Moving to Europe: How to be a pro expat

Moving in general is a huge feat in itself. However, if you are relocating overseas, as well, you need to be ready for more than just a little bit of climate change. As you undoubtedly know, there are numerous reasons as to why one would consider moving from USA to Europe. Whether you are relocating because of a job opportunity or looking to have some adventures of your own, they are all great reasons to explore this part of the world. Though, there are definitely a couple of things which you should know before moving to Europe in order to be a pro expat. So, let us get started by telling you that…

If you’re moving to Europe you should know that there is no ‘Europe’

Well, this might seem a tad confusing, but let us elaborate on it. Europe, as a continent, most definitely exists. However, unlike the unity of the states which make up the USA and certain similarities among them, there is no such thing in Europe. Each country on this continent is a whole world of its own. There are a number of languages, cultures, customs and culinary masterpieces which differ from one border to another. In some European cities, they even vary from a city to city! So, if you are planning on moving to Europe, you should definitely look at the list of the amazing 50 possibilities, including Russia. The great thing is, even if you make a mistake with the country you’ve relocated to, it’s pretty easy to move once more. After all, it’s only a couple of hours by plane to a whole different world!

When relocating to Europe like a pro expat you should do due diligence

As we’ve mentioned before, there are 50 options here! So, if you’re moving to Europe you ought to do your research regarding different countries. The best thing would definitely be to go through a list of them all and then narrow down your wish list. Having five or six chosen countries in the end will make you a true expat later on. After all, then, you can do some research on the culture and the language and see just how difficult it would be living there. But the main trouble is: how to choose the country? Well, here are a few examples:

  • United Kingdom – If you’ve seen a fair number of British TV shows, you won’t be shocked at all by their accent. This country is a polite, classy and cultured choice, just imagine Tom Hiddleston! What is there not to love? Though, be careful of their climate and don’t underestimate just how expensive London can be.
  • France – If you’ve never tried a croissant the French way, you’re missing out. However, this might just be a perfect place for moving to Europe is you’re a fan of good food and even better wine. The only trouble might be that the French are exclusively French. In other words, if you’re moving to France, you might need a little more than high school level language knowledge.
  • Italy – Another country which is famous for their food. The people here are flirty, fun and almost always with a smile on their face. If you’re a fan of fashion, cute or fast cars and a great lunch spot at every corner, you may consider moving to Italy. Let us not forget the amount of history you will be able to see at every corner! Though, we would advise that you take caution when driving among Italians.

But, let us stop there. After all, there are 50 different choices! It would take us more than one post to cover them all.

If you’re moving to Europe like a pro expat, you should be ready for the language barrier

While most people in Europe will speak English, this may not be enough if you’re planning on being an expat. So, this is a can of worms that has to be opened as soon as we start talking about moving to Europe. While you may adjust to the culture and to the climate easily, language is a thing which takes some time to learn. So, if you’ve taken Spanish class is high school, it might just be useful now. Use your previous knowledge from when picking the ideal European country for you. If you’ve studied French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese might be easier to learn. If you’ve taken German, you have the option of living in Austria, as well. Keep in mind that most of the countries in the Balkans speak Slavic languages, which are very similar to Russian.

And after you’ve chosen your ideal country, don’t sit still! It’s time to download Duolingo and begin practicing the language. It is also a great thing if you can get a native speaker to write or talk to you on Skype. It would definitely be great practice!

And finally, when moving to Europe you should prepare accordingly

Unlike in the USA, where all you need to travel is your car and some cash, this might be a bit troublesome in Europe. We’d like to mention a great website here, where you may be able to get information about your new destination first hand – ExpatGenius. It is always a good idea to find a Genius online and get some knowledge from them, as they are always ready to help out new expats.

  • VISA – before moving to Europe you out to check what kind of VISA you can get in your desired country and what is the procedure. France, for example, will allow a one-year VISA. In Austria, on the other hand, you can have a job seeker’s VISA. If you have this when moving to Europe, you can stay in Austria for six months while looking for a job. Some countries will require you to register with the police in the 24 hours after crossing the border. So, all in all, check the procedure for the VISA.