American Who Moved to Europe

Has any of the Bald Move community moved from the US to Europe?  If so, do you mind sharing your story and any anecdotes?  It's something my wife and I have talked about at times, and I am curious for some real world examples or stories.  Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • Following! I'd like to live as an ex-Pat at least for a little while, myself. Experiences. 
  • I moved from the US to Germany about 12 years ago. The countries in Europe are as different from each other as they are from the States. Anecdotes about life in Germany really wouldn't inform anyone about life in Italy, for example. There are a few general things about how Europe and the US is different I could share tho.
    Nickplay
  • Sounds good Dray!
  • I'm from Europe, does that count?  I live in NYC and have done since 2008.
  • I haven’t moved to Europe but I’ve moved to Australia and then Singapore. 

    All I can say is what Jim said. Do It! It was the best decision I ever made. Unless you have kids you are leaving then I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t want to experience a new world. It’s amazing. The things you will experience, what you will learn and how you will grow as a person cannot he described. Do it. 
  • Not moved, but visited. A strong piece of advice is to recognize that you are a product of biases from media and society, and do away with expectations altogether.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_syndrome

    If you accept that some places are not as great as depicted, and some places aren't as bad as depicted, you'll have a reasonably good time.

  • I'm from Alabama but have lived abroad since 2013. First Australia, then France, and now Ireland as of a few months ago. Everyone's situation is different, so I can only speak for myself, but I would say its equally the best and most stressful thing I have ever done. The positives definitely win out though, so if you have the opportunity, definitely go for it! The opportunity can be hard to come by though- long-stay work visas can be expensive and difficult to get. I work as a scientific researcher, so that's how I did it. I can tell you more if you want, but I assume this isn't applicable to most people. 

    Whether you are temporary or permanent, how much uncertainty your future holds, your financial and family situation, how well you deal with frustrations- all make a big difference in your experience. Also, being an expat sort of becomes one of the dominant parts of your personal identity, whether you want it to be or not. It changes your views on immigration, and you look at foreigners in your own country differently, especially those that don't speak the language well. There was a Chinese guy in my department in Australia- he wasn't good at english, but he really tried, but he kind of got ignored a lot because he didn't make much sense. After living in France and not knowing any french when I arrived, I often think about that guy, because now I was in the same situation. empathy level = increased.

    I can make some generalizations about my French experience specifically, but just know that these are general impressions, there are always exceptions, and I'm not trying to stereotype people or cultures or whatever. France is an administrative nightmare.  I think I spent half my time there filling out paperwork. But, it has really great social services and healthcare. We had a baby there and not only did it not cost anything, we got monthly payments to help support him (not like welfare, just a standard allocation for new families). Outside of the touristy areas, the french are not at all like the rude stereotypes- almost everyone I met was super friendly and welcoming. The food is great, but there's a lot of bread, meat and cheese, and you can drink a great bottle of wine for 5 euros. On the downside, I feel like there is a constant attitude of "C'est impossible!" rather than "Let me help you with that". Everything requires multiple visits or phone calls, several levels of approval, crazy amounts of documents, ridiculous arbitrary rules, and is often done manually and takes forever. Some of the streets and squares never felt entirely safe to walk through because of the aggressive drug dealers. Most cites have big apartment blocks on the outskirts that are mostly low-income immigrants. These aren't really unsafe, but can just be depressing places in general. Conversely, the countryside is beautiful, and the architecture and history make almost every place really interesting.  I thought that learning a new language was a great experience, and that getting outside my 'bubble' was good for me. 

    Anyway, feel free to ask anything else, I've only been in Ireland a few months but culturally, it's a lot closer to the USA and Australia than France. I might have some more thoughts in a year! 

    Jim
  • Hatorian said:
    I haven’t moved to Europe but I’ve moved to Australia and then Singapore. 

    All I can say is what Jim said. Do It! It was the best decision I ever made. Unless you have kids you are leaving then I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t want to experience a new world. It’s amazing. The things you will experience, what you will learn and how you will grow as a person cannot he described. Do it. 
    My son wants to move to Singapore, and possibly change citizenship. 
    Can you say more please?


  • HatorianHatorian Dagobah
    edited November 13
    Kate23 said:
    Hatorian said:
    I haven’t moved to Europe but I’ve moved to Australia and then Singapore. 

    All I can say is what Jim said. Do It! It was the best decision I ever made. Unless you have kids you are leaving then I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t want to experience a new world. It’s amazing. The things you will experience, what you will learn and how you will grow as a person cannot he described. Do it. 
    My son wants to move to Singapore, and possibly change citizenship. 
    Can you say more please?


    I actually have all my documents/forms filled out for citizenship but haven't made the jump yet. theres alot to cover but ill start there. Basically you have to get an Employment Pass to get long term entry to the country. Shouldn't be an issue if your son works for a company with the office in Singapore and is willing to re-locate him. However, need to do alot of research into the cost of living and salaries here. you definitely need a higher salary here than you do pretty much anywhere besides SoCal/NY. Once your have an EP you can then submit for Permanent Residence. you can do this pretty much the day you enter the country but unless you're a millionaire you probably will get rejected. The standard is to wait for 2 years before submitted. Show substantial ties to Singapore, IE kids living there, bank accounts, property, etc. Once you have PR then you have to wait 2 years before you can submit for citizenship. Singapore only allows 1 citizenship so you need to renounce your US citizenship and show proof before they officially give it to you. 

    its a long process. talking minimum 4 years in SG before being able to change citizenship. We came here only expecting to do 2 years and we are now PR and been here 6

    outside of that process Singapore is a pretty great place to live. 

    Pros
    - Clean
    - Efficient
    - Safe
    - Easy/cheap travel to cool destinations like Thailand/Vietnam/HK
    - 1st world country, technologically advanced, lots of automation
    - can get most of your favorite US stuff but will cost you, IE candy/meat/consumer goods(not everything though, like no cherry coke and little things like that)
    - top 3 education for kids in the world (both public and private) 
    - lots of things to do for kids/families
    - Condo life is great. Gym, pool, amenities. Although we have a house now but Condos are great for expat families
    - government pretty much makes life easy for expats, forms and applications are Super easy and quick. 
    - almost everything can be done online 
    - multicultural. Some Singaporean’s can be racist(they took our jobs!) but most know they need expats and western companies to thrive as a nation
    - Low taxes

    Cons
    - expensive
    - dont break rules although it’s not as strict as people make it out to be (NO DRUGS)
    - always hot/weather sucks
    - public transporation or uber/taxi is required unless you want to spend 100K+ on a car
    - away from family/friends
    - long trip back to the US (20+ hours)
    - Private school expensive
    - MALLs and MORE MALLS!
    - Low taxes could mean you have to pay US tax as well

    Always happy to have a conversation and/or answer questions your son may have. 
  • HatorianHatorian Dagobah
    edited November 13
    Some things to know as well that a lot of people don’t know.

    if you have kids and are married it’s easy to get them dependent passes. No problem. 

    But if youre moving with your Girlfriend she cannot get on your visa. She needs her own visa which means she can either only come as a tourist for 90 days or she needs to find her own employment pass. She will not qualify for dependent pass unless you are actually married 
    Kate23
  • @Hatorian THANK YOU
    All of that is incredibly helpful! Briefly, son is a new submariner who'll come out as an engineer, has become very proficient and enthusiastic about learning Mandarin from 2 month stay in China (although I understand English is S's 1st language), and wouldn't have a problem with most of the cons except maybe the heat. He still has 3-1/2 years to go but this has been his background idea for the past year, reading the tea leaves here and in Asia, for all of the "pro" reasons you list. First-hand experience is the best; I'll  pass this along to him.

    His current gf just became long distance when he moved across the country to his base, so that won't even be an issue I hope. 

    Aming other reasons, as big fans of The Expanse I tried to dissuade him because I think Singapore would have to build quite a wall around itself in the coming decades to hold back rising water; he says S is rich enough and smart enough to do it.

    Glad you've succeeded and I hope the best for you. Thanks again. 
    Hatorian
  • Kate23 said:
    @Hatorian THANK YOU
    All of that is incredibly helpful! Briefly, son is a new submariner who'll come out as an engineer, has become very proficient and enthusiastic about learning Mandarin from 2 month stay in China (although I understand English is S's 1st language), and wouldn't have a problem with most of the cons except maybe the heat. He still has 3-1/2 years to go but this has been his background idea for the past year, reading the tea leaves here and in Asia, for all of the "pro" reasons you list. First-hand experience is the best; I'll  pass this along to him.

    His current gf just became long distance when he moved across the country to his base, so that won't even be an issue I hope. 

    Aming other reasons, as big fans of The Expanse I tried to dissuade him because I think Singapore would have to build quite a wall around itself in the coming decades to hold back rising water; he says S is rich enough and smart enough to do it.

    Glad you've succeeded and I hope the best for you. Thanks again. 
    Singapore has built a great city. They are not in danger of rising oceans as they are building out the city in prep for this. They also have an amazing location where they are protected from natural disasters such as Tsumanis and earthquakes. It’s really one of the few countries prepared for the future and only getting better. Also they have dimplomactic ties with North Korea, China and the US. Even if worst case scenario WW3 breaks out it would be one of the safest countries to live in Asia. 
    Kate23
  • Now that is interesting!
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