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The Nook: Immigrating for jobs in the games industry

Anecdotes, tips, and thoughts on whether to risk it in this climate

· The Nook

The Nook: An Inaugural Introduction

Inspired by my pal and once-colleague in the trenches of writing for live service games, John Ryan, I’ve decided to start a column — The Nook — that seeks to answer *your* burning questions. Yes, you! Hearing these words through your eyeballs!

This column aims to answer all things game writing, narrative design, technical implementation, side projects, immigrating to three countries for work in the games industry (hey, that's this post!), layoffs, rhythm games, cats, being a multi-instrumentalist who's not really any good at any of them, desk drawer novels, and anything else relevant to my particular areas of expertise.

“That’s overwhelming. I’m overwhelmed. You know too much. Please, soothe me with example questions,” you might say.

I gotchu:

  • How do I balance the ambitions of a game’s story against things like scope, budget, and resources?
  • What game engines might I seek to learn as a person of narrative inclinations?
  • What is git, and why should I, a person of narrative inclinations, know about it?
  • What should I be thinking about when writing game dialogue?
  • What do all of the different narrative-like designer titles mean, and are they different from writer titles?
  • Should I try to work in the games industry while studios are announcing layoffs by the hundreds every other day?
  • Who are Rainbow Kitten Surprise, and why should Beat Games make a RKS song pack for Beat Saber?
  • Why are your cats such fluffy little babies, yes they are, yes they are?

On these and many other topics I have learnéd opinions and some semblance of expertise — but my perspective is just that: mine. Informed by my experiences, which have been many and myriad over the last 18 years in the industry, to be sure, but I Definitely Do Not Know Everything™️. I'm sharing things into which I have some insight because, hey, it might help someone out there, like the blogs and posts from other game devs have helped me.

(That's my roundabout way of disclaiming that these are, *like, just my opinions, man*, so don't sue me if you don't get any value from my posts, and definitely do your own research — I am ten-thousand-percent not a sole source of truth on any matter (save, perhaps, for the matter of my cats, and why they are such fluffy little babies, yes they are, yes they are).)

Onto the first question!

Or, rather, a first question that is an amalgam of a few questions that came in on this topic:

"Immigrating for jobs in games — how do? What do? Why do? Should do?"

So, let's get into it.

My Journey Around the World

(Skip this section if you're just here for tips — this is the "life story before the recipe" portion of today's programming. Although I do keep this section admirably brief, if I do say so myself.)

I've moved more times than I am years old. At last count, that's 43 moves in 35 years.

For the first 18 years, those moves weren't my call, but for the next 17 years, they were mostly voluntary. Or, at least, they had the illusion of being voluntary — sometimes you gotta go where the work is.

The first time I went where the work was, I didn't have to leave the country. I went from Hasbro in Providence, Rhode Island, to Hasbro's subsidiary studio, Backflip, in Boulder, Colorado. With a then-partner's help, I loaded everything I owned into a car, and we drove some four days halfway across the country. I spent the first month or so in Boulder in an AirBnB, and then my kitty joined me later once I'd found a permanent apartment. (Brief shout-out to Boulder, which remains one of my favorite cities on earth — which is high praise, now that I've seen a bunch o' cities across a dozen countries. Hiking and biking paradise.)

The second time I went where the work was, I left Boulder, Colorado, bound for Berlin, Germany, the stomping grounds of Wooga. I pared down everything I owned into what I could afford to bring on the plane and what I dared to try and ship, and sold and donated the rest, save for a few boxes of memorabilia I managed to convince my parents to store in their attic. My kitty and I made the flight from Denver to Germany by way of a layover in Turkey, and much like Boulder, spent our first month in an AirBnB. And then our second month in AirBnB, because finding apartments in Berlin is the Hunger Games (tenfold with the added difficulty multiplier of not speaking German). Our third month, we spent in a horrible mistake of an apartment that I'd taken out of fear of not being able to find anything else — and then, finally, we landed in what would be our home for the next two years and change. A good, fun two years and change — there's nowhere like Berlin, man.

The third time I went where the work was, I left Berlin for Copenhagen to take a job with Tactile. My kitty passed suddenly, two days before the move, which made it one of the hardest of my life. I was incredibly lucky to have my best friend visiting, who helped me both in grief and with the move. Once again, I sold and donated anything that wouldn't fit into a rented passenger van, and we drove the long way (avoiding the ferry) to Copenhagen. I set up shop in an AirBnB for the first weeks, and found a permanent apartment for the rest of the year. (This coincided with start of the pandemic, so I spent most of that year in lockdown mourning the loss of my cat. Not a fun year.)

The fourth time I went where the work was, I left Copenhagen to take a job with A Thinking Ape in Vancouver. Old hat at this by now, I sold and donated everything I couldn't bring in the plane, shipped a couple of boxes with fingers crossed, and flew to Vancouver by way of RI and Denver, where I visited with family and friends for a couple of weeks before landing in Canada. I spent the first week in Canada in a quarantine hotel, as this was still the time of corona, but it was a fairly nice stay, considering I couldn't leave the room. After that, I, once again, spent the first month in an AirBnB while looking for a permanent apartment. Found a place fairly easily, which was a nice change from the apartment gauntlet I'd experienced in Berlin, and to a lesser degree in Copenhagen. Canada was my longest stay abroad in one spot, and I managed to get my Canadian Permanent Residency status while living in Vancouver. Settled in nicely in Vancouver, rescued two kitties from the shelter, built a Narrative department and kicked off two original IPs — a good stint.

The fifth time I went where the work was happened just this past January. January 15, 2024, after selling and donating everything that didn't fit into a rented passenger van, I packed up what was left, paid an exorbitant fee to ship my bike (a lesson learned; I'll sell it next time), and then the kitties and I hit the road to New York. Six days, 3,500 miles, 11 states, one blizzard, one screaming cat (the other was, blessedly, completely chill). As before, I spent the first month in an AirBnB, and then we found a permanent apartment. Signed a 12-month lease and got laid off five weeks after signing that lease. Wonderful. 

I suspect there will be a sixth time in which I go where the work is, and much sooner than I would've liked or imagined. And here are the tips I'll be heeding when I do so:

Tips to Prepare Yourself for Immigrating

1. Before you sign any offers (or, for the sake of the hiring team, before you even apply), research the proposed place to which you'd be immigrating.

This may seem like an exceedingly obvious tip, but truly, *research*. Research the company, yes, of course, that's a given — check Glassdoor reviews, see what people are saying on LinkedIn, read articles, see what the gossip is on socials, do a deep-dive on the executive team and any parent corporations— but also research the country and city that you might call soon call home.

Research the practical things, like the immigration requirements and process, the cost of living, the available amenities, the language, the culture, the food. And then dive deeper than that:

  • Go lurk on the local subreddit; what are people complaining about?
  • Wander down the street on Google Maps; would you enjoy walking around that place?
  • Price out flights; how expensive is it to return home around the holidays to see your parents, your grandparents, your besties?
  • Look at apartments; how expensive are they, and how readily available?
  • What's finding housing like for your family size and number of pets?
  • If your family includes pets or kids, what's the availability of veterinarians and pediatricians like?
  • If you have (or a loved one who's coming with you has) a particular medical condition, what's care for that condition in that country like?
  • What weird quirks should you know about (like how everything is closed on Sundays in Germany)?
  • Do you need to worry about your personal safety or access to services as a _______ person in this country? (For me, the fill-in-the-blanks are "queer" and "neurodivergent".)

If you have the opportunity to visit the country first (something to push for in the interview process, but it's not always a guarantee that your potential employer will fly you out for a visit), that's going to be hugely helpful — but while you're there, be more than a tourist. Talk to the locals about the pros and cons of living there. Talk to other expats about the pros and cons of immigrating and integrating. Take the public transit, shop at a grocery store, go to a pharmacy, take note of the availability of banks and other services — try to get a sense for what the day-to-day there is like. It's also one thing to read about a city's tolerance for not speaking the local language; it's another thing to visit firsthand and try to get by while speaking another language.

2. Negotiate (in writing) a generous relocation package. (Hint: It is always more expensive to move than you think it will be.)

Every time I've negotiated what I thought was a really great relocation package, I've found myself out of pocket when the dust settles. There's a plethora of reasons for this, but the biggest one is taxes. When you receive a signing bonus, taxes are taken out; when you're reimbursed for relocation expenses upon providing receipts, you are not reimbursed for taxes. And when you're spending thousands of dollars to move, that's thousands of dollars in taxes.

Costs to research to inform your negotiations (the "Cost Discovery Phase", as I like to call it — and this discovery phase also helps to establish a timeline of how soon you'll be able to make the move):

  • Do you want to hire packers and movers? (I never did, but as I creep past 35, the idea of doing it all myself again makes me want to wrap myself in a blanket and lie down in my closet for a month.)
  • Do you want to bring your furniture, or sell it and repurchase? Or rent somewhere furnished? (If you plan to bring everything with you across an ocean, your option is freight — and I've heard mixed reviews on the success of doing that. It's also VERY expensive. For me and my collection of particleboard furniture from IKEA, it always made more sense to sell everything off before leaving and then replace it locally (the IKEA-Craigslist Circle of Life).)
  • Will there be pet fees to move to where you're moving? (Spoiler: Yes.) Required vaccinations, veterinary exams, stocking up on required meds or special-diet food, pet visas, importation fees, flight fees, special carriers, special leashes/harnesses, special food/water containers (as some countries require cargo hold travel for pets), pet quarantine fees, pet fees to stay in hotels, pet fees to bring pets in rental cars, pet fees for AirBnBs, municipal pet registration fees, pet deposits, pet rent, establishing vet care in the new country — it is *a lot*. If you choose to use a pet relocation service, it is *a lot more*.
  • Does your new employer want you to move fast (expensive), or can you take your time (less expensive)?
  • Will you have fees associated with breaking your lease or selling your house?
  • Are there other things that you'll sell at a loss and will have to repurchase abroad for a higher price? E.g., cars, electronics, furniture.
  • Will your new employer cover all fees associated with the visa and work permit process? This is hugely different from country to country, and could encompass everything from medical exams to language tests to administrative fees to quarantine facilities (say, if there's another global pandemic) to traveling to specific hubs of bureaucracy.
  • Will your new employer cover your transportation and temporary housing, and for how long? What about a per diem while traveling?
  • Will your new employer sponsor language classes? What about culture and integration classes?
  • Will your new employer provide translation services for things like housing paperwork, setting up bank accounts, etc.?

This is not an exhaustive list of potential costs — so leave yourself some wiggle room for the things you didn't even think to think about.

2a. Consider that your relocation reimbursement and/or signing bonus will more than likely not be granted to you upfront.

Unless you specifically negotiate having some of your costs covered directly by your employer — as in, they book your flight, they book your hotel/AirBnB, they pay your immigration bureaucracy fees, they book your moving van, whatever et cetera — you are more than likely not going to see any reimbursement/signing bonus money until your first paycheck. Some employers may even hold that money until the end of your probation period — which could be a month, or three, or six. Be sure to get clarity those particulars so that you're prepared for the costs you'll have to front yourself.

2b. If your employer reimburses upon receipt of receipts, make sure you have crystal clear information around what will and will not be reimbursed.

Some employers will not reimburse certain expenses — usually for tax reasons — but find that out before you sign anything. And get it allllll in writing.

3. Negotiate (in writing) relocation protection clauses.

If you've been following me on LinkedIn, or you've just read my "life story before the recipe" section above, you'll be familiar with my horror story: relocated 3,500 miles from Vancouver to NY at net expense to myself, only to be laid off seven weeks later with no access to unemployment benefits (because I'd lived abroad for seven years and have only seven weeks of recent work history in the US). And while Canada had free universal healthcare, the US decidedly does not.

My contract had a standard clause that if *I* were to quit before a year, I'd have to repay my signing bonus. (That's been true of every role for which I've relocated, whether signing bonus or reimbursed relocation allowance.) However, there was no such protection in the other direction. Nothing to save me if *they* lay me off before a year. Which they did 🥲 And I deeply regret that I didn't push for any kind of protection in the event of a layoff.

It never occurred to me that I even *could* push for that kind of clause — but in this ever-blazing landfill inferno that is the games industry, I don't think I would sign an employment contract if it didn't offer two-way protection around relocation, *especially* abroad. Once burned is enough for me. It is life-ruining to find yourself out of work after spending thousands to move from a country where you had access to social safety nets to a country where you do not. 0/10, I do not recommend it.

4. Start planning and researching the things you'll need to do locally, and make yourself a timeline for what needs to get done by when.

So, you've negotiated relocation, signed your employment offer, and now you're going to move to a new country! Congratulations! You should've started packing yesterday.

Cheek aside, while you're waiting for your work visa to be approved, this is the time to start doing everything that's in your control.

In the Cost Discovery Phase of negotiating your relocation package, you likely (at least loosely) decided how and what you'll be moving — so you have a general idea of what you'll need to get rid of, what you'll store, and what you'll bring. You also have a nebulous number of weeks and/or months in which you'll still want to, you know, live your life, so you may find yourself in a weird limbo. You know you need to get rid of all of your furniture and pack up all of your kitchen bits, but you still need to cook and eat meals at a table. What's a pre-expat to do?

Research, that's what! Make lists! Write Craigslist ads for your couches and bookcases — and go ahead and post them, because it will take forever to find a legitimate buyer, anyway.

If you're using movers/shippers, there will be things you'll need to prepare for insofar as itemized lists, special packaging, knowledge of what you can and cannot bring — and ditto for anything you'll bring on the plane. You'll find answers to those unknowns on a country-by-country, airline-by-airline, service-by-service basis, as it all varies widely.

Now's also the time to plan out what you'll need to do in order to bring your furry friends with you — for some countries, the vaccination process and health certificate requirements start months in advance (luckily, you learned all about that in your research phase). Same goes for any medical appointments you (and the loved ones moving with you) will need to attend, whether for maintenance or as part of immigration requirements.

Medications, medical supplies (e.g., for diabetes), contact lenses — the sorts of things you'll need to start stockpiling while you're in the limbo between care providers, health insurance plans, and local medications. If you have ADHD, like me, you may find certain formulas are not available to you in certain countries, so it's important to chat with your doctor and be prepared for any changes to your prescriptions.

Again, not an exhaustive list of preparations — and it's all very understandably overwhelming. If you're feeling incredibly daunted by this point in the process, that's to be expat-ected. Expat... expected... *cough*. Right. Moving on.

I found having a living list and timeline to be a solid way of keeping myself sane. I worked backwards from the hand-wavey visa approval date to determine the rough timeframe in which I'd have to make the drive or flight, which allowed me to plan everything else leading up to that moment. From there, I could figure out a rough idea of by when I'd need to have my apartment exit walkthrough, which would determine by when the apartment would need to be emptied and clean, which would determine by when everything should be sold/donated/packed, etc.

I like me a written list with checkboxes, but maybe you like a Miro Board or a Trello Board for ease of a visual overview and the convenience of rearranging — whatever your system, cling to it. It will be your guiding light when you're breaking down at 2 AM a week before your flight, staring at a spatula, realizing you don't know the German word for "spatula", and wondering if you should bring it in your carry-on, just to be safe.

4a. Start learning the local language, if applicable.

In my experience, you can't start this soon enough. Duolingo, Babbel, Pimsleur, a community class — whatever your method, it will be immeasurably useful to know some basics in the local language. The alphabet, numbers, pleases and thank yous, pardon mes, greetings and goodbyes, days, directions — let me tell ya, all of this will make your life easier.

Sure, your phone can translate things, but what if your phone dies? What if you don't have a data signal (a very likely thing when you arrive in a new country and don't have a local SIM card or a desire to pay roaming fees)? What if you lose your phone, or someone steals it? Translation tech is a nice-to-have, but I wouldn't recommend relying on it, and certainly not if you hope to integrate long-term. Being able to communicate in the local language breaks down barriers — barriers to help, barriers to socializing, barriers to bureaucracy (into which you'll bump often as an immigrant), barriers to feeling like you're welcome.

5. As your timeline solidifies, start planning for what happens when you land.

If your employer is providing temporary housing, awesome — one less step on your list! May it be clean, quiet, and functional.

But if it's up to you to find that housing, hunt it down as soon as you know your dates. I've always used AirBnB for my first month's lodgings, because I like to cook, so having a fully equipped kitchen is a must for me. Also, it's been easier to find a cat-friendly AirBnB than hotel, in my experience. But if you're not big on cooking, don't need that much space, or don't have pets and/or kids to accommodate, you might prefer to stay in a suite-style extended stay hotel.

I would caution against a hostel or couch-surfing, because making a huge move and starting a new job is exhausting; set yourself up for success and stay somewhere where you can reliably get a solid night's sleep.

Depending on where you're heading, and if you're heading there with pets, you might have extensive pet quarantine rules with which to contend (brief aside: this is the reason why I opted not to relocate to Iceland or Australia when both were an option to me — I couldn't make the timeline work, and was extremely reluctant to put the cats through the experience, anyway). Quarantine facilities tend to require booking in advance, and the available facilities might be hundreds of miles from the city in which you'll be living. As this varies country by country, and depends on your pet's country of origin, my blanket advice is to research exhaustively, ask questions, get clarity, and follow the rules to a T. Pet relocation services exist to assist, but they are incredibly expensive on top of the usual pet relocation fees.

To the best of your ability from abroad, start scoping out neighborhoods in which you might like to live so that you can explore them when you're on the ground. I find Reddit to be a great place to search for questions that have already been asked insofar as types of neighborhoods, cost, amenities, etc. Some expats have had success pulling the trigger on an apartment from abroad, but me, I need to see a place and a neighborhood in person before I can commit to living there. If you do choose to try to rent a place without seeing it in person, DO NOT SEND MONEY FOR KEYS. This is a common scam — and there are far more sophisticated scams nowadays than "I'll mail you the keys" or "My friend in the US will bring them to you". With the proliferation of these scams, and now the advent of AI to help scammers craft more convincing messages, I honestly wouldn't even chance it; just plan on temporary lodgings until you're able to look for apartments on the ground.

6. Spend time with your local loved ones. Soak up the home you'll leave behind.

This is something I've done increasingly more of with each move, and I highly recommend making and taking the time for it. Homesickness hits hard. In New York, I'm homesick for Vancouver. In Vancouver, I was homesick for Copenhagen. In Copenhagen, I was homesick for Berlin. In Berlin, I was homesick for Boulder. In Boulder, I was homesick for Rhode Island. You're leaving behind a comfort zone, a community, a routine of familiarity. Your favorite tree-lined street. That sliver of ocean at the end of the lane. Your go-to coffee shop, bookstore, bar. Take time with these places, and with the loved ones who make these places especially special.

When you come back — if ever you do — things won't feel the same as before you left. Even if the spots haven't changed, you will have.


This is becoming a *rather long* post, and I applaud you for sticking with me thus far. Go on, grab a beverage and a snack. We're serving light refreshments in the lobby. Today's house cocktail is the Rainbow Kitten Surprise: a quixotic blend of layered liquors and exotic extracts served with a silly straw. We'll reconvene in 15 minutes.

If you've enjoyed this evening's performance thus far and would like to donate to our humble theater, you can do so here:

We thank you for your support!

And now, back to the show.

Tips for When You've Landed

7. Sign up for language classes, if applicable!

I'm going to keep hammering on this point, because even my tiny grasp of German and Danish made an immense difference in my day-to-day life in those countries. I had coworkers who opted not to learn the local language (no judgment, it's *hard* to find the energy for language-learning while you work full-time+), and they lamented often about their struggles with bureaucracy and integration. Even something as simple as going to the grocery store and asking where to find something — when you're adrift somewhere unfamiliar, don't underestimate the ability to ask (and understand the answer to) "Wo sind die Eier?" (Eggs aren't refrigerated in Germany, and that threw me.)

You might not be sure if you want to stay in your new country for the long-term — maybe just a year, who knows — but something that will factor into your assessment of longevity is your comfort, and in my experience, your comfort will increase with your increased understanding of the local language.

8. Find a community - don't fall into immigrant isolation, if you can help it.

To start, this will probably be your coworkers, and especially your fellow expats. If your city has a particularly tight-knight game dev community, you might end up meeting other industry folk outside of your studio through events and mixers. Then will come friends of friends — because you said "yes" to the invitation to join the DnD group, or come to Trivia Night, or go out to karaoke, or go for that bike ride! You might even endeavor to find meet-up groups through various social channels, or attend community events and strike up conversations.

If you're an introvert (like me), you might find this to be particularly challenging. It might be tempting to isolate yourself — and, speaking from experience, I would strongly urge you to fight that impulse. Push yourself to meet people. Being an expat is *already very hard* — without a strong community, it can start to feel terminally impossible. I'd had a rough go of things when I first got to Berlin, but what pulled me through and kept me going was my community. In Denmark, amidst covid and sans the ability to form community... a completely different and incredibly difficult time. Community is everything.

9. Budget carefully until you get a sense of how far your money stretches.

New currency, new cost of living, new taxes, new paycheck — speaking from experience again, play it safe with your pennies until you have a good grasp of your income and expenses. You've prepared for this with your research, this is true, but things on paper don't always translate to reality, and hidden expenses pop up by dint of your unfamiliarity with what to expect in a new place.

Here's an example: in Berlin, not all, but a lot of apartments are BYOA — Bring Your Own Appliances. Fridge, stove, washing machine... everything and the kitchen sink. It's not necessarily something for which you can calculate ahead of time, as it depends on what sort of apartment you manage to find. But it's not unusual ~to be loved~ to see someone wheeling a washing machine onto the M-Bahn (it's me, I'm the someone who wheeled a washing machine onto the M-Bahn #justberlinthings). And that's 250 Euro you probably didn't plan on needing to drop in your first months.

10. Give yourself time and grace.

You've just done a massive and difficult thing. You've left a comfort zone, left loved ones, parted with belongings, traveled thousands of miles, plopped into a new culture where you might not speak the local language, started a new job — you've done A Lot™️. And it is completely normal to land in your new place, hustle for the first month or so as you sort out bureaucracy and dive into the new role, and then... the hangover hits. The homesickness. The sheer physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion of the last few months of effort. You may find yourself overwhelmed, frustrated, even despondent, second-guessing your choice to move. And those are absolutely understandable feelings in the face of so much change and uncertainty.

But, give it time. I can't promise it will get better, but I can say, in my experience, it got better. I built out new comfort zones. Found familiarity in unfamiliar places. The day-to-day got easier, day by day. And now I look back at my time as an expat with deep gratitude for having had the opportunity to push myself into those challenges. I wasn't always a picture of grace going through it, but I gave myself the grace to get through it. I didn't give up and turn tail, as much as I sometimes wanted to. And I wanted to less, the more time I spent there.

Now, My Thoughts on Immigrating for Jobs in Games (In This Economy?!)

So. This landfill inferno that is the current state of the games industry. Would I immigrate to a new country for a role in the games industry while said insdustry is giving villain era?

In two situations would I say yes to relocating in this fiery industry climate:

  • a) Back to Canada, where I've banked recent years of work history and would have access to unemployment benefits (and free public healthcare) if I were to be laid off.
  • b) If I had a two-way relocation protection clause. I pay them if I quit, they pay me if they lay me off.

Or, I suppose, three situations, actually:

  • c) I suddenly become independently wealthy and take the job because I want to live in that country, and it doesn't matter if I get laid off, because I'm a bajillionaire.

But I'm thinking "c" probably isn't a common answer for you kids out there (if anyone's even still reading this; hello, how are you? how was your cocktail? enjoying the show?).

Given my recent experience with the whole moved-3500-miles-laid-off-no-access-to-umpeloyment-you-know-the-story-by-now, I feel it would be in bad faith to tell anyone, "Yeah, go for it! Immigrate! You'll be fine! It'll be grand!" I can't promise you that. I can point to some success stories, but I can also point to many horror stories like mine — and many even more dire, facing the loss of residence visas and needing to leave the country on their own dime.

Yet, I still wrote a stupidly-long post about immigrating for jobs in games. Because I want to believe in an international games industry where talent moves freely across borders — and doesn't take their lives into their hands doing so. An industry where we can look to the promise of longevity at a studio, look to the idea of picking up our lives and starting over somewhere new, and not have to think, "Well, shit, they're just going to lay me off in seven weeks."

Call me an idealist, but I believe in the game dev melting pot. I believe in the creative chemistry of folks from all different backgrounds, all corners of the globe, all coming together to build something that we then share with players around the globe. Global devs making global games with global perspectives. The kinda thing that makes the world go 'round, you know? The kinda thing we get to with remote work, for sure, and I'm a big proponent of that — but I'd love to see enough stability in the industry again for the folks who *want* to immigrate to be able to do so. To press "Start" on a huge adventure, as we do on so many screens.

That's the hope, anyway. A feathered thing, that.

Thanks for reading, friends. I'll leave you with a few resources I've found useful in my experiences immigrating:

GameDevMap: find game studios by location

Numbeo, Expatistan: cost of living calculators

r/Expats, r/ExpatFinance, r/[insertcountryhere]: helpful subreddits

Duolingo, Babbel, Pimsleur, Rosetta Stone, Drops: language learning (I love Drops, btw, underrated app for vocab)



If you've found any of this at all useful, or even (dare I say) enjoyable, consider making a small donation to keep the lights on: