is the cost of living?
What do things cost?
Will I be able to save any money?
This is a
question that is critical to your survival overseas. A
salary means nothing until you know the context into
which it is set. You have to know what your daily
expenses will be - in relation to your pay check.
would be nice to say, "Ask this on the discussion boards
on the Internet" - it doesn't always work that way. You
can't really ask about the cost of living in Panama -
you need to ask about a specific city in general and
about your specific circumstances. At one time, the
author worked in Chung-ju, Korea, but the cost of living
there was vastly different than if he had worked in
Seoul, Korea - one of the most expensive cities in the
world. You need to ask the existing employees where you
are going to work - before making a final decision.
Sometimes that is not possible - then ask on the
discussion boards. Be as specific as possible.
particular is a big issue. In some countries, it is
provided free as it is prohibitively expensive or
requires deposits equal to a year's wages. In some
countries, you will need to pay for it yourself and it
can be quite expensive depending on where you choose to
live. The author paid over US$850 per month for an
apartment in Taipei - more than half his base wages per
month at the time. But he wanted to live in the
financial district so he could easily teach business
classes at major companies in the evening. Also, he
had lived far away from the action in his previous job
in another country and wanted to be in the middle of a
major city. It was well worth it.
If you must
provide your own housing find out what the range of
costs are. And find out if the low end quoted is a "rat
trap" or not. Expect potential employers to "lowball"
the cost of housing.
lifestyle is different. If you are a party kind of
person and enjoy clubbing every weekend, many pay checks
won't go far. Guaranteed! If clubbing is on your
agenda, find out what it costs.
everything that is important to you. You might was well
know before you go - what things are going to cost. Not
knowing these things will affect your quality of life
and you might as well know now.
discussion boards will happily tell you what a nice
dinner out at an Indian restaurant will cost (if it
exists in that town), or other unique things that are
part of your enjoyment of life.