Moving to Europe - Tips & Advice

If you’re planning a move across the pond — that is, the Atlantic Ocean — there’s a lot you need to consider. No matter which country in Europe you’re moving to, there’s going to be a number of changes you’ll need to embrace in order to thrive. Before all that, however, you need to figure out how to get your personal belongings there.

Moving across the country is hard enough, but moving across an ocean presents a plethora of different considerations. The process doesn’t have to be difficult, though — you just need to be properly prepared. Learn some easy tips for moving from the US to Europe and discover how to make the most out of your move.

Legal Concerns

When you move to a different country, you have to go through their immigration process. Fortunately, most European countries keep the process simple. A tourist visa isn’t going to be enough for you as they expire after 90 days, so you’ll need to get a work visa. This can take a while, so make sure you get a good head start on filing all necessary paperwork with the embassy. If you have found a new job in Europe, ask your boss about help obtaining a work visa.

While this may seem odd, you still have to file your taxes in the United States even if you’re living in Europe. This is in addition to your local taxes in Europe, so you could theoretically be filing taxes twice every year. You can get around this by renouncing your US citizenship, but that’s a big decision, requiring a lot of thought and planning. Once you sever your ties with Uncle Sam, there’s no going back.

Social Concerns

Europe is a bit different than the US on a social and cultural level, to put it mildly. If you’re planning on moving from the US to Europe, there are some key differences you need to prepare for. The first and most obvious point might be the fact that the European country you’re moving to doesn’t predominantly follow Standard American English (SAE). Most Europeans learn English as a second language in school, so you won’t be completely helpless, but European English can still wildly differ from American English, and knowing the local language to begin with can help out a lot when reading signs and labels.

In some countries, you need to at least try to learn the presiding language, especially as you settle as a new resident. If you stick to American English in every scenario, some native Europeans might be confused or even grow annoyed. The country has given you an opportunity to work there, so if you have the ability to do so, learn how to communicate properly. The fun part, too, is that you'll gain some multilingual talent, which never fails to impress. You should also keep in mind that European culture tends to be more open toward tolerance and less accepting of hate speech.

Moving Concerns

It can be expensive enough getting a flight to Europe, but moving your stuff can be even more costly. Think about what you need and don’t need. You can only carry so much on your flight and overseas shipping adds up quickly. If you’re staying for the long run, ship your items over time. However, you should consider replacing some items you aren’t too attached to. Buying new furniture and larger items in Europe can often be cheaper than shipping your old pieces. Plus, it's a good opportunity to downsize on clutter, and a fun chance to redecorate and explore the various styles of a different society.

If you’re moving to Europe for the long term, consider bringing items there piece by piece. When you travel back to the US, grab some more items to take with you on your return trip. It may be difficult, but some things you’ll just have to put in storage or leave in your parents’ attic.

Moving with MoveWise

For what you do decide to bring with you to Europe, you need a moving company that can handle the long journey. Find the right one for your needs with MoveWise. All you have to do is fill out our short form, and we’ll find the best movers in your area and have them send you quotes right to your inbox. With MoveWise, moving from the US to Europe has never been easier. Let us help you today!

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