Moving to Europe: Key Steps and Considerations

Moving to Europe: Key Steps and Considerations
Moving to Europe - Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash

Ever had that dream where you're sipping a fresh espresso on a Roman terrace, or cycling through the tulip fields in the Netherlands? Well, what if we told you it could be more than just a dream? Moving to Europe is a thrilling idea, but it can also be as puzzling as assembling an IKEA shelf. Don't fret, dear reader! We've got the toolbox you need to nail the European move.

1. The Ancestral Card: Jure Sanguinis / Citizenship by Descent

Remember those family tales of Uncle Luigi from Italy or Aunt Brigitte from France? It's time to put those stories to use! Many European countries, including Italy and Ireland, offer citizenship through jure sanguinis ("right of blood"). If you've got European ancestors, you might just have struck gold. Get those family records out, do some digging, and who knows? You could be eligible for a European passport.

2. The Artistic Soul: Artist Visas

Some European countries, like Germany, understand the importance of the arts. If you're a painter, sculptor, musician, or any other kind of artist, you might qualify for an Artist Visa (Germany). Imagine curating your art exhibition in Berlin's vibrant districts or performing at a historic Vienna theater. Europe celebrates art, and with this visa, you can be at the heart of it!

3. The Self-Made Maven: Freelance Visas

Are you your own boss? Europe has something for the self-employed spirits too! The Freelance Visa, offered by countries like Germany, is perfect for independent professionals. Whether you're a consultant, a software developer, a graphic designer, a writer, or a digital marketer, this visa lets you ply your trade amidst Europe's inspiring backdrop. Café in Paris as your Monday morning office? Why not!

4. The Brainy Bunch: Blue Cards

Got skills? Europe wants you! The European Blue Card is tailor-made for highly skilled non-EU nationals. Think of it as the golden ticket to the Willy Wonka's factory of opportunities. If you've got the expertise, a job offer, and dreams of European adventures, the Blue Card could be your passport to them.

5. The Wanderlust Warrior: Digital Nomad Visas

Estonia, with its digital-forward approach, introduced the Digital Nomad Visa for individuals who work online and want to explore Europe. You could be coding in a café in Tallinn by day and chasing the Northern Lights by night. Greece, Portugal and Croatia have also jumped on this bandwagon, offering similar visas. Who said work can't be fun?

6. Deep Dive: Expat Community and Reddit Expats

Reddit, the front page of the internet, is a treasure trove of expat wisdom. Dive into Reddit's expats (r/expats) forum, and you'll find stories, advice, and maybe a few memes. Get the real scoop on life in Europe, from finding an apartment in Amsterdam to the best kebabs in Berlin. And remember, knowledge shared is homesickness halved!

7. Health Matters: Medical Insurance Expat Guide

Nobody plans to catch the flu while dancing in Ibiza, but better safe than sorry, right? Europe boasts a robust healthcare system, but for expats, diving into the 'medical insurance expat' realm is crucial. From state-sponsored schemes to private insurers, to a mix of both, the choices are plenty. And yes, some do cover the after-effects of those wild Ibiza nights!

8. The Nitty-Gritty: Financial Essentials

Europe, with its myriad currencies and banking systems, can be a financial maze. Opening a bank account, understanding taxes, and getting a credit card are essential tasks. Research, prepare, and perhaps learn the word for 'bank' in multiple languages. (Hint: In Spain, it's "banco"!).

There are a few online banks that make the process of opening a Euro bank account quick and easy and they cover a lot of countries in the Eurozone. Check out N26, Revolut (referral links).  

For low fee transfers from USD to EUR (and many other currencies), check out Wise (referral link). Wise also has a "Borderless" bank account for normal banking as well.  

You can't go wrong with any of (or a mix of) these options.  I use of all 3!

9. Culture Crash Course

European countries, with their diverse cultures and etiquettes, can be a delightful puzzle. From cheek kisses in France to punctuality in Switzerland, the cultural norms vary. So, while you're planning the move, perhaps enroll in a local culture class? It'll save you from faux pas and might just earn you some local pals!

10. Speak Like a Local

"Gracias", "Merci", "Danke" – the European linguistic landscape is vast. While English is widely spoken, learning the local language can be a game-changer. Not only does it help in daily tasks, but it's also a sure-shot way to win hearts and really get into the nitty gritty of the culture. And who knows? You might just find humor in language blunders along the way!  

Duolingo and Memrize are 2 apps that can help you get down the basics.

In Conclusion...

Europe, with its tapestry of cultures, landscapes, and croissants (yes, they deserve a special mention!), is a dream for many. But moving there is a decision that requires planning, paperwork, and a pinch of humor. So, as you chart this exciting course, remember to enjoy the journey as much as the destination. And hey, if you ever find yourself wondering about the weather in your new European hometown, you know WeatherGO has got your back!