Thinking of emigrating?
Working abroad has always been part of many young Irish lives and can offer some fantastic opportunities and experiences. However, sometimes young people feel they have to leave Ireland due to personal or economic experiences. Check out the post on things to think about before you go.
When you do arrive in another country, remember to give yourself time to adjust, things will be different to Ireland and this is all part of the experience. Mind yourself and read these #3thingstoknow to mind how you go.
If you have any questions about emigration, you can contact Crosscare Migrant Project, a fantastic service who provides support and guidance to anyone thinking of emigrating or leaving Ireland to live in another country.
When you get there
1. Paper Work
Not the most exciting start to your new adventure, but you’ll probably need to do some admin when you first arrive. This varies from place to place, but usually involves the following:
- registering with a local authority (if staying longer three months) and getting a tax number.
- signing up for health insurance.
- registering with a local GP.
- sorting out your mobile phone contract.
Check out expatica.com for location specific info.
2. Signing a Tenancy Agreement
You’ll probably spend your first couple of weeks looking for a place to live. It is a good idea to do some basic research so you know your rights as a tenant. In some countries, bills are usually included as part of the rent, while others are like Ireland, and bills are separate. Once you’ve found your dream home, you will have to sign a contract and pay your first month’s rent along with a security deposit (usually 1-2 months rent). You should ask the landlord to keep your deposit in a special bank account where both you and the landlord are holders (in some countries this is required by law). You may need to buy furniture if properties are unfurnished, you can find second hand furniture in places like Facebook marketplace and ebay.
3. Learning local laws and customs
The understanding of polite behaviour varies from place to place, so to avoid being unintentionally rude you should read up on the local rules of etiquette. In some countries you aren’t allowed to wear shoes in the house and being late is considered extremely disrespectful. Similarly, there might be different laws about how to act in public, such as whether drinking is permitted or not.
4. Getting around
Now that you’re all set up, it is time to figure out the easiest and cheapest way to get around your new city. Depending on the weather and safety on the roads, a bike or moped might be your best bet. If public transport is your preferred option, consider getting a yearly or monthly ticket. If you plan to buy or rent a car, you might need an International Licence but if you stay within the EU, you can drive with your Irish Driver’s Licence.
5. Meeting people
It can take a while to settle in and find your tribe, so be patient and don’t rush this part! The easiest way to meet new people is through a local. Reach out to your contacts to see if they know anyone living nearby, and ask them to show you around. Join a FaceBook group for ‘expats’ to meet up with others who are new in town, and find like-minded people by going to MeetUps or joining social groups such as sport, music, writing etc.
Download the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade TravelWise app and register your contact details. Look up any local Irish contacts like support organisations, GAA clubs, business networks etc.
Migrant Advice have got some great advice on settling in to your new home.
6. Take care of your mental health
Moving to a new city can be stressful and overwhelming, so make sure to put time aside for self-care. You might find yourself feeling lonely and isolated, which is totally normal and nothing to be ashamed of. Reach out to friends and family for extra support, and check-in on your mental health regularly.
Look up Crosscare’s mindhowyougo.ie for advice from Irish emigrants based on their experiences of moving abroad. If you want to talk to someone, Helplink offers free counselling to Irish emigrants worldwide. Samaritans Freephone Helpline is available in Australia and Canada, and you can use their online chat function from anywhere.
It is important to stay in touch with people at home. Migrant Advice have some great hints on how to Stay Connected.
7. Stay safe
Ask locals for tips on how to stay safe. Some areas might be unsafe, particularly at night, so keep this in mind when choosing where to live. Be careful of scammers or pickpockets, especially in crowded public areas.
If you need help while you are away, contact the local Irish Embassy or Consulate.