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International Renting

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Types of Rentals

There could be any number of reasons why you are looking to rent a house internationally. You might be taking a vacation, taking a sabbatical, doing research, or renting in lieu of buying. There are homes and apartments available for rent by the week, the month, and the year in many countries. Places available by the week are more geared toward vacationers, so, if you plan on staying for a longer period of time (i.e., over a month), you'll probably end up paying a lot more money than you should. That's not to mention the fact that other weeks may be booked in advance. For this reason, rentals for popular vacation spots should be reserved as far in advance as possible.

There are a whole slew of websites that advertise short- and long-term rentals, though the bulk of them are vacation-oriented.


Any kind of travel to another country, let alone taking up residence there, is going to require a passport. If you don't have one already, or yours is expired, apply for one as soon as possible. Though there are ways to expedite the process, there is still a period of background checks and verification. You'll need your passport to get into your new country and to get back to the U.S., of course, but it is also the form of identification you can be sure will be accepted anywhere.

If you plan on working in the new country, you may have to apply for a work visa there. The specifics of this, like restrictions, fees, and processing time, will differ from place to place. You should also consider whether or not you'll need an international driver's license. That might depend on your specific location: What is within walking distance? What public transportation do you have available to you? Contact the embassy of your destination country for all the information you'll need on documentation.


Understanding cultural variations can mean the difference between a great relocation and an excruciating one. It is definitely worth your time to talk to someone who comes from your destination country or, better yet, someone who had moved there and knows the experience of being a transplant. Some important considerations:

  • Cost of Living: How difficult will it be to find employment that can support you and your family comfortably? Are food, taxes, and other necessary expenses going to be adequately covered by your income or savings? Take exchange rates into account. Use a website like http://www.x-rates.com/calculator.html to get an idea of what your dollars are going to be worth.


  • Healthcare: Especially if you or someone making this transition with you has a medical condition, you'll need to research the healthcare available in the new country.


  • Language: Will you have to learn a new one? Will members of your family have to learn it, too?

Living in another country is an experience unlike any other. Whether you're just looking to get away from your comfort zone for a little while or looking to make a permanent change, renting internationally can be a great way to live.

Adam Mandelbaum  Posted by Adam Mandelbaum on May 14, 2010

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