SHARE
COPY LINK
PRESENTED BY ASN

Expat checklist: five simple steps to help you settle in

When you choose to live abroad, you know it will take time to truly feel settled in your new country. But some people adjust faster than others.

Expat checklist: five simple steps to help you settle in
Photo: Getty Images

Certain steps you can take are straightforward. Others require a little more research (like learning about your new healthcare system) or a lot more patience (did someone mention mastering the language?).

The Local, in partnership with international insurance broker ASN, offers five essential tips to help you feel at home in your new life abroad.

International insurance solutions to suit your needs – find out more about ASN

1. Save and learn emergency services numbers 

You’ll never forget the emergency services phone number in your home country. But can you say the same about your adopted home? Finding the number, saving it to your phone and even memorising it will not take long. 

If you live in the European Union, 112 is the European emergency number – free to dial across the EU from fixed and mobile phones. You can use it to ring for an ambulance, the fire brigade or the police. In some EU countries, 112 functions alongside other national emergency numbers, while in others it is now the only number to dial.

2. Learn local laws and rules of the road 

The law is the law. Except, of course, it varies widely between countries and regions. Some bizarre old laws have never been repealed but seem unlikely to be enforced (we doubt, for instance, that frowning in Milan will actually land you in court). 

But as an international resident, some areas do require your attention to avoid getting caught out – driving rules, for example. Find out whether you need to exchange your driving licence for a local one and familiarise yourself with national speed limits and road signs.

And remember that legal drink drive limits vary internationally. In Europe, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania all have a zero tolerance approach – while Germany does not allow novice drivers to consume any alcohol before getting behind the wheel.

3. Understand your healthcare coverage and choices 

National healthcare systems are very different – in Europe and around the world. A good understanding of the local rules on social security and entitlement to healthcare could really boost your peace of mind. 

In the EU, it’s your economic status and place of residence that determine the country responsible for your health cover – not your nationality. Make sure you understand the rules that are relevant for your personal situation.

You may want to compare what publicly funded healthcare covers with your options through private health insurance. Going private can offer far more comprehensive coverage, with access to the best hospitals and doctors. 

With international health insurance, you can also add benefits such as dental, maternity, physiotherapy and alternative medicine. You also have flexibility to upgrade or downgrade your policy. 

ASN offers tailored worldwide international health insurance through a range of partners. It also offers travel insurance – including emergency medical cover – lasting for up to 11 months and life insurance.

ASN offers global health cover wherever you are – for when you need it most

Photo: Getty Images

4. Learn the language – but beware false friends! 

Learning the language of your host nation might feel like the biggest step to take before you can feel totally settled. But Rome wasn’t built in a day. And fluency will not come in a hurry either. 

Finding a way to learn at your own pace – without too much pressure – could help you build your confidence. If you’re able to enjoy the challenge of expressing yourself in your new language, some of the worries associated with living abroad may gradually start to reduce.

Be on your guard with 'false friends' – words that sound similar to an English word but mean something very different. For example, the Spanish word 'embarazada' does not mean embarrassed – it means pregnant!

While learning, it’s important to be able to take care of personal matters in a language you’re comfortable with. ASN, which is based in Switzerland, offers global support in English, French, German and Italian, as well as access to 24/7 multilingual helplines.

5. Update your address 

One final tip – and a simple one! It has never been easier to stay continuously in touch with friends and family wherever you are. But could this lead you to overlook the need to update your address?

Governments, banks, insurers and other institutions still require an up-to-date postal address. And knowing you’re not missing any important mail can help secure your peace of mind.  

Need bespoke international health, travel or life insurance solutions? Find out more about how ASN can help you feel at home – wherever you are.

For members

HEALTH

How to get an influenza vaccine in Denmark

Target groups for an influenza vaccine for the 2022 season, including children, can obtain free vaccination across Denmark.

How to get an influenza vaccine in Denmark

Starting next week, vaccination centres will be available to give influenza vaccines to children between the ages of two and six.

The offer is expected to make vaccinations easier on parents, since ‘flu shots were previously only available through a limited number of general practitioners — meaning parents often had to call several doctors before making an appointment. 

To date, less than ten percent of eligible kids have been vaccinated for the flu since it became available October 1st, far below the Danish Health Authority target of 75 percent, according to broadcaster DR

Children between the ages of two and six years have been eligible for a vaccination against influenza since October 1st.

The Danish Health Authority says it is offering the vaccination to children because they can easily pass the infection on when they have influenza. As such, vaccinating them can prevent spread to vulnerable people including the elderly.

Because 2020 and 2021 saw low influenza spread due to Covid-19 restrictions, lower natural immunity has built up in the community. The Danish Health Authority is therefore “concerned we will experience a tough influenza season in which we will see many people infected with influenza,” it said in a letter sent to parents of children eligible for vaccination.

“That’s why it is important that we prevent as much illness as we can,” it said.

How are children vaccinated?

The influenza vaccine given to children aged 2-6 is in the form of a nasal spray (not an injection).

It is given in two separate doses four weeks apart, unless the child was vaccinated last year, in which case only one dose is needed.

Children can access the vaccination at their GP’s clinic (they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian). Some clinics offer walk-in vaccination, while appointments must be made at others. Contact your GP for more information.

From October 14th, children can also get the ‘flu vaccine at vaccination centres (the centres where adults are also vaccinated against influenza and Covid-19). An appointment should not be necessary, but check the information provided by the individual centre.

You can find the vaccination centre closest to you via this map on the Danish Health Authority website (click the green “Vaccinationscentre” filter and the light blue “Influenzavaccination af børn (2-6 år)” filters). 

You can also call a dedicated helpline in your local health authority Region to receive information about options near you. The relevant phone numbers are listed here.

The Health Authority has also issued a letter in English on influenza vaccination for children. The letter is a replication of the circular sent to parents. It can be found here.

How do adults get the influenza vaccine?

The free influenza vaccine is offered to adults in a number of specified groups. These are, broadly, people over 65 years old, pregnant women in their second or third trimester, and people with certain chronic illnesses and other health indications.

Health sector staff and household close contacts to children in high-risk groups can also be given the free vaccine.

An exhaustive list of the chronic illnesses and general health conditions for which the influenza vaccine is recommended can be found on the Danish Health Authority website.

Vaccination can be given at GP clinics, vaccination centres (where Covid-19 vaccines are also given) and some pharmacies. The options available vary locally.

You can use this map (the same map mentioned in the section for children above) to search locally for vaccination options close to you. The map can be filtered to show only vaccination centre, GP clinics, pharmacies or private clinics, and you should click the “Influenzavaccine” button to specify for the ‘flu jab.

If you have been offered an influenza vaccine based on your age, you can book an appointment at a vaccination centre via the vacciner.dk website. You’ll need your MitID or NemID digital ID. If you need help with this, you can call a Regional helpline. The relevant phone numbers are listed here.

If you have been offered the vaccine due to health or work reasons, you can follow a similar procedure. You will be asked to sign a declaration before booking an appointment.

If you are unsure about being vaccinated or whether you fall into the target group, the Health Authority recommends discussing the options with your doctor.

SHOW COMMENTS