What Do I Want to be Sure to Remember Before Moving?
May 30, 2008 1:50 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a good guide about what to do when moving from America to a foriegn country generally, or moving to Israel specifically, or advice about anything that I should be sure not to forget.

I'll be heading to Israel in about three weeks, and I want to make sure there isn't anything crucial that I would need to take care of that I forget. I'll be there for at least a year, possibly longer. It seems like every day I think of something new I should take care of, and I'm hoping there is a comprehensive list somewhere with all the issues I need to deal with.

Some examples of the sorts of things I'm thinking about
*getting any shots/vaccines that I might need
*getting some sort of international driver's license
*switching my cell phone plan and carrier
*looking into international health insurance
*forwarding mail
*getting a bank account that would be accessible for foreign ATM's

Has anyone does a cross-world move recently that has any advice or links to any resources that you found particularly helpful for getting one's life in order. Thanks!
posted by andoatnp to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Getting Out: Your Guide to Leaving America. (I looked at it. I'd recommend checking it out of the library rather than purchasing)
posted by sharkfu at 2:06 PM on May 30, 2008

I highly recommend the book Expert Expat, you're very close to your move now but it's still good, good checklists and notes on culture shock.

I moved to the Netherlands in January, with about 6 weeks notice. I made an enormous list of things in google docs and just crossed them off as I went.

Get apostilles for your vital documents (birth certificates etc), scan and leave a copy at home
Get recommendations from your current bank/account details to help open your new foreign account
Make sure your passport has a few years on it
Get travel insurance to cover your actual journey there. I use worldnomads.com
Leave your latest tax records with someone at home, just in case for some reason you need them.
A year's worth of prescriptions - just so I didn't have to deal with this while away (I'm asthmatic)

Organise a farewell for yourself and let people know how they can keep in touch!
posted by wingless_angel at 2:06 PM on May 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Mail forwarding info
posted by sharkfu at 2:08 PM on May 30, 2008

If you're moving to Israel, ABSOLUTELY log on to Nefesh B'Nefesh's website (even if you don't participate in their program. Tremendous wealth of resources here.
posted by j1950 at 2:48 PM on May 30, 2008

I cannot help you with the American-side resources and questions, However, as an Israeli, I can address two issues:

*getting any shots/vaccines that I might need
IANAD, but I'm pretty sure there are no special shots needed for Israel.

*switching my cell phone plan and carrier
if you have a GSM phone, you can bring it with you and get a SIM and a plan here.
Many plans require you to sign up for three years. Pre-paid cards are not cheap and not very popular.

There are four cell phone carriers in Israel - Mirs, Cellcom, Pelephone and Orange.
Mirs is a carrier which is used mainly by the army and delivery services. They work with crappy Motorola devices.
Pelephone uses CDMA technology, which requires you to purchase a phone unique to the Pelephone network. They're the Israeli equivalent of Verizon.
Both Cellcom and Orange work with GSM cell phone (Nokia, Sony Ericson, Blackberries). You can bring your own device. You pay a premium for getting a device through the carrier, however it usually balances out with free minutes and such.

In all carruers, plans usually have a minimum price which come with "free" minutes and SMSs. There are family plans, business user plans, etc. Incoming calls are free, by the way.

The best way to go about purchasing a plan is to either go to a Service Center - not a mall booth, but a full blown service center, or get a sales representative to visit you in your home/hotel.
You should inquire about service plan length, fees for breaking the contract and consider getting an insurance for the phone. And always read the contract.

Feel free to drop me a line for any question regarding daily life in Israel.
posted by ye#ara at 4:26 PM on May 30, 2008

If you'll be in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, and if you are young-ish, look up Merkaz Hamagshimim. They exist to help out English-speaking visitors and olim, and offer everything from advice to classes, from activities to social groups. Great people.
posted by bassjump at 1:38 PM on June 1, 2008

« Older My computer has insomnia!   |   Fun in Chicago! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.