Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the European Countries.
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...Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the UK, or Ireland.
OK. Basically I am a US citizen that is on track for getting a degree in technology management with electrical engineering to come much later on and is looking to work & live in any of the listed countries (way too may reasons to list - both quite reasonable and trivial) and have heard about how hard it is for an American that isn't filthy rich to move to anywhere in the EU or EEA. I now wonder if I'll be stuck in the US for ever given how tight visa restrictions are even for Canada, let alone the EU. I want to move to a country with a better infrastructure than the US as well as has more liberal values than the US yet is still safe and it seems those countries I listed (well at least the first few) are a good bet. Plus, I absolutely love electronic dance music (especially trance) and I dream of seeing some of the major DJs perform well before the music becomes outdated as is the case when it's played here in the US. I mentioned the UK & Ireland as basically last-resort places if it doesn't work out elsewhere, given I know only English and come from an Anglo environment.
Since I'm not fully (Associate's doesn't seem to count as a degree anymore) done my degrees and have at least 2 years left for one of them, does this mean I basically don't have a chance at going anywhere at all till I am at least 30? I'm 23.5 now and academically have less than the average 20-year-old due to trouble with classes since 2005. Perhaps my diagnosis with Asperger's Syndrome in late 2007 may explain why I have trouble handling a full course-load, but that doesn't exactly let me off the hook when it comes to time. Time still speeds ahead and the later it gets, the lesser I think I'll be able to move given the political climate now. God knows how things will be when I graduate circa 2014. I am currently having a hard time finding work where I am from, let alone in a nation with a different language & culture. My main computer skills millions of others have and then some. It's guaranteed to not require an EU/EEA company to look outside their entire region for such a person.
So basically, all this said: do I have a chance at moving to any of the aforementioned nations say if I finish the partially-finished Technology Management degree? If not that, how much would it cost for me to at least stay in any of those places for the maximum legal amount of time for Americans (90 days right?)?
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What is your ethnic heritage? Many of the Western European countries will give descendants of relatives that originally immigrated to America dual citizenship if you can prove it. Most only allow three or four generations back though, although Ireland has no time limits. All you have to do is get birth and marriage certificates and then go to one of the embassies to prove a past genetic link. From what I have read Germany, Italy and Ireland seem to be the easiest countries for descendent to get their past ancestry verified and presented a passport. I suppose the Scandanavian countries are probably ok as well. You just have to have proof. Do some online research. One of the posts in another section has a link I posted that may help you, but you will have to dig it out. I'm screwed in this area as all my descendents either immigrated from French Canada or England and both countries don't allow citizenship past one generation. So I can't get French as who knows when my ancestors went to Canada from France and England is just anal retentive about getting citizenship. I may have an Irish link but I would have to do research from the states as I don't have the resources just using the Internet.
I think getting a technical degree to try to work overseas is not a good idea as there are already too many others with the same credentials trying to do the same thing from within the country as well as other competing countries. If you want to work overseas you have to learn a specific niche skill that is difficult to find in the region or country you are trying to work and live in.
Teaching is a niche skill and allows easy access to international countries, although you have to spend a lot of money initially to get the proper certifications and qualifications, but you can live pretty much anywhere and make good money. Creating your own niche business in a particular country could also be effective. If you are a tech guy you need to be shit hot in your field and you will have to prove it to get hired over others. If you are only into tech stuff I suggest maybe learning as much as you can about web design and maybe create your own portable business doing that. You can live anywhere as long as you have a decent internet connection.
I took the teaching route out of the states. I initially had an undergraduate computer degree, then changed my focus to teaching and have been doing ok ever since. I just had to change my mental focus a bit on a different area of life and spend money to earn higher degrees. I was able to leave the USA at the age of 29...
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Just off the outset- US citizens do not need visas to visit the EU and if they have money, they can stay some 6 months. Then you can go back to the US and come and visit again. That is what PT lifestyle is. You are legally a tourist but you get to enjoy all those things the countries have to offer. So, it is important to know that if you like the music and the infrastructure, you can enjoy those legally for long stretches of time as a tourist. That is also an option to keep in mind.
If you can think of making money online, you can spend long "vacations" in different parts of Europe. You can do it for a long long time.
That is an option to consider.
If you have a CELTA/DELTA degree on top of your other degree, you can become an ESL teacher and teach in the Middle East and go and visit Europe often.
These are just some options that may bring you closer to at least partial realization of the dream.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
Adam, the countries you listed are all in Western Europe or Scandinavia. If you want to find the path of least resistance, finish a bachelor's degree program in any subject and then get a TEFL certificate (it usually takes four weeks full-time or three months part-time) and then go teach English in the former Soviet Bloc countries in Europe. Or if you already know that you want to teach English, you could get a bachelor's degree in English, Linguistics, or Education and then you might not need a TEFL certificate at all.
All the Americans want to go to France, Italy, and the UK. If you go someplace more remote, I think your chances are better. The trick is to find a job that will help you with all the paperwork. You don't want to end up going to these immigration offices alone and wait for two hours only to find out that you don't have a necessary document or that you filled out a form incorrectly.
That said, living abroad is always quite tough at first. If you have trouble dealing with lots of new information, you might not be happy doing this. Out here in Hungary, apart from the capital, there are rarely any helpful signs even in Hungarian, let alone in English. I have forgotten what it's like to walk into a store and understand absolutely everything. On many trams, they don't announce the stops, and you just have to learn by sight where to go. My brain continuously aches from learning this language, but I'm making progress slowly.
Of course, if you go to England, you'd avoid all this, but I doubt they need any English teachers there! You might want to look into Lithuania or Estonia. They are almost Scandinavian, but they are former Soviet Bloc countries. Don't go to Latvia because their economy is falling apart right now, but maybe in several years it will be okay again.
If one can make income online, that is even better. Outside of all this advice above, there are still jobs overseas for Americans at American companies. One will just have to look around. After all, you only need one job. There are recruiters, agencies that help Americans find jobs in their field of discipline.
Personally, I would never want to live in the Western EU because of expense, snobbery and plastic-ness of the whole place. Visiting and extended stay is fine but living there all the time? Hmmm. Plus the women are not that hot.
But that is just me.
Americans want to go to the UK, France and Italy because that is what they are familiar with. Many have never even heard of other countries let alone thought about going to live there. Why not go off the beaten path?
Last edited by ladislav on Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
I just thought of some more suggestions for you.
Before you deal with all the difficulty of actually moving abroad for a year or two, you might want to simply go to Europe as a student for the summer or for a semester.
When I was in college, I found out that my school had a program that allowed business majors to spend a semester in Budapest for essentially the same price as studying in America. The school helped the students in this program do everything: they got them their passports, visas, apartments, etc. It was completely idiot-proof, yet they could harldy find any of these dumb-ass American business students who were willing go! I wasn't a business major, so I wasn't eligible for the program. Try to look into whether your school has any study abroad programs in Europe.
Another idea is that universities in many European countries offer intensive one-month courses which teach foreigners their language and usually take them to famous cultural and historical sites in their country as well. I used some extra money that I had left over from my student loans to attend one of these courses in the Czech Republic. Although I decided that the Czech Republic was not me, I think I learned a lot of valuable things about getting around Europe on my own during this time. It also may have set me apart when I applied for a job in Hungary, even though it wasn't their language.
If you've attended one of these courses, it proves that 1) you have some serious interest in foreign languages and cultures and 2) you're not just another American who has never traveled before and who will be in tears and want to go home after being surrounded by people who don't speak English for a few weeks.
Since you seem to be interested in France, you could try one of these programs in France. French isn't such a hard language and you could make great progress if you put some effort into it.
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