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Overseas Health – A Guide for Expats

Moving overseas – the reasons for making the jump
Why do people move overseas?
People’s reasons for choosing to move abroad are many. Some people move to a foreign country to take up a post their employer has offered – and help develop their career into the bargain. This often happens where the destination country is a centre of excellence within the field the prospective expatriate is employed in. For instance, someone who works in electronics may take up an international assignment in one of the world’s technology hotspots.
Student expatriates
There are also many people living abroad who have travelled in order to study. This can be an excellent opportunity for self-development since it means learning a subject academically as well as finding out about a new country and culture. Whether it’s for a first degree or for a postgraduate degree, studying as an expatriate is a popular choice for people from many nations. In fact, the student population of most universities is likely to show fairly wide diversity. Indeed, one of the reasons university towns are often known for offering culture and a cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Retired expatriates
And then there are people who, after completing a full career in their home country, feel that after their years of work it’s time to spend their years after retiring in the sunshine abroad. It could be that they’ve always loved the place they retire to – perhaps having visited it on holiday –  or maybe it’s an adventurous trying out of pastures new in a place they haven’t been to previously.
The big jump
Regardless of an individual’s personal or professional reasons for going to live overseas, a move of that magnitude isn’t something anyone takes on lightly. And in the time running up to the move there are a lot of things demanding time and focus. These will include things like making sure all your visa requirements are met, work permits are obtained, accommodation is sorted out, and so on. In some cases depending on where your intended country of residence is going to be, there may also be the need to seek language training.
Choosing health cover for expatriates
Obviously, your health is a big priority no matter where you happen to reside. And when living abroad it’s important to have peace of mind in knowing that any time you require treatment you’re covered for under your policy, you’ll have access to good quality care – without having to go on a waiting list.
When buying a policy it’s important to make sure you’re covered to the level you require – for instance if you want restorative dental treatment to be included, check that it’s part of the cover that you’re about to buy. International medical cover can be purchased at different levels, so you can also avoid paying for stuff you don’t require.
It’s also worth checking out the various country by country health guides on sites such as the Foreign & Commonwealth office, to get an idea of the healthcare system of the country you’re travelling to.

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Jen Jones is a health blogger who writes for a number of sites worldwide, specialising in travel, health insurance Spain topics, and nutrition.

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