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Being an expat will have many pros and cons along the journey. Travelling the world, learning new languages and sampling local culture, cuisine and hospitality sounds like a dream to many, and a lot of people are fortunate enough to actually make such a huge life changing decision.
However, there are times when living away from home can be difficult, and it’s the small things that people often tend to miss. Whether it be a favorite type of coffee, a TV show or simply being able to meet up with your friends or family, there are some things that make being an expat difficult at times.
Making the decision
There are a number of reasons why people decide to up and move away from their home country. It’s a decision that is never taken lightly, and most people will already have visited and experienced the lifestyle of the country that they are moving to. Very rarely do people just pop onto a plane with their suitcase and see where they end up.
Some people will decide to move at a young age, while others may wait until their retirement. There is no right or wrong time to become an expat. It’s something that will occur naturally when the time is right. Some people’s decision is based on their career and work, while others could be for more personal reasons, such as the breakup of a relationship and wanting to make a completely fresh start.
Health care and wellbeing
One of the most important things to consider when it comes to moving abroad is your health. Health care is very different around the world, so it is very important to properly research what things are like where you plan to go. Whether it’s Europe, Asia, South America or Australasia, each country has their own health systems and protocols that you must follow. Find out if it is an easy process to make a doctor’s appointment, or what is the situation with local hospitals?
Switzerland, which is a popular destination for expats, has a very efficient and well organized infrastructure for health care and other medical professions such as orthopedics, and dentists. For example, the We Love Smiles Orthodontists Zurich, is one of the most respected in the city, and offers all the services you will possibly need. They offer services for adults and children including tooth correction, braces and much more.
Finding the health care you need
Sticking with Zurich as our destination, the city is one that is well organized and managed, and finding the specific type of health care or services that you need is relatively easy compared with other locations around the world.
The easiest way to find what you need is to search for it online. A quick search for something such as Orthodontist in Zurich will throw up a great choice of results for you. As English is well spoken in Switzerland, you’ll find that most places can communicate with you in English, and also that their websites will usually be multilingual. This makes things a lot easier than if you were trying to communicate in the local language, and you don’t have much knowledge or experience of it at all.
A great way to find what you are searching for, such as a dentist, close by is by looking on Google maps on your mobile phone. You’ll be able to find dentists that are located close to your actual location, rather than some who may be situated on the other side of the city. And wherever Google has the information, they can also inform you of the opening hours, as well as contact information such as the address and a telephone number to make an appointment.
If you have health insurance, then you should check with them to help find the medical assistance that you require. There may be some health insurance packages for expats that also include dentistry, so if you are planning on making the move abroad, it will be a good idea to check with potential health insurance brokers, and see if you can find an option that includes orthodontics.
Connect with other Expats
One of the great things about the internet is how easy it is to connect with other people who are in similar situations to you. There are a large number of thriving expat websites and communities online that you can join.
These are a great way of getting to know a specific city or area with helpful suggestions from other expats, who have been living in the area for some time. It is much more convenient to have first-hand recommendations about which places to visit and which to avoid, rather than end up making costly mistakes on your own.
There are a number of expat websites that include business directories with local listings, and these will often include all sorts of businesses and services, including all different types of doctors as well as information about local hospitals and medical centers.
Zurich has a relatively large English speaking expat community so it should not be too difficult for you to get acquainted with a few people who could help you out when you first move to your new home and get settled in.
Some final thoughts
Being an expat is a great lifestyle choice, and for many, it is the perfect way to enjoy their twilight years. Researching your future home, as well as the specific location where you will be based, is vital. You’ll want to make sure that you’ll have access to all local amenities and services including dental care, especially if you are in the older age group.
For younger people, the adventure is all about the unknown, and they can be a little more gung-ho about the whole thing. Youngsters will often not need to worry too much about health services or local doctors, especially if they have moved for work related reasons. In such cases, then their employers will usually take care of this aspect of living.