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Moving overseas

(4 Posts)
Pinkpartysprinkles Mon 09-Dec-13 11:46:56

I'm a nanny, I've just been offered a new job in Malaysia - contracts pending.

It all sounds great and I'm really excited about it. All the big stuff seems ok - visa, accommodation, salary etc. The thing is the family keeps saying feel free to ask any questions but I'm really not sure what else to ask!

Have any other nannies here moved abroad, what did you find useful to know? What did you wish you'd checked before you moved? Anything you wish you'd taken with you or left behind?

Thanks for your help!


NomDeClavier Tue 10-Dec-13 13:14:41

Are they paying for health insurance? Does that include repatriation?

Can you get your preferred brands of shampoo/conditioner/deo out there? If not then take a good supply in your suitcase! I used to buy Boots out of Aussie 3 minute miracle.

Are they happy to pay for a subscription to UK based educational sites if providing educational support is part of your job? Twinkl has lots of resources in their paid section that might be useful.

Climate - what clothes do you need? I would still take a couple of cold weather outfits but while I know Malaysia is hot and humid I don't know whether you can wear shirts and vest tops or whether you need to be going down the long linen trousers route. Nothing more irritating than packing and discovering that while your clothes are weather appropriate they aren't culturally appropriate. Also don't underestimate the impact of coming from a tropical climate to a British summer. You will probably feel cold.

Flights - they pay there and back regardless of length of contract. Are they including flights home or not during the year?

Nanny insurance - this is obviously something you need to sort yourself but they may know whether banks there provide professional indemnity insurance or what the laws are like out there. I'm assuming it's a perm contract there.

Will they help you set up a local bank account? Are you being paid locally or in sterling? What is the arrangement for tax?

Do you need to get an international driving permit? Any other kind of paperwork? Do you need translated or apostilled copies of major documents? Into what language and how much does it cost out there? Will they help with that?

Not to ask them but are all your vaccinations up to date? Smear test? Do you have a good supply of your contraceptive pill if you're on one or any other medication? If you usually have the depo injection can you access that there? Ditto implant or coil. Not making judgements about your sex life btw, more in case you use them to control periods etc.

Pinkpartysprinkles Tue 17-Dec-13 20:37:30

Those are all really useful points thank you. Seems like so much to think about, I feel quite experienced as a nanny and have been living independently for a decade now (scary!) but moving abroad feels like a whole other ball game! Exciting though and does feel like I'm getting more organised.

Christmas2013 Mon 23-Dec-13 23:36:43


I have precisely no child care experience but I moved to Malaysia from the UK in March so I wanted to try to help!

I would agree with NomDuClavier above - healthcare is a huge one - you want to ensure it will cover you getting to the best place possible ASAP if needed, bear in mind that could well be Singapore rather than the UK but there's certainly a good chance it could be outside Malaysia. Even basic treatments free on the NHS can cost hundreds GBP in Malaysia - my anti-depressant medication was almost impossible to obtain in East Malaysia - would have been in trouble in I hadn't persuaded my UK GP to let me have extra before I left and it was seriously expensive. In contrast the contraceptive pill is available over the counter at £2 per box! Things will probably be more readily available in somewhere like KL than where I am but probably still a good idea to take at least 1-2 months worth of anything you need and ensure you have good health insurance.

I also agree with checking on travel home and communication with home, will you be allowed to use their internet for Skype for example? Will you only be travelling back to the UK with them or do you get flights for your own holiday? What if there is a family emergency and you have to come back to the UK at short notice? Last minute flights are very pricey...

Sounds like you have details of the accommodation but just ensure that you are clear that your room(s) must be air conditioned! Sounds crazy but in the new build houses on our estate all the rooms seem to have air conditioning units except the ones in Amah's quarters!

For clothes, everywhere I have been almost any standard of dress is tolerated but I know that peninsular Malaysia has a higher proportion of Muslims in the population than East Malaysia and you may feel self conscious in a strappy top and tiny shorts out in town - even if it's not actively frowned upon. However, where I live it's not at all uncommon to see ladies in hijab at the mall alongside ladies in hot pants! Definitely something to check as it is extremely hot and sticky here. Many of the work dresses I brought from the UK are awful as even light cotton ones have polyester linings that glue themselves to you. I am going to try getting some new dresses made here as I find it nearly impossible to buy clothes - I am a UK 14 and that is at least an XL anywhere in Asia - then not a stylish fit!

Will your employers allow you time/money for language lessons? You will be able to function fine with English and/or Mandarin but you might find it more enjoyable to be able to shop and socialise if you speak some Malay. I only know a very little but love the positive reaction I get when I try.

You will need a letter from your employer confirming salary to set up bank account, you will also need to show your work visa I think - at least the temporary one. If you go for a global bank you can link UK and Malaysian accounts to reduce the cost of moving money around. You will also need your passport for getting a mobile phone SIM card and your work visa for car finance. Documents in English are generally fine but there may be things I never had to deal with regarding tax and visas - definitely check how that works.

Will your employer provide access to a vehicle? Cars are heavily taxed and massively expensive - 2nd hand cost more than in the UK!

You will need an international drivers permit from the UK - this is acceptable for 1 year and during that time if you are staying longer you need to apply for a Malaysian licence (and / or a state one I think).

I'm sure there is loads I haven't thought of but I hope this helps a bit and doesn't just duplicate too much of what's already posted. Malaysia is an amazing country and I hope you have a great experience!

Salamat Datang Malaysia!

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