There are so many benefits to spending a period of your life living abroad, and Europe is such an immensely diverse and vibrant place it’s not hard to see why it’s such a popular choice. Before the UK leave the EU, now is the time to get your affairs in order and spend some time living abroad. It’s one of my personal dreams, so it’s something I’ve studied in great detail. It’s a fantastic opportunity to meet some new and interesting people, learn about a new way of life, try exotic foods and also learn another language. You can immerse yourself totally in a new culture and broaden your horizons.
According to the Guardian, 30,000 students from the UK alone went to mainland Europe to study in 2013, and the Institute for Public Policy Research estimated there were 5.5 million British people living abroad in Europe in 2006. That figure is likely to have increased, with Europe becoming more and more popular year on year. It’s now becoming a more and more popular destination for people from all around the world.
So what do you need actually to do if you’re planning on moving to Europe? Obviously, there are different rules for different countries in Europe, and there are certain things you will need to do before you move to any of them. Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as hopping on a plane.
Get your Paperwork Sorted
Moving to any new country often comes with quite a hefty amount of red tape. Make sure you have the original versions of all your documents, plus spare photocopies just in case. You will need to register with the local council to let them know you’re taking up residence in the area. If you are moving from outside the EU, you might need to check with a reputable immigration service to make sure you meet the requirements, such as an EEA family permit for example.
Research the Location
The internet is a wonderful place. You will be able to find out all kinds of local info by doing some research. It’s tricky in a new country to know where to start, but once you decided on a certain city, you can search to the best neighbourhoods in terms of crime rates, house prices, amenities, etc.
Think About Your Health
There are many articles to help you find the right health insurance policy for you when moving to Europe. It’s quite a scary place to be in should you find yourself ill or injured in a foreign place with no insurance. Do some extensive research before you set off to find the best deal or plan for you, and try to learn about the health care system available in the country you’re moving to.
Learn the Lingo
If your high school languages are a little rusty, you might want to freshen up your foreign lingo with an intensive language course. You’re much more likely to be able to fit in and find new friends if you make an effort with the language – and it will be invaluable when it comes to dealing with practical things like shopping, renting a house or opening a bank account. You can join a course at a local college, hire a private tutor, buy a language learning book or an app. There are so many ways to improve your language skills, and even making a little bit of effort can go a long way once you’re living in that country!
Have you taken the leap and moved to Europe? I’d love to hear about your time and experiences there so get in touch!