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best place to live in europe

best place to live in europe

Old Aug 5, 08, 8:06 pm
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Question best place to live in europe

Hi, hoping someone can give me some pointers..
I'm 21 living in Middlesbrough (north east england) and about to finish my degree in psychology and counselling.. I work part time in a bar and absolutely HATE living in england..
I really want to move to europe sometime soon but have no idea about which cities, countries etc would suite my needs. I'd like to live somewhere with decent job opportunities, fairly cheap cost of living, nice area with good quality of life, and cheap housing. I'm also very unclear about taxes etc, are they all the same throughout europe or do they vary from country to country?
I've done small amounts of research and places such as amsterdam have caught my eye because of the relaxed way of life, but as I said I have no idea of how it is over there.
Somewhere that english was a popular language would be helpful as I do not speak any other language (but would be very willing to learn).
One final thing I'm unsure about.. To move to another country is it as simple as just moving or do you need visas and things? are these difficult to get hold of? and even little things such as hospitals, if there is no NHS what is the process?

Thanks very much for any help! its all appreciated!
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Old Aug 5, 08, 9:16 pm
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Originally Posted by tom_C_87 View Post
I'm 21 living in Middlesbrough (north east england) ...
I really want to move to europe sometime soon
Isn't England/Great Britain/UK part of Europe??
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Old Aug 6, 08, 2:37 am
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You are very limited because English is the first language only at UK and Irland.
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Old Aug 6, 08, 3:26 am
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Sounds like you need to think abut spain or portugal. Fits most of the requirements if you are ok doing more bar or similar work for a while to try it out.

All you need to do is pack a suitcase and get onto Easyjet. I'd say save up some cash for a month of backpacking along the Spanish coast. Start in Valencia and head down to Gibraltar. See how you feel about it.

If you find somewhere you want to stay, then it's easy to sort out residence permit as you are an EU citizen. Getting a job, well there is an economic downturn on now, so it will be harder, but who knows.

Taxes are different from country to country, and you have to tell the UK Inland Revenue that you are leaving the UK, but that's easy. As for paying taxes in the country you are moving too, well it depends on what your employer wants to do, how they declare your pay or not.

Healthcare.. just sign up for a cheap annual travel insurance policy, and treat your first few months as a 'working/backpacking' holiday. There is a new replacement to the old E1-11 card, which you should pick up also.

You'll never know unless you try it.
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Old Aug 6, 08, 3:30 am
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Welcome to Flyertalk, tom_C_87

Are you British, or are you an overseas student in the UK?

I hope you don't mind my saying this, but if you are British, and you grew up in the UK, then I am a bit surprised that you need to ask about things like visas. I thought everybody knew about the European Union and EU free movement - isn't it the sort of knowledge you would have grown up with, just like one grows up with knowledge about the UK education system and the NHS etc etc?

There is plenty of information available about working in other EU countries, and the basic information is very easy to find online - just do a search on something like "Working in other EU countries". When you do this make sure that you distinguish between government sites (which are generally accurate and up-to-date), and unofficial ones which may have lots of useful information but may also contain some misinformation. UK government sites end in gov.uk, those of EU agencies end in either eu.int or europa.eu

As for what country is the best one to live in - that's really very subjective. As someone has already said, language may be your limiting factor, especially in your field which very much depends on communication. For some fields, such as IT, language doesn't matter quite so much (my other half used to be an IT contractor, and he found that the working language for IT projects was often English). To work in psychology and counselling you really need native command of the language of the people to whom you provide a service - "native command" means knowledge not just of the language, but also of the underlying culture, something you only acquire through living in a country for a LONG time and completely immersing yourself in that country's culture.
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Old Aug 6, 08, 4:42 am
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I think personally you need to do a little more research on your own. Given Amsterdam is 40 minutes by plane why not go there for a weekend a see for yourself if you like it? I would suggest you do this with a few places until you decide where you like and then maybe spend a couple of weeks in that place and find out if you really like it before you move.

I can only echo what others have also said. Depending on what you want to do you will find it difficult as a non-native speaker to get a job above a menial work or unless you have a specialised skill.
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Old Aug 6, 08, 6:11 pm
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thanks for the help! I am british but wasn't too certain on a few things. I think visiting a few places is a very good idea, and the backpacking idea also sounds like a great idea.
thanks again!
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Old Aug 6, 08, 7:28 pm
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Go to Cyprus. It's probably the only non-English speaking place in Europe where you won't have any issues getting by as an English-only speaker.
Plenty of hotels etc to work in, and there's heat and tourism all year round, so you shouldn't have any issues getting a job.
It's also relatively far from England...but why would you want to be near England in the first place?

Last edited by chrissxb; Aug 7, 08 at 3:30 am Reason: reference to locals deleted
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Old Aug 7, 08, 10:02 am
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just in case the negative comments are getting you down... i live in spain and barely speak anything other than a few words, and it's fine. you'll learn.

i have a friend who went to greece after uni, set up a tourst bike hire business on an island, got married had, a daughter... who knows what waits for you.
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Old Aug 7, 08, 10:16 am
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Originally Posted by GK View Post
i live in spain and barely speak anything other than a few words, and it's fine. you'll learn.
Aparentemente no
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Old Aug 7, 08, 10:20 am
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Try Laussane, Swiss
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Old Aug 7, 08, 10:21 am
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About five and a half years ago, I was in a similar place as you. I was a bit (cough) older and had established myself in the business world pretty successfully, but was not happy with my quality of life, the weather where I lived (Seattle), and generally felt that I needed a big change.

On Jan 2, 2003, I decided to sell my business, my house with most of its furnishings, and my car. 91 days later I boarded a NW flight with six suitcases that contained nearly all my remaining worldly belongings and headed for Barcelona.

Today I'm living in a beautiful place, immersed in a culture I love, married to a sweet and adorable Spaniard, coming off one successful startup and beginning a second. I'm also fluent in two new languages.

Point being: it can be done. It wasn't easy, necessarily. And there were times at the beginning I wanted to turn around and go back. Even today I get frustrated at cultural differences sometimes, and miss certain things. But I would do it again in a second. It was the best decision I have ever made.

Things will be easier for you, because you're an EU citizen and can get employment. If you don't speak another language, you'll probably have to work in the hospitality industry in a tourist area at first. That's OK; you'll make some friends and learn your way around.

The first step in your plan, though, has got to be travel. This isn't a decision you can make in a couple of days - it's a process. There are cheap flights all over Europe from the UK. Go spend some time in places like Amsterdam, Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, Brussels, Milan, Rome, Lisbon etc., even if it's just for a weekend. Take the public transit, walk around, talk to people in bars, and get a real feel for what it's like to live somewhere foreign.

One last piece of advice: when you decide where to head, make an effort to learn the local language and get to be involved with local people. You will not learn Spanish, for example, hanging out in the one pub in a town full of British expats moaning about how backward your new country is.

Enjoy exploring, and good luck on your new adventure!
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Old Aug 7, 08, 10:33 am
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Originally Posted by szg View Post
You are very limited because English is the first language only at UK and Irland.
Yeah, but in places like CPH, just about everyone speaks it.. you can easily get by with just English there. A fun joke about the perfect European combination goes:
You get a Danish salary, drink French wine, have German prices, drive an Italian car, and party in Amsterdam with your Swedish lady.
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Old Aug 7, 08, 9:03 pm
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Nicest place is Cesky Krumlov, in the south of Czech republic, it's a pitoresque medieval town, it was featured in the movie Hostel 2. It's a little island surrounded by water, with many bridges, and a castle!
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Old Aug 8, 08, 4:59 am
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One thing I think the OP should clarify. He mentions he has a degree in sychology and counselling is he looking to get a job in that field? I would venture that it would be nigh on impossible without the language to get a job in that field, and that being said he will have to weigh up whether he is willing to sacrifice a higher grad degree wages for the lifestyle.
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