10 tips that will give you a great start in any EU country
Planning on moving abroad?
If you are planning on moving for a new job, here are a list of things you need to consider. Some might seem like obvious points to you, but in the heat of the moment these might be the things you forget. When you are en-route to your new country some things can be just a little bit more complicated to get done, so start now!
These 10 points will ensure your best start in any EU country, enjoy!
*Please keep in mind that this article is written for EU citizens moving within the EU or Schengen area.
1.Packing & Luggage tricks
When moving abroad for an unknown length of time or long period it is important to pack responsibly, so don’t worry we have the tip and tricks to get the most out of your luggage space.
First, make sure to check with your airline about requirements. Click HERE for an overview. Two important things to keep in mind; size and weight (the bigger airlines such as Norwegian, SAS, British Airlines and Turkish Airlines etc. do not weigh hand luggage, which gives you a great opportunity to pack your carry on suitcase very heavy). ROLLING IS KING See HERE. Remember to fill in all holes or gaps with your small items like your delicates.
When packing thinks about:
- Look at the weather of your destination; are you arriving in summer, you can leave your winter clothes at home, and on your next trip home to visit you can then pick this up. OR if you have really good friends who plan to come visit, pack small bags for them to bring for you, when they come down.
- Only pack the clothes you actually wear, people tend to pack for their “new self” when moving abroad “When im gonna live in Rome I will start wearing skirts and heels” – (With the best intentions), but you will live in a new country and need to feel comfortable. So just keep that in mind.
- Clean & Throw, meaning that packing for a long period/moving is the ideal opportunity for cleaning out your closet. Give away some clothes or even better sell it and bring in some cash on the clothes you’ve already worn on most of your current profile pictures. -Only pack about one-third of what you think you need (everything with holes goes in the bin, don’t bring something torn).
*Always put a lock on your check-in luggage as it might go through a lot of different hands without you watching over it. Most airports are very safe and have camera security, but better be safe than sorry.
**Always buy extra luggage online (if needed do it in advance). The prices of added weight and luggage in the airports are about 10 times higher than buying it online.
2. Banks and Credit cards
When moving abroad you need to inform your bank about it. If they see large unfamiliar transactions from a foreign country they could start blocking your card, so let them know what’s happening! You can choose to keep your national Bank (most companies can transfer your paycheck to local banks all over Europe) or get a bank account in the country of which you are moving to (ask your new employer if they can help as local companies often have a deal with banks that can ease your efforts). To ensure that you are not paying a large transaction fee or fees when taking out cash in local ATM machines, please check with your card provider. Consider getting an online solution such as REVOLUT. This card is a prepared solution that comes with an online money transfer app as well (ideal for payment within friends and online shopping). It allows you to prepay your card, and leave your visa card at home, so if you should be unlucky and lose it, you do not run the risk of losing all your money and can simply freeze your card at the touch of a finger, but if that option doesn’t exist you only lose the money you have prepared.
3. Insurance & medical check
The European Blue insurance card will ensure you get medical help in all European countries. Click HERE to read more. Make sure to check the for extra insurance needed, this is personal, so consult a local insurance agency and ask your new employer what kind of insurance coverage is included in the employee package.
If you have a chronic condition make sure to inform your new workplace and get the check-up you need before you leave home. If you need to bring medicine, ask your doctor to make an English medical pass for you. Investigate if your medication is available in your new country and ask your doctor and maybe the HR at your new job if they know where to find it. If your current medicine is not available in the country then you might need to change the brand, make sure to check this well in advance of your departure.
Take a copy of all your documents: Passport, drivers licence, credit card, work contract, residence card, etc. Keep it safe in your apartment, this will help you in case of robbery or accidents. Best place to keep it is behind a mirror, picture frame, under the mattress or some people even keep it in the freezer. 🙂
Take a copy of all your documents: Passport, drivers licence, credit card, work contract, residence card etc. Keep it safe in your apartment, this will help you in case of rubbery, or accidents. Best place to keep it is behind a mirror, picture frame, under the mattress, some people even keep it in the freezer 🙂
4. Residence papers and work Visa
If you are a European citizen and are moving within Europe you do not need a work visa, however, when you are staying within a country for more than 3 months you need to register yourself as a resident of that country. This is important for medical insurance and tax purposes. Request the information from the company you will start working for, they often have access to an easy guide in the given country. Click HERE to see guide for different EU countries. *Remember to inform the authorities in your country that you will be moving abroad, as you risk paying double taxes if you don’t.
5. Flights and entertainment
Make sure that you are on top of your flight times when travelling. On holiday stress and surprises can be a little fun, but when moving stress and all the uncertainties need to be eliminated as you will be nervous enough about the adventure that awaits. Print your boarding card, especially if you have a transfer, nothing worse than having you’re mobile run out of battery in the middle of travel. Make sure you are checked in well in advance. Charge all electric devices, download some good movies on a USB, update your playlist on SPOTIFY and bring something to read. Everything and anything to make the actual travel as pleasant as possible.
6. Maps and find your way around
Before you leave for your new destination, download a map over the area of which you need to work, get familiar, Google Streetview is ideal for this. This will help you visualize your street and thereby help you to recognize it when you are actually there. When you arrive, allow yourself to get lost, put on some sneakers, buy a to-go coffee and just walk. If you have tried to get lost in the area and asked people to find your way back or used Google maps in the area. This is a wonderfully exciting way to de-stress and get familiar with your surroundings, you will feel better when you next get lost accidentally.
MAPS.ME is a great offline app, that allows you to download maps of cities, and it can help guide you, even when you are offline in the city. You can also save favourite spots, and read recommendations. Download by clicking on the link above.
Leaving your home can be tough, and it is important to find a new home of where you can have your base and feel safe. If you are moving alone to a country where you don’t know anyone, it is advised to find yourself at least one flatmate. A flatmate will allow you to meet new people fast, get the support and help you need to feel at home, and it will ensure that your rent is lower in the beginning. Most companies provide great relocation packages and have good suggestions on where to look for accommodation. Maybe your new colleagues can help as well. Most cities in Europe have Facebook groups for people looking to rent rooms or flats. Do not pay anything before you have visited the place and met the people. Book the first 2 nights in a hostel/hotel/Airbnb so you have a place to sleep when you arrive if this is not provided by your new employer. Post in the Facebook groups and start talking to people about a week before you arrive, this gives you a great idea of how the market looks like and do not be afraid to ask lots of questions.
You are not just leaving a country and family, but you are leaving a network of friends, colleagues and known faces when moving. It is important to stay in contact with them, just as important as creating a new network. Staying in contact requires birthday wishes and update to close ones at home, this takes a little time but will help you feel closer to the people you have left behind, you do not need to see these people every day to know what is going on in their lives. Social Medias a made for this!
Regarding your new network, this will require a little more attention from you, but you will also see that your effort will pay off fast. You are now an expat and most cities have great expat groups on Facebook. Also, networks like Expats.com, A Small World, and Internations.com are great to enter. Some cost a membership fee, but this is money well spent. Joining local voluntary work is a great way to get local friends fast, reaching out to new colleagues at your workplace is the best way to get comfortable at work, maybe joining a sports team can help you meet people. Remember that you are most likely not the only one who is starting a new life and growing a new network, and take advantage of this. The more you meet the larger the chance are to find great new close friends.
9. Your first days at work & in a new country
Start unpacking fast, living out of a suitcase is the worst way to start your mornings! Unpack, buy the hangers you need and the coffee you drink for breakfast. Try to get some good routines from the beginning. Spend the first days getting lost, take long walks and join tourist tours, get to know the area around your workplace, find a good coffee place or the vegan restaurant you need to get through your days. Challenge yourself to go to the local bar/pub and buy a drink, see what happens when you sit down alone and start drinking, allow yourself to be a little vulnerable, often people respond to that and will come over and start chatting to you, just put that pretty smile on! Make sure to get a great night sleep the day before you start your new job, ensure to arrive well in advance to the meeting time, maybe visit the office a day before, so you already know the way. About the dress codes; ask the HR in advance what the dress code at the office is, keep in mind first impressions are important (No pressure!). Make sure you feel comfortable in your skin, if a girl, don’t wear too much makeup, make sure you cover knees and shoulders (just for the first day until you get a feeling of the office environment). More neutral clothes will allow your inner self to shine through and it leaves no chance of people making odd assumptions about you. SMILING GOES A LONG WAY!
*Remember to bring all your paperwork on the first day, ask HR in advance what to bring, and make sure to be prepared, the more organised you seem on the first day the better they will like you.
10.Feel at home & Homesick
On an end note, it is important to keep in mind that feeling at home has different meanings to people but it is proven that the faster you get to know the area, find friends and have people visiting the faster you will feel at home in your new country. With this said it is important to point out that everyone will get homesick at some point, normally this occurs about one to two months in, when you reach this point it is important to get out, see people, and don’t start calling everyone at home, keep yourself active and the homesick feeling will disappear again. It comes because you start noticing the things/events you are missing when looking at Social Media, the jobs start being every day, yet you are still learning, and you are familiar with the area, news value is lower, but you still get lost sometimes. Hang in there, and give it time. All new beginnings are hard but also crazy good fun!
If you would like to hear more about your job opportunities abroad, please contact Job Squad. -We are ready to guide you to the coolest jobs abroad!
International recruiter Linda email: firstname.lastname@example.org