Startup costs should aways be considered before uprooting your life in your home country and there are several factors that come into it. Moving to a new country should always involve careful and thoughtful decision making.
When you start your plans to live in a new place it’s important to think about, what I like to call, “Startup Costs.” These are, the initial costs associated when first arriving and situating yourself in a new country. These costs could be one-time payments or recurring costs that stay with you for the duration of your stay.
The Startup Costs of living in some countries will be higher or lower than others and this is something to consider when deciding on a place to work and live. Throughout this article, I will be detailing various Startup Costs and how they relate to living in a new country.
Transportation Startup Costs
Knowing how you are going to get around in a new country is going to be one of the most important decisions when choosing somewhere to live. This Startup Cost (SC) can range from extremely expensive and troublesome to practically free and relaxing.
Let’s take a country I’m quite familiar with for example, the U.S. For the most part, if you want to live a comfortable life, the transportation SC will be extremely high because of the need to buy your own car.
Without a vehicle to get around the massive spans of space in the States you are going to be limited to, chances are, inconvenient and, at times, dangerous public transport.
We can then compare this with countries such as Taiwan, Korea, and China. Countries whose public transports accommodates millions of people a year. From trains that will take you north to south, east to west, to subway systems that, while complicated at first, can take you to every nook and cranny of a major city.
Of course, owning a vehicle in any country will give you the freedom to come and go as you please, but in some countries, it is less of a necessity.
Living Accommodations Startup Costs
In most countries around Asia your SC can be quite low. A majority of the housing options in major Asian cities will be rooms in large apartment complexes. For many people, they choose to rent single bedroom rooms from a tenant.
As a rule of thumb these rooms will not break the bank either. Compared with countries and cities in the west, a majority of your income will not be spent on paying rent. The ability to live comfortably without spending an exorbitant amount of money makes living and working in Asia an extremely attractive option.
Of course, you can choose more expensive accommodations, but again, it’s not a necessity to live a comfortable lifestyle.
Food Startup Costs
Another big one. Everyone’s gotta eat.
How much does an average meal cost in your new country? Can you cook at home? Will you eat out for every meal? Do you know anything about the cuisine?
Food is something you are going to spend money on every day, in one way or another. It’s important to understand how much you will be spending on it and, more importantly, will you enjoy it?
Work Startup Costs
As a rule of thumb, I always suggest to have a job lined up before leaving your home country (another reason why Reach to Teach is awesome, just sayin’).
SCs don’t just have monetary value. Your mental well-being and physical health also play into SCs. The need to find a job that is suitable to your tastes, in an area you are willing to commute to, with managers that have your interests in mind, is one of the most important parts of working abroad.
The last thing you want is to be stuck in a one-year contract with a school that doesn’t fit your needs. One year may not sound like a long time, but when you’re not a happy camper it will feel like an eternity.
All of these SCs cover the essentials of living in a foreign country. There are of course many more things you will spend money on. Entertainment, traveling, and nightlife just to name a few.
These will vary from person to person. The important idea to remember is that teaching abroad can often be a good opportunity to save some money since SCs are often cheaper. Budget your time and money wisely!