7 Common Challenges Of Moving To Another Country

Tuesday 14th April 2020

Have you ever sat on holiday and thought “I could live here”? If the answer is yes, did you consider the challenges that could face you, if you were to put this into reality? Be it a higher standard of living or a slower pace of life, it goes without saying that there are many benefits to living abroad but you don’t want to fall into the trap of identifying the opportunities without also pin-pointing the potential pit-falls.  

At Hackworthy and Sons, we specialise in Overseas removals and have been helping people move overseas from the UK for almost 50 years. We’ve learned a thing or two in that time and thought we’d share what we’ve found to be the 7 most common challenges of moving to another country.

Language barrier 

First up, the most likely challenge you could face is the language barrier. If you’ve never lived in a different country then this is something you will have only ever experienced on holiday. When moving to another country, you have most probably got to know some of the main phrases of the country's language and learn the basics to get you around day-to-day. 

However, when it comes to humour and slang this will take some getting used to for those that don't speak the native language. Perhaps, look at doing some language classes online before moving abroad to ensure that you are comfortable with the basic conversational language in your new home country. 

Truth be told, most people who move overseas from the UK find that can get by well enough on English alone. That said, learning a new language can be incredibly rewarding and will allow you to get the very best out of your new home.

Finding a job

If you haven’t moved abroad as a result of a job, then finding a job could be another challenge that you could face depending on the role that you are looking for and the destination that you are moving to.

In countries such as Australia, they have a Skilled Occupations List (SOL) that lists the occupations acceptable for immigration to there. In order for you to qualify for skilled migration to Australia you must nominate an occupation that you have experience in from the SOL and will be assessed by an authorised agency before being eligible to use occupation points. You then require a minimum number of points for immigration to Australia. 

Not all countries provide this level of information and some are certainly easier to immigrate to than others. While not strictly necessary for all common immigration destinations, we would always recommend that you have a job in place before moving overseas. Securing a job offer or sponsor prior to moving is one of the biggest obstacles you will likely face, but doing so will help to ensure your financial security and peace of mind.


It is reasonable to feel a sense of loneliness when moving to another country and away from your friends and family. This is true whether you have moved on your own or with a partner and children, so fully expect to experience some sense of isolation.

Your loved ones and the support they may have otherwise given if they were close can no longer be relied upon as easily and will only help remotely for the most part. Even if you lived far apart before, being countries or even continents apart changes things. It’s strange and hard to explain, but a 6-hour drive is not the same as a 6-hour flight. Again, this will take getting used to at the start of your new life in a new country but once you have begun to meet new people and make friends, you will build a support network around you like you would have had before. 

Distance from home

This point is somewhat related to the one above regarding loneliness, however, there is a difference. While loneliness is an emotional response to distance, distance can also introduce some practical issues.

The distance from home removes the ease of popping around to your friends or family should you or they need any help. This is extremely challenging for some to deal with and it’s common to worry about how helpless you may feel should something go wrong back home. 

In times like this, it’s important to remember that the world is a lot smaller than it once was. You can generally get anywhere you’d need to be within a 24 hour period, with a few exceptions, and you may actually find yourself closer to home despite being further away. After all, it takes 3 to 4 hours to get to London from Plymouth, but only 2 hours 20 minutes from Barcelona. 

Where to meet new people

As we have just mentioned, making new friends is vital in making you feel comfortable when moving to a new place. Therefore, another potential consideration to bear in mind is how to meet new people, as once you have this solved this will help you make new friends and settle you into your new life. You might want to think about visiting the local shops, gym or even the local parks, where you can strike up conversations easily with those around you. 

Finding your favourite foods from home 

You may be very excited about living in another country that provides a different kind of cuisine to what you are used to. However, this also comes with the issue of potentially missing the foods from your old life and being unable to purchase in the country that you have moved to. 

Fortunately, globalisation has made once-elusive food and drink items more easily accessible abroad, especially in countries where e-commerce is well-established. Moving to countries with large ex-pat communities also increases the likelihood of being able to get your hands on your favourite foods and drinks. In fact, you may find new favourites as you try foods and drinks native to other foreign countries as well as your new home. 

Choosing The Best Shops

You are probably aware of the best places to purchase items in your home country, however, moving to another country poses this as a challenge you are most likely to face. Being unfamiliar with your surroundings could influence you to shop for food in convenience stores as you have seen them around. However, it is worth researching the other local shops in the area that provide a better value for money. This may require you to travel just a little bit further or may even make you aware of the shops that are near to you that you haven't noticed since moving. 


Whether one of the seven above or something completely different, you’re going to experience challenges when moving overseas. This is to be expected and you should never lose sight of the fact that these challenges can be overcome, often with surprisingly positive results.

If you’re considering moving to another country, at Hackworthy we have over 40 years experience in overseas removals around the world and can offer budgets to suit everyone, get a quote for your move abroad today.