Choose your destination
Belgium: Brussels, Antwerp
Bosnia and Herzegovina
France: Paris, Nice
Germany: Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich
Netherlands: Amsterdam, The Hague
Norway : Oslo
Portugal: the Algarve
Spain: Barcelona, Costa del Sol, Madrid, Mallorca, Seville, Valencia, Zaragoza
Switzerland: Geneva, Zurich
United Kingdom: Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Manchester, Reading
Moving to Europe
Moving to Europe is somewhat like taking a seat in the drawing room of the world’s most esteemed host. The continent is not only credited as the birthplace of Western culture, but it’s also lauded for its role as the staging ground for many of the globe’s major influential cultural and social movements.
As a single unit, it’s the wealthiest continent, and it claims the largest economy in the world, which includes nearly a third of the Fortune 500 “Most Powerful Companies”; it’s also home to the highest number of migrants.
That said, expats relocating to Europe should take care not to lump each of the 50 states (approximately) together. Though the advent of the European Union (EU) and the Eurozone is a sign that the individual nations are interested in standardising certain systems, including currency, the countries do not ascribe to a common culture, nor do they, necessarily, uphold common values. Furthermore, not all nations are member-states of the EU and the Eurozone.
Rather, there are significant differences to be noted; for example, the gaping disparity between the presence of infrastructural amenities (i.e. education, healthcare and public transport) in post-communist, developing nations like Moldova, versus that of former-colonialist powerhouses, like the UK.
What’s more, expats should take note that life in Europe, depending on where you’re headed, may not be nearly as lucrative, or as romantic as may have once been the case. As of the last quarter of 2008, many of the continent’s nations have watched their economies plummet to a dismal low-point, and even as of early 2012, certain countries were still turning to their neighbours to bail them out and jumpstart their return to normalcy.
Thus, regardless of the assumptions you’ve made about life in the south of France or on the Greek islands, be sure to conduct the appropriate research before you go, and to continue to evaluate your situation even once settled.