The options can seem endless. There are 195 different countries in the world, each with its own individual perks and downfalls. So just picking one place to live in can be tough. There are many important things to consider when selecting your new home to ensure you are making the right choice.
Most importantly, determine what you want to do in a different country. Are you studying in a graduate program or teaching English to second language learners? Will you do odd jobs to get by or are you planning on advancing in a specific career? Whatever your plan might be, you need to make sure it is achievable in the country you choose. If you are looking for a job, research the economical situation of the country and make sure the hiring rate will work in your favor.
Outside of your job or university program, you also want to move somewhere that seems interesting to you. Compare cultures and countries and think about what you want to get out of life abroad. Then look to see where you will be able to see and experience the most. Do your research and understand where you are going to set realistic expectations. You can follow blogs, watch youtube videos or talk to an expat in the country you are interested in going to. There are plenty of online groups you can reach out to on various websites and social media outlets.
If you really want to leave your comfort zone, look at countries that seem the most different from your own. In my personal situation, moving from the states to Bangkok, Thailand in 2013 was a big change. Besides not knowing a single person, everything was extremely different from my previous life — from the hectic markets to the spicy food. Before I knew it, I was eating rice at least twice a day, taking off my shoes in every room and bowing to greet people. It was a big lifestyle shift, but it really taught me how to quickly adjust to a new culture and leave my tiny of bubble in the United States.
After doing the research, the final step is to just go for it. You need to go to a country in order to really understand it. So after thinking of your goals, doing your research and selecting your new country – take the leap of faith and book your ticket.