Expat life, Expat wife, Expat Journey: How to set up and get settled in the USA

29 Aug

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Moving to the other side of the world is exciting, invigorating and a start of a new chapter. But it doesn’t come without it’s challenges.

From going to the supermarket, arranging a social security number and driver license, renting a house with no credit history and trying to find a job.

It can be a challenge, or as my Dad says a LE (Learning Experience) or a CB (Character Building)

So the questions I was asked this week is how do you tackle setting up and every day tasks in a new country. Well each country is different but I can speak from my USA experience.

Below are suggestions for setting up and tackling living in the USA

1. Research– I know you hear me say it, time and time again but research is so valuable. Visit expat website, local information websites, buy books on moving to the USA

2. Get a social security number ASAP– In the USA you can’t do anything with a a social security number. So apply as soon as you arrive in the USA.

3. Open a bank account – No matter where you live, you need a bank account. If possible open up an account in the first month you arrive as this will start to build your credit history

4. Join sporting or hobbie groups– This is a great way to meet people, have a taste of home and do something you enjoy

5. Network with other expat– Expat help expats. The best information and advice I have been given has been from other expats. So read blogs, forums, website and join expat groups.

6. Ask questions– If you don’t know how to get a drivers license or where to go to arrange health insurance then ask. Sounds simple but so true. Nearly every day I am asking someone something, today alone I ask the coffee barista about upcoming Bay Area events.

7. Attend information events. Check out sfaussies.com. I have included below the next information event.

AACC Business Seminar
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Venue: Bank of the West
295 Bush St, San Francisco

New to the US or been here for a while – refresh or learn about your healthcare options, credit scores and international tax information – this seminar is for you!

Registration: 6pm, Panel: 6:30pm, Networking: 7pm
Cost: $10 AACC Members, $30 Non Member – RSVP: http://www.sfaussies.com

Are you looking for ANSWERS!

* How do I set up bank accounts? What information do I need?
* How do I get access to a credit card?
* What is a Credit Score and how do I get it started?
* How do I find a place to rent/buy?
* Should I buy or lease a car? How do I go about doing this?
* What do I need to do to get healthcare?
* Should I invest money in a 401k if I plan to retire in Australia?

Living as a expat is a privilege, experience and something you will never forget. So don’t get torn up about the challenge and enjoy it.

As they say:

“It is not about the destination it is about the journey”

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