Many times, moving cities or states can feel rather overwhelming, so imagine the feeling of moving to an entirely different continent. Although the prospect of packing up and leaving can seem extremely daunting, the experience itself is one you will never forget or regret.
Europe is a region incredibly rich in culture and history, so you’ll never get bored exploring what this place has to offer. There are 44 countries in the continent, each with a distinct aura. The best thing is that they’re all incredibly close too. If you live in Belgium, you can take a quick bus or train into neighbouring countries such as France, the Netherlands, Germany, or Switzerland!
Whether you’re making the move because of family, work, or spontaneity, here is a complete guide of everything you should know before moving to Europe.
Check If You’re Eligible and Apply for a Visa
Before you pack your bags and get your hopes up, you should make sure that you can apply for a visa. The best way to find out is by conducting a quick google search or speaking to a legal professional. Once you have your paperwork in order you can get the rest of the cogs moving.
Take Out Health and Travel Insurance
No matter where you go, how long you live there, or how healthy you are, you should always take out a comprehensive insurance policy. There are some plans that cover both travel and health. What does travel insurance cover? Depending on the provider and plan you choose, coverage can vary.
Get Used to the Currency Exchange
Getting used to the currency exchange is incredibly important because it can help you manage your money more efficiently. It is very easy to find yourself overspending when you’re not sure how much the local currency is worth. Find an easy way to remember the exchange rate, even if it means rounding the figures up or down.
Update Your ID Cards and Driver’s Licence
Some other admin you’ll need to complete is updating your ID cards and driving licences. Having identification on you at all times is essential in Europe and you don’t want to carry your passport around just in case it gets lost or stolen. Renewing these documents will only take a few days, so it’s best to get it done whilst you are still in your home country.
Start Learning the Basic Lingo
Locals will always appreciate it when you try to speak the language. We’re not expecting you to be fluent by the time you land, but some basic vocab can help you make a great first impression. You can simply download an app like Duolingo and start learning from the comfort of your home. Adversely, you can choose to take some lessons or perhaps complete an online course.
Figure Out Your Tax Obligations
When you start thinking about moving countries, you need to consider what your tax obligations will be and how you will fulfil these. There’s a lot of rules and regulations when it comes to tax, so we recommend that you speak to a professional that can help you get all your paperwork and finances in order.
Always Carry Some Cash with You
In many parts of the world cash has become almost obsolete. However, for many countries in Europe, cash still reigns supreme, meaning you should always carry a certain amount with you. Moreover, if you still don’t have a local bank account, you could be overcharged for using your foreign credit or debit card.
Always Respect the Traditions of Others
When you move to another country, you should always be respectful of the culture, tradition, and people of that nation. Just as you would like others to respect your customs, you should do the same. You may have incredibly different culinary cultures but that doesn’t mean that one is better than the other. Try to learn about the culture and converse with the locals to learn the reasoning behind their customs, just make sure you always ask in a polite manner.
Develop a Support Network
Let’s face it, moving to a new country or continent can feel lonely at times, especially if you’re flying solo. Don’t forget to develop a support network both in your hometown and new place of residency. Call and check in with friends from home as often as you can and catch up on recent developments.
Everybody should take a leap of faith at least once in their life. If you love travelling, socialising, and making memories, you’ll feel fantastic in Europe. However, don’t feel disheartened if it takes you a while to adjust. Give yourself some time to get adjusted and find what you like and what you don’t like about the country you live in.