Last Updated on April 13, 2021 by A. Scott, BSDH
Living abroad is attractive for many reasons. Above all, it offers the chance to experience life in a brand new way.
For instance, traveling to exciting places, learning a new language or simply immersing yourself in a new culture.
If you are reading this, you may specifically be considering becoming a dental hygienist overseas. Regardless of your career goals, this essential guide to starting expat life abroad is here to help.
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Moving overseas: the essential to-do list
Nevertheless, moving your entire life abroad can require significant investments in time, effort, and money. Additionally, it could be much more complicated than it appears on the surface.
With careful planning, you can succeed, but you also need to consider the many underlying variables. These variables include:
- Do you need a visa? If yes, what are the requirements?
- What is the cost of immigration documents?
- How long does it take to get the visa or residency permit?
- Can your spouse join you?
- If they are allowed, are they eligible to work?
- How much does round trip airfare cost? Multiply this by the number of people in your party and the number of times you will travel back and forth each year.
- Who bears the flight costs, especially initially?
- Do you need to attend an in-person interview? (Article 7 Essential Culture Tips For International Dental Hygienists)
- What will you do with your belongings? If you plan to store your items in a storage facility, please include this cost in your financial plan while living abroad.
- How costly is it to live in your new country? (Article Cost Of Living In Germany: 14 Key Aspects)
- If you have kids, what are the schools like? (Article Understanding the German school system)
- If you have kids, what are the childcare options (see the article Childcare while working in Germany)
- Do you need to learn a new language? (learn a new language online with Cudoo)
- What will your short and long-term living arrangements be?
- Is it easy to get housing? Is there a housing shortage?
- How much deposit and which documents are required to secure housing?
- What are your options for transport?
Immigrating With A Marketable Skill
Immigration is an excellent option if you have an internationally marketable skill or can work remotely from your home country.
Competing with the local workforce may be tough, however, depending on the country’s unemployment rate. Often though, in countries with strong economies and low unemployment, you will find employment with ease.
For instance, if you’re in the medical field, you may be required to pass the local exams before you’re able to work, as is the case for doctors and dentists.
If you’re a nurse or a dental hygienist, you may be able to work right away with your current credentials, assuming there are no restrictions, and all documents are up-to-date.
Where the tech sector is concerned, practical experience will usually be your best selling point when competing with local workers.
In either case, you will need to learn the local language to fully integrate and be independent.
If you’re recruited in your own country, the immigration process should be handled by the employer. This will likely include: immigration documents, work contracts, and temporary living accommodation. If this isn’t the case, first you need to secure a work contract and begin to obtain your immigration documents with it in hand.
Some countries, such as Switzerland, require you to be in your home country when applying for a visa, while others like Germany may allow you to be present while the documents are being processed.
You should check with the authorities for their requirements before buying your plane tickets. If you are able to be in the country while waiting for your immigration documents, you will need to arrange for your own temporary housing.
Immigrating to become a dental hygienist overseas
If you are seeking jobs specifically as a dental hygienist overseas, we recommend this selection of further reading:
Immigrating With No Marketable Skills
Lacking a specific skill may be the hardest way to move abroad, but it’s not impossible. If you have a sponsor to manage your immigration essentials and help you through the process, count yourself lucky. An example of this could be family reunification, schooling, or seeking asylum.
Under these circumstances, competing in the local job market may be a tough challenge. Regardless of your age, you may find it hard to fulfil the new country’s requirements before entering the workforce.
In addition, you may be obliged to learn the local language to a certain level of proficiency. This could take months or even years.
You may also need to go to school and learn a new skill. After learning the skill, you would need to compete in the local job market with others who may have the same skill set and possibly more experience under their belts. This entire process to qualify to enter the local workforce may take months or even years before you see any satisfactory results.
Nevertheless, you can always try to find a course in your home country to provide certification that your destination country would recognize. This offers a solution to the previously mentioned problem.
An example of this could be a certification to teach English known as a TEFL certificate.
Finally, you can look at remote working. Getting certification from your home country and working remotely from there as a translator or providing transcriptions may be possible. Make sure to confirm that you are able to work remotely in your new country. Otherwise, you may fall foul of tax reporting laws.
Moving Overseas – Final Thoughts
In conclusion, moving abroad under any circumstances is never easy and requires a great deal of thought and planning. Nevertheless, knowing what challenges you may face will allow you to prepare in the best possible way. A visit to the new country is always advisable to experience what it could and would be like to live there.
If you cannot visit beforehand, make sure to read up on the country and do as much research as possible. Of course, you will not be able to prepare for every single problem – nothing is ever that simple. But you can remove the main sources of shock and disappointment.
Becoming a Dental Hygienist Overseas
For step-by-step advice on how to start your journey to work as a dental hygienist overseas, check out the post Where to start when you want to practice dental hygiene overseas.
Featured photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash