Things to keep in mind as a first time OFW in the UK

BY THE MANILA TIMES

Overseas Filipino Workers are one of the strongest pillars on which the economy of Philippines thrives. According to the UN Migration Report of 2017 there are around 5.6 million Filipinos around the world. The UN report further reveals that in 2017 there were around 138,905 Filipino migrants in the UK.

If you are moving to the UK or are a first time OFW in the UK, here are a few things to keep in mind to make the most of your life in the UK. Leaving your home to build a life abroad evokes happiness and anxiety in equal measure. Take it easy as we guide you on how to beat the stress and make the most of your new life.

Carry your essential documents

When you move into a new country for a new job, you are required to present a few documents at the immigration counter of the airport. It is advised that you keep a checklist to ensure you carry all the essential documents safely to your destination country.

Get acquainted with cultural norms & the laws of the land

Do a preliminary research on the culture of your destination country and the laws of the land. This is to ensure that you carry the right kind of clothes and footwear which align to the cultural beliefs and climactic conditions of the country. Many countries have restrictions on food items that can be brought in. Before you start packing your favourite foods, read up on what is allowed to be brought into the country.

Money matters

As a first time OFW, it is imperative that you have some kind of a contingency fund to help you settle into a new country. Always carry extra cash, preferably half of it converted to the currency of your destination country. If you want to avoid carrying cash, there is the option of pre-paid travel cards which allow you to load a pre-paid amount in multiple currencies. It is advisable to not use credit cards as international transactions work out to be expensive due to exchange rates and transaction fees.

Settling in and sending money back home

A new country heralds promises of new experiences and a new social life. Take time out to explore the city and meet new people. Once you have settled in, it is essential to work towards meeting your financial goals. Keep reminding yourself that you are there for a purpose as it is very easy to get distracted and spend irresponsibly. You may also need to send money to your family back in the Philippines. Make sure that you use a reputed and affordable money transfer company such as Xpress Money. Xpress Money, which is present in over 160 countries, allows you to send money as cash, bank account and mobile wallet credit to the Philippines at great exchange rates and low transfer fees.

Moving to a new country comes with its fair share of challenges however if you are focused on your goals, it could be one of the most rewarding decisions of your life. Step out of your comfort zone, make the move towards becoming an OFW and make it count, for you and your family.

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