Stuff To Take Care Of Before Going Abroad

Let’s be frank this Friday – #FrankFriday,what a great link up idea, ain’t it? All right, I might just feel a little left out since I didn’t manage to take part in Amanda’s first Thinking Out Loud Link Up yesterday. But still, let’s be frank: it’s merely 10 am in Germany right now and I already managed to munch through a quick green smoothie, an almond flour mug cake AND a turkey sandwich so far. Yes, I am stuffed and satisfied now and no, it didn’t help me to get stuff done. And that is really what those weeks are all about. Believe me. Going Abroad is all about getting a lot of stuff done. And since I am always nervously afraid of forgetting important things to take care off when preparing for a longer stay abroad, I wanted to write out what in my experience might be useful to some of you, who run around like a headless chicken before their stay abroad. 







1. Terminate Open Contracts

This part is one of the most complicated and time consuming since every contract has it’s own specifics. You should really start thinking about this as early as possible, so that you can adhere to the cancellation period. This will save you a lot of money.

Some contracts I needed to terminate:

  • lease agreement (or find someone for intermediate rent)
  • internet/cable/phone contract
  • the agreement with your electric company
  • mobile phone contract (at least pause it)
  • gym membership (I can pause mine)
  • newspaper subscriptions

Try to think of everything you cannot make use of when you are going abroad.

1. Get An Apartment

Find one that will be available for the months you stay abroad, is furnished, will allow you to bring your cat (in my special case), isn’t too far from your university/office, is in a neighborhood you feel comfortable living in and is reasonably priced for the region you’re moving to. Not an easy thing to find, believe me. I had actually the most problems to find a landlord who is willing to rent me an apartment for only 4 months. Most of them are searching a renter who stays at least for 9 months.

After you found one and exchanged all the details, you need to sign the contract (sometimes they are willing to do this via internet), pay the deposit and get the keys. I recommend that you do this in person if possible. If I wouldn’t bring Lou I would have booked a hotel for the first days abroad and searched for an apartment in person. It’s way easier and securer to do it this way, than risk to lose your deposit to a fraud. Or check if your university has an accommodation team which helps students who come from abroad finding a place to stay.

By the way: I have an apartment now. I signed the contract yesterday. Luckily my landlady is living in Germany, therefore I could arrange everything in person.

3. Empty The Pantries 







Depending on how much stuff you have sitting in your pantries you should start using up items and stop shopping for more. This one I seriously suck on. My pantries are bursting full and I haven’t used a lot of the items in ages. I try to go through some of them and will take some with me, give some to my parents and boy friend and sadly also throw some away. I hate throwing away food, but no one wants to have stale organic cereal or Christmas cookies from last year.

4. Pack Your Stuff in Boxes and Suitcases







I will start packing boxes of books and clothing on Monday, when I get empty boxes and suitcases from my parents and grandparents. It’s important to already think about what I plan to take abroad and what will stay in Germany. Hard thing to do for me, since I usually start packing my suitcase the evening before I go. I mean seriously: usually you need the same stuff for 4 months abroad, which you need for 2 weeks of holidays. 

5. Get The Necessary Insurances

Your national health insurance will not apply for health care abroad. So you need an extra insurance for that and also check if you need a liability insurance, some universities or landlords ask for that.

6. Doctor’s Visit



collar lou



In my case Lou needed one, but if I still manage I will do so to.

7. Bring All The Documents

You never know what you might need. The absolute necessity’s: passport/identity card, insurance certificates, passport photography’s (you might need a lot of them), vaccination card and probably a copy of your birth certificate. Oh and I totally recommend to bring the address of your destination, written down in the language of the country you are going to – this way, whatever happens, you can always take a cab.

One more recommendation I can give you is to make lists. Checking off what you have done (and packed) feels really good and having a visual reminder of what is still left to do (or pack) does also help a lot.

Please add more stuff to get done in the comments, if you notice that I forgot something. 

Enjoy your weekend! I will shake off my worries with the epic annually office Christmas party and a baking marathon (but more about that on Sunday).

P.S. My host had some problems, so I couldn’t upload any images. All of the images used are from pinterest, but for the reused picture of Lou. You will find the sources by clicking through the image.



7 Comments on Stuff To Take Care Of Before Going Abroad

  1. Oh man that is one hefty list! At the end of this I hope you treat yourself to a bottle of wine because it will be much deserved! Moving is so stressful! Get ready for my endless complaints come February!

  2. Oh my goodness, I bet your bubbling up to stress! Just try to breath during the process, make to-do lists, and stay positive! It will all work out in the end.

    Coffee may be your new best friend, but you’ll be okay <3

    -Ashley

    • Thanks Ashley! I am definitely staying positive and totally excited for the things to come. Coffee has been my best friend for so long now, actually at the moment I am enjoying to not depend on it. Healthy eating, moving my body and getting enough sleep keeps me pretty energized.

  3. Ahhh seems like a long time ago that I moved abroad. It’s a pretty stressful upheaval at first. I swear it’s so blooming bureaucratic when you are not a native, as it were. Not that I’m trying to scare you. I hope you enjoy it. You will honestly learn so much about yourself and grow beyond belief as a person. Savour every single moment. :-)

  4. Where did you move? Sounds so exciting! I cannot wait. Oh and I am well aware of the bureaucracy issues. Luckily my landlady helped me with some forms and the university staff is really friendly and helpful, too. I loved my first semester abroad in Shanghai a lot and you are so right, one really grows as a person with experiences like these.

  5. sarainlepetitvillage // December 16, 2013 at 9:58 am // Reply

    Great tips! The one that I always forget about is the emptying the pantry one ;)

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