it is PESEL or NIP, in Australia TFN (Tax File Number), in England NIN (National Insurance Number). Some countries like Australia enable an online application. However, you must provide the Australian address to which the letter will be sent (it may be the address of the hostel you will be). In England, theoretically, you can apply for NIN from your country. Unofficially, you can call and pretend you’re in England but you don’t have a local SIM card yet. It is worth doing it earlier because the waiting time for an appointment can be very long (even a month) and after visiting the office another 2 weeks of waiting.

4. SIMcard

Here it is also worth checking offers earlier. Perhaps if you are planning a longer stay it will be more profitable to sign an annual contract. In Australia, for example, we have 3 large operators who really have a monopoly and their offers are almost identical.

Remember! If you are a student, you may be eligible for a discount! Check!

5. Transport

Most major cities in the world have metropolitan cards for public transport. It is worth checking in advance what the card is called (Myki – Melbourne, Oyster- London, PEKA – Poznań), where to buy it and whether you will not need your photo. In addition, you can check whether you are entitled to a discount.

TIP: Passport photos are always worth having in your wallet. They are useful for city and student cards, etc.

6. Job

It is worth starting to look for works while still in your country. Chances are rather small, unless you’re from the IT industry ? Personality is important (often more than a diploma) in Australia, so looking for a job remotely can be difficult, but it’s worth trying to at least examine the needs of the market.

TIP: It’s worth checking what type of CV is preferred in a country you are goint to. In Australia, for example, photos are not pasted.


Once you’ve dealt with these few things, it’s worth taking the time to explore the city / region. Get to know the area. Check what part of the city you like the most.

Let me know what your first steps in exile looked like, and where do you live?

Every experience, every advice is valuable 🙂

Monika and Edgar

Monika and Edgar

Travel & migration adviser

A Pole and a Mexican living in Australia. Passionate travelers. On the blog, we talk about emigration and life in Australia and England, as well as in Mexico and Poland, about traveling and intercultural relations.
We also publish a magazine NoWhere Else, about sustainable living and traveling.


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