Here is my checklist before expatriation :
First of all :” check your mind !!”
BE OPEN TO NEW ADVENTURES AND GO FOR IT NOW
CHECKLIST 2 MONTHS BEFORE :
- Make sure you and your family have valid passports and get your VISA ( through your Diplomatic government)!
- Find out about international driving licenses ( register ont public french service. Most countries will not accept your home country’s license (or for the 3 first months as in Ghana). In ghana, you will have to go to your ambassy (French Ambassy for me) to register and pay about 35 cedis to get a formality paper prooving your frenchdriving license and then you will get it.
- Find out if you need vaccinations because you also may need it to enter the country at the airport. Find out in the Pasteur Institute which vaccinations you need. => For Ghana, yellow fever vaccine is required to enter the country, hepatitis A and B, Meningitis with meningococcirabies are recommended too. There is Malaria also but if you stay in Ghana for expatriation, it is useless to take medecines before leaving doctors will told you. You cant’s take it all over the year so you may get Malaria anyway… Fortunately, few expat get it.
CHECKLIST 1,5 MONTH BEFORE
- Ask your doctors, vet and dentist for copies of yours, your families and your pets’ medical records. While you are at the surgeries, organise a final check up for you, your family and your pets if your employers do not ask it. Don’t forget the vaccination (for me, yellow fever) . Maybe you need to buy 6 months treatment before leaving because you can’t find it in Africa for exemple. So you have to ask the french social security for agreement to deliver. Of course, you will no more belong to it 6 months after your arrival in your host country.To enter with your 6 months medecine, you may be asked to give proof of your need for the medication for customs
- Check all insurance policies and organise your visas if you need to. In my case, my boyfriend’s company did everything for both of us, and now we belong to : an international healthcare insurance card for expatriates called Previnter to have our money back AND “West African Rescue Association” (WARA) which gives 24/7 medical access assistance center. Prices for medical care is very very expensive here.
- Prepare a power of attorney (see more on solicitor for french expatriate )Make sure you have certified copies of all important documents ready to hand over to the person you will be leaving in charge of your affairs while you are away. I gave it to my parents for banks and the rent of my apartment.
- Organise the cancellation of all magazine/newspaper subscriptions or regular deliveries you receive on the day you will be leaving.
CHECKLIST 1 MONTH BEFORE
- Start to pack up the house, leaving the essentials that you need for the next month. For me it was easy since I only needed two luggages for my clothes/ shoes/ipad…And the weather is always very hot there! I have never worn a pull over here for the last two years! Our furniture were already in a container in Marseille (where my boyfriend lived) . You can ask for an estimate moving to CMA CGM request quote for exemple. It is the one which made it for us. It took about a month to get it… and everything was in perfect condition !
- Change your address on anything which requires it (bank, tax office, ) if you can’ t have it by email. I gave my parents address for all these papers in order to be sure to receive it quickly.
- Identify the French Alliancy, clubs and networks such as Accra Expat, that can potentially assist your transition and can start to put plans in place for meeting people once you arrive. “Accra Accueil” helped me meeting french expatriates and discover the town and activities such as sport.
- And of course, be interested by your new country before living there ! Find out a guide as “Lonely Planet“, websites and blogs, read about the population, education… Learn and try to appreciate their culture… Start to know how to adapt yourself and come with an open mind !
- I also checked about the prices of foods (check on cost of living website) and what we don’t find there. So I took some chocolates and french cheese in my suitcase since it is expensive there!you can see below some prices in GH₵ (1 € is 4,45GH₵ on Feb, 7th 2016).
Food Basic lunchtime menu (including a drink) in the business district GH₵54 = 12€ Combo meal in fast food restaurant (Big Mac Meal or similar) GH₵36=8 € 500 gr (1 lb.) of boneless chicken breast GH₵18= 4€ 1 liter (1 qt.) of whole fat milk GH₵11= 2,47€ 12 eggs, large GH₵21 =4,7€ 1 kg (2 lb.) of tomatoes GH₵16 = 3,5 500 gr (16 oz.) of local cheese GH₵30 = 6,7 1 kg (2 lb.) of apples GH₵17= 4 1 kg (2 lb.) of potatoes GH₵10 = 2, 4 0.5 l (16 oz) domestic beer in the supermarket GH₵7 = 1,5 1 bottle of red table wine, good quality GH₵32= 7