Guide to prepare your expatriation

Guide to prepare your expatriation

Moving abroad is an important step. Indeed it opens your minds, culturally, socially and professionally. But this step requires a lot of preparation. However to well live your expatriation, you must take essential points into consideration. This is why Expatmedicare offers you this guide to prepare your expatriation.

Prepare your expatriation:

Good preparation is essential. You have to consider many points before an expatriation and the needs differ if you are going alone or with your family. So we have listed several points to help you.

Life quality

Quality of life is a very important term which covers many aspects. Indeed there are many selection criteria that are unique to each person. To help you, HSBC has therefore produced a ranking of most popular countries for expatriates:

  1. Switzerland
  2. Singapore
  3. New Zealand
  4. Germany
  5. Spain

The full ranking here


Safety is also an essential point.

It is an important element to live well your expatriation. We advise you to pay attention to health, political, social and environmental issues in order to be prepared as effectively as possible. So inform yourself beforehand on the websites of the embassies.

It is important to know the tensions that may reign as well as the health preparations to be made (vaccine, drugs)

Culture and social life

Culture and social life are two linked points which contribute to the happiness of everyone’s life. The differences between each culture are so great that it can sometimes be difficult to get used to them.

It is always a good idea to be well informed about your expatriation destination. To best integrate the local culture and make the most of the wealth that it can bring you.

Art, architecture, food and much more will be there to support you every day of your expatriate life.


Essential criterion for your installation. Access to healthcare may be completely different from your country of origin. Between international hospitals, or local hospitals, the quality of service and the prices could be completely different.

Make sure you are prepared as best you can. Let’s see together the countries with the best health services

  • Luxembourg
  • Singapore
  • Swiss
  • Japan
  • Austria
  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • Netherlands
  • Hong Kong
  • Australia


Your budget

When moving, it is essential to look at the budget.

The cost of living is not the same from one country to another. Food, health and education are the points to consider because they indeed differ so much around the world. So you must consider it to prepare your expatriation.

The cost of living for expatriates generally takes into account:

  • Accommodation,
  • Public services,
  • Transportation,
  • Resettlement,
  • The meal,
  • Children’s education
  • Past hobbies / activities.

Below you can find the ten most expensive countries for expats:

  1. Hong Kong
  2. Ashgabat
  3. Tokyo
  4. Zurich
  5. Singapore
  6. New York
  7. Shanghai
  8. Bern
  9. Geneva
  10. Beijing

Be prepared for additional expenses

You also have to be prepared for the additional expenses that an expatriation can incur.

The taxes for example will be different from your country of origin, make sure you understand how it works so that you are prepared. Also take into consideration insurance, which will be an additional cost.


Firstly make sure your bank card can work abroad for the first few days of your expatriation. Then also make sure before opening a local or international bank account of the steps to be taken. Indeed transfers are most of the time complicate between two countries.

  • Learn about the host country’s banking system.
  • Think of specialized banking establishments.
  • Check which documents are required to open an account.
  • Learn about the fees associated with fund transfers.
  • Take into account the tax consequences of expatriation.

Health care and insurance

Health systems change a lot from country to country, but the system between private and public hospitals remains universal.

In some countries, differences in service may justify the desire to go to a private hospital. However the prices which are practical there can be prohibitive. So you need to study the options to prepare your expatriation.

You can find out more on the website of the embassies in your country.

The criteria for choosing your hospital:

  • Geographical
  • The price
  • Third party paying with your insurance
  • Local or international

So which structure to choose?

It will all depend on you, your budget and your needs. So a dedicated health insurance can give you access to privileged care.

At what price ?

In recent years, we can notice a not insignificant inflation of the health cost all over the world. Furthermore, according to several studies, here are the countries with the highest medical costs:

  • United States
  • Swiss
  • UK
  • Brazil
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore

So don’t hesitate to compare prices if you need to seek treatment. In addition, research and general data shows that rising medical inflation is not going to decrease.

What about insurance?

Insurance is extremely important in your new life, to prepare yourself for any eventuality. Then, there are several options and insurers on the market and it is always good to compare.

Several solutions are available to you, between local and international plans, but it is difficult to navigate. First of all,  to choose the suitable insurance, you have to target two points:

Budget and Needs

Note that these two points are linked. Let’s talk about the needs, you should know that there are many options, which will therefore determine the final budget.

  • The first perspective is where your coverage is coming from. Indeed a local insurance plan can cover you and deal with all eventualities. They have access to time zone service and direct billing. However in some cases international insurance, so insurance taken out outside your country of expatriation, may prove to be more affordable.
  • The coverage area. Generally, your insurer will offer you a local and or international coverage area which will be at different prices. For example, a Worldwide excluding USA insurance will cost more than an insurance covering only China.
  • Your needs. Several points will allow you to reduce the price of your insurance. Dental, Optical or outpatient costs, you can remove or not all these options according to your needs or your budget. However, minimum coverage for medical expenses in the event of an accident is essential to ensure peace of mind.

The CFE is a very good option for all French people living abroad. Then, for more information you can follow our CFE guide.

Why choose a top-of-the-range supplement here

To help you to prepare your expatriation, and to compare the offers, it is essential to contact an insurance professional. Comparing prices and coverage is a good exercise to ensure that you and your family are getting the best value for your money. At Expatmedicare our expertise can help you find the right insurance. You can contact us here

Stay connected with your health insurance!

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