Moving to a new non-English speaking country is not an easy process. It can be intimidating dealing with a new language, new culture, and legal issues you know nothing about. We’ve put together the main challenges expats in Israel face and how to make these challenges less daunting.
1. Organizing the Actual Move
The actual move requires physically moving your possessions. Moving apartments is an ordeal in itself, when it comes to moving to a different continent altogether, you’ll need to deal with a bit more than tardy movers. Shipping your furniture and crates of other items is done via crate ship and takes time to arrive. Other factors such as the price, which company, and things you might prefer to transport by air need to be taken into consideration as well.
2. Getting Work Permits and Visas in Order
If you’re moving to Israel as part of a new position in a large company or firm, it is likely that they will provide you with the appropriate work permit and visa you need in order to live and work in Israel. In either case, it is still important to familiarize yourself with the details and laws to know exactly what you’re dealing with. Another option is to let Local Port take care of all of the details for you so that you can save time and enjoy a whole lot of peace of mind.
3. Finding a Place to Live
Apartment hunting is exhausting enough without having to do it from across the globe and in a country that doesn’t speak your native language. Without actually seeing the apartments, and without understanding the fine print in the rental agreement you’ll have to sign, you’re going in blind.
4. Getting Medical Insurance for the Family
There are different types of medical insurance policies for expats and you need to find an insurance agent that can explain the cost and what each policy covers before choosing.
5. Understanding New Finance and Legal Laws
Israel, like any other country, has its own set of laws. You need to familiarize yourself with these laws to stay out of trouble. This does not only refer to criminal law, but tax laws as well and how to manage your finances.
6. Getting to Know Your Area
Getting to know your neighborhood before your move can be very helpful, from where the local grocer is to the closest park. It is a bit more time consuming and difficult than just looking up the address on Google maps. You’ll need to either get to know the place slowly as you spend time in the area, or have someone like Local Port map out all of the important sites and businesses near you.
7. New Public Transportation
Getting used to different public transportation is hard. You need to learn the maps, bus numbers, and trains that you’ll need to get to work and back.
8. Making Sure You Can Drive
Just because you have a driver’s license does not necessarily mean that you can drive in Israel. You need to have a license that has been issued at least six months before your move, medical and vision test, and you have to pass a vehicle control capability test, among other things.
9. Learning a New Language
Learning a new language is always hard, especially if it is not Latin-based like French, Italian, or Spanish. You learn faster once you’re completely surrounded by people who speak the local language, but it helps to sign up to a Hebrew course.
10. Moving with Pets
There are many laws about flying with pets and general laws concerning pets in Israel that you need to familiarize yourself with. You’ll also need to make sure they have all of their shots and find a veterinarian near your new home.
Don’t let these 10 challenges intimidate you. Yes, it may be intimidating, but big moves are always complex. Making sure you have someone in Israel taking care of all these things for you can give you more confidence and peace of mind to make your move a smoother experience.