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nightwolf

Moving abroad permanently - experiences?

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Hey guys,

 

So I've been tossing ideas of what to do with my life. Things have gotten really stale for me in Cambridge and as most of you know I've never really liked it here to begin with.

 

Ever since NYC/Thailand, I've been having itchy feet. I've discovered (or rediscovered since my teens) that I adore traveling and being somewhere a bit different and more accessible to other places. Basically the UK doesn't cut it for me.

 

That and my parents/sister living abroad has prompted me to give it a bit of a think.

 

So far the options:

 

1. Apply like crazy to get back to the states

2. Apply for a job in Europe and see how that goes

3. Move to Malta with my sister for a little while (This one seems the most likely and perhaps my partner may move with me too, but this is a different kettle of fish).

 

Now this isn't something I plan on doing right now, this is a long-term plan, but I thought it might be nice to hear from some of you who have taken the leap, for whatever reason.

 

So come on, full stories please, why did you move to a new country, was it worth it? What's the best/worst? :)

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I just wouldn't do it myself. I can't move to another city never mind another country.

 

I moved to Cardiff at 18 for uni. That was brilliant. Reason it was brilliant was because there were loads of people of my own age group to get to know etc. Best times of my lives, and met some proper caring genuine lads who i lived with. Top stuff!!

 

Earlier this year I got made redundant and had to find another job. Got offered a job in Altrincham (Cheshire, but really classed as the outskirts of Manchester. It's on the tram route.) I eventually turned it down. The wage was very poor but the main factor is that I didn't know anyone. So i'd be like go to work and then just sit in my room all the time (lawyers arent generally very socialble).

 

Unless the money was fantastic, where I could afford to constantly socialise I don't think I would like to move to a foreign country. I just wouldn't like being on my own.

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Ooh Altrincham. That's where I'm from.

 

Lovely place. Just don't know many people to knock about with. Some really great people I know from there :) .When did you leave?

 

To be fair it is posh as fuck! The house prices are insane!

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Well I left when I left my family home. :p about 4 years ago I'd say. Still go back from time to time, but down in London now.

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Well I left when I left my family home. :p about 4 years ago I'd say. Still go back from time to time, but down in London now.

 

Completely off topic...not so long ago then. Did you go to alty grammar?

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No stories, but I'll just leave this here...

 

Most Attractive Male

 

Winner: Drahkon

 

Most Attractive Female

 

Winner: Nightwolf

 

Best Couple

@MoogleViper pointed that out

 

You know...if your current options turn out to be shit :p

 

 

I'd love to live somewhere abroad. However, I first need to have some kind of degree so I'll have to stick with university first.

 

I moved out when I was 20. Have lived in two different towns.

 

Now I'm living near university but visit my mom almost every weekend and spend two or three days there :)

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To be fair it is posh as fuck! The house prices are insane!

 

Took a geography trip there for school to do a survey on the demographics, and literally everyone I surveyed in the Town Centre had a house worth over £400,000. Meanwhile over in Stockpoooert we were rubbing dirty pennies together for warmth.

 

On topic; I'd love to not be in London because the climate is terrible and nothing is fun unless you're absolutely trashed or incredibly wealthy. But having no marketable skillz I'm not likely to leave any time soon. Would like to go to San Francisco. Or Seattle.

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Have you thought about 'standard' expat counties such as UAE (Dubai) or Singapore? I can vouch for Singapore being one of the coolest places I've been to. I have a friend who lives out there and he's always trying to get us to move out. I'm very tempted as I have a lot of experience in one of Singapore's main industries.

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I'd like to go and live in Singapore for a couple of years, or maybe Canda.

 

How do people find a job that's in a foreign country?

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I spent a year in an australian suburb - living with relatives so that was easy. There were a lot of ex-pats living in the area too - again met them through my family. Didn't really make any friends but wasn't bothered as it wasn't permanent. Lots of opportunity to do so though - went and met up with 60+ people one day and quite easily could've stayed in touch with many of them. I don't think it's too difficult to make new friends in a strange place, but it is easy to miss old friends from home!

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I'd like to go and live in Singapore for a couple of years, or maybe Canda.

 

How do people find a job that's in a foreign country?

 

When I was looking in Singapore I was looking at the major banks out there and jobs available.

 

What most people recommend is taking a few weeks to a month off work and just heading out there. Find somewhere incredibly cheap to stay and try and arrange as many meetings/interviews you can in the time you are over there.

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I would say, from my point of view, moving abroad is a positive thing. There's a lot to learn, a lot of welcome and unwelcome surprises, but if you feel you're not getting what you want in the UK, then go for it.

 

The only thing I regret about moving here is getting married.

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The only thing I regret about moving here is getting married.

 

No biggie.

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If you are not happy living in the UK, and your family all live abroad, then I don't see any reason why you could not move away yourself. Not much that is keeping you here (apart from your other half maybe?), so I think in your head you have already kind of made that click that you want to move away.

 

I moved from Belgium to the UK almost 2.5 years ago now. Didn't particularly want to leave Belgium and I still miss it, but you get used to living somewhere else I think. =)

 

The way I did it was I came over for a week or two in December so Jim and I could look for a flat (he was still house sharing with some friends). We managed to find a flat during that time, I went back home and Jim moved into the flat in February. I got all my shit sorted in Belgium (packing all my things, getting paperwork done to legally declare that I was moving etc.) and moved to the UK on March 2. Came in a van with my parents with all my stuff. =P

 

I started looking for jobs straight away but couldn't find much, though in April I got offered a job in a call centre and took it. Luckily I got to leave that place a few months ago haha.

 

Anyway, I think for me the hardest part at first was the fact I missed my family a lot, but it is something you get used to. You might already be used to this anyway as your family lives somewhere else so that might make it easier. Also, knowing the language of the country will help too, so that might be something you have to consider as well.

 

As for friends and socialising, that might come with the job and will depend on how social you are. I don't really have many friends here but then again I am not very sociable (and currently work with only 2 other people haha), plus it seems Jim and I just like spending time at home playing games and watching tv so it suits us fine I guess. =P

 

I guess you just have to make yourself a nice list of pros and cons and see what you can come up with for each side. =)

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Thanks guys - especially to you @Eenuh for the detailed response.

 

Everything you say definitely rings true. I moved a little way from my family and didn't have any friends in Cambridge, I've managed to make a friend through the jobs I've had, but I'm not exactly a social butterfly anyway.

 

Otherwise, its definitely given me more to think about, but we'll see what the new year brings! Any more experiences? Sure there was a good handful of you who have done it!

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When I was a student I lived abroad for just short of a year on the Swiss- German border. The best thing for me was meeting people and seeing the sights together. I'd definitely suggest a place with a good expat community, maybe Berlin? I'd also recommend moving somewhere that will offer a lot of sightseeing and good travel connections. Even though I didn't speak fluent German most people spoke good English, so I agree with Eenuh on that one.

 

Oh and a country/job that appreciates holidays is also very important! :)

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I've been living in San Francisco for almost 4 years now, there are definitely pros and cons but on the whole I've found it a massively positive thing and would absolutely do it again. In fact, I'm in the process of working out a move to Tokyo to continue the adventure.

 

I would say without a doubt the biggest negative is moving away from friends/family. Of course my very best friends are still just as close as we always were, albeit we can't hang out every weekend etc. but we make time to meet up and go on holiday together which keeps the bond. People that we outside of that circle tend to drift away very quickly though. I notice being something of an outsider at bigger group things with my friends back home now, which is a shame, but I guess not totally unexpected.

 

Another factor is cost of moving/living, and how that stacks up with what you're used to. I'm in the extremely fortunate position that I was transferred here through work and make pretty decent money. A lot of things were taken care of for me and what I earn allows me to be pretty flexible with things I want to do. If my friends are planning a trip I know I can go with them, if I want to extend a business trip I can do it etc. etc. I can imagine things being pretty tough if you're just trying to scrape by. For my next move I'm anticipating not working for a while, so I'm aiming to save enough money to get me through the first year or so and not worry about it.

 

Definitely work out what things will cost though, for me rent is way more than when I was in London, as is grocery shopping. But then restaurants are much cheaper - so I now eat out pretty much every meal whereas I would cook back there. The culture of spending where you move to will shape the way you live, it's worth looking into and seeing if you think that fits your needs. I didn't really do this moving here and just went with the flow, it worked out fine but it could be very different.

 

Work/Life balance is very different, back in London my company was younger and hungrier. We worked hard and then we went out drinking together. Here it was older and more set in it's ways, people went home to their families and there wasn't much mixing. Work is very very different, and that is specific to my company, but I associate it with having moved abroad.

 

On other bad points I can't really think of any. Positives massively outweigh them all. It's a great experience, an adventure that most people don't have. Meeting new people, learning how different people do things and generally rounding out as a better person overall.

 

If it's something you want to do, and you can plan it out to work for you I would 100% recommend it.

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My opinion will always be go with what your heart tells you.

 

My partner is Norwegian and I have been living in norway for quiet a while. At first, coming for Xmas 2012 it was the romance of a white christmas, a welcoming and large family (and houses - think Home Alone), few people and generally a good, clean society with highly educated citizens... The usual things outsiders see when they leave old London/UK.

 

But soon, once the romance wears off and you find yourself dealing with human beings again, even the most beautiful places can be trolled. Its not about listing negative qualities of a people/country - but generally speaking, I will always feel that England, perhaps specifically London, harbours people of a sound mind-set of an international standing... Its hard to explain. But I guess its all about who or what you value.

 

Norway is good for raising kids, with a low crime rate and good social ethics, yet the society seem to be largely frigid, "social, yet anti-social", close-minded, and with familial and social pressures of living to high standards, which in turn is making younger people resort to drugs more.

 

Long story short, I would say dont get tied down into anything abroad until you've sampled the culture to a large extent so you can weigh up the positives.

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I've been living in San Francisco for almost 4 years now' date=' there are definitely pros and cons but on the whole I've found it a massively positive thing and would absolutely do it again. In fact, I'm in the process of working out a move to Tokyo to continue the adventure.

 

I would say without a doubt the biggest negative is moving away from friends/family. Of course my very best friends are still just as close as we always were, albeit we can't hang out every weekend etc. but we make time to meet up and go on holiday together which keeps the bond. People that we outside of that circle tend to drift away very quickly though. I notice being something of an outsider at bigger group things with my friends back home now, which is a shame, but I guess not totally unexpected.

 

Another factor is cost of moving/living, and how that stacks up with what you're used to. I'm in the extremely fortunate position that I was transferred here through work and make pretty decent money. A lot of things were taken care of for me and what I earn allows me to be pretty flexible with things I want to do. If my friends are planning a trip I know I can go with them, if I want to extend a business trip I can do it etc. etc. I can imagine things being pretty tough if you're just trying to scrape by. For my next move I'm anticipating not working for a while, so I'm aiming to save enough money to get me through the first year or so and not worry about it.

 

Definitely work out what things will cost though, for me rent is way more than when I was in London, as is grocery shopping. But then restaurants are much cheaper - so I now eat out pretty much every meal whereas I would cook back there. The culture of spending where you move to will shape the way you live, it's worth looking into and seeing if you think that fits your needs. I didn't really do this moving here and just went with the flow, it worked out fine but it could be very different.

 

Work/Life balance is very different, back in London my company was younger and hungrier. We worked hard and then we went out drinking together. Here it was older and more set in it's ways, people went home to their families and there wasn't much mixing. Work is very very different, and that is specific to my company, but I associate it with having moved abroad.

 

On other bad points I can't really think of any. Positives massively outweigh them all. It's a great experience, an adventure that most people don't have. Meeting new people, learning how different people do things and generally rounding out as a better person overall.

 

If it's something you want to do, and you can plan it out to work for you I would 100% recommend it.[/quote']

 

 

Any sales jobs going out there ;)

 

San Francisco is up there as one place i would loveeee to live!

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Thank you @will&\#39; some interesting advice.

 

Fortunately the only places I plan to move to - the exception of Canada I know quite well. So that's nothing to worry about. Everything that has been mentioned is definitely a pause for thought however :).

 

Fascinating!

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I've not moved abroad, but have spent time in Belgium with Ine and her family. I've moved from South Wales to Brighton, back to Wales and then Bournemouth, so I've done a little bit of moving about. My Dad moved from Pakistan to Manchester (where he met my Mum) before they both moved to Rochdale, Bury (maybe some time in Bolton) before eventually settling in South Wales. I've experienced Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and can safely say that I could never, ever live there. However, I do think that Belgium has some very nice parts (Antwerp is awesome, as is Ine's home city of Hasselt).

 

For me, the biggest barrier between fully integrating in another country is language. I don't think I've met that many English people who have moved to a non-English-speaking country, yet I've met many from France, Spain, the Netherlands, South America and lots of other places who have integrated here, seemingly because of their approach to learning English back home. My Dutch and Spanish is decent and I'm always looking to improve with it, but it's nowhere near to the standard that Ine speaks English...which is frankly insane. She speaks and writes English better than about 90% of people that I know. I'm not exaggerating.

 

The cultural differences are something that need to be addressed to, as is the lifestyle/way of life in that country. My way of living and lifestyle is far too different to many of the people that I met in Pakistan and Saudi, so I don't think I'd integrate well there and be happy. However, if my Dutch and Spanish improved (it is improving and has improved a lot) I'd be much more comfortable living there.

 

I think it's a good thing to move about, although it doesn't have to necessarily be abroad. I would never be the person that I am right now if I had stayed in Wales. To grow and flourish, you need to experience different things, new things. Being in a new place and making new friends is a part of that.

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I've lived in Germany for 5 months. Quite honestly one of the best experiences in my life. And after I finish my Master's, I plan on emigrating as soon as I can.

 

Much like you, I feel like my current life in Porto is stale. I feel like it would stay stale regardless of what I did. But when I was in Germany, even though the city I was living in was smaller, and even though the university I went to was cack by comparison (good for Architecture, bad for my Engineering course), I felt like I grew much more as a person, bolder, more willing to grab what I wanted out of life. I felt happier in general.

 

Sure, there are things I will always miss about home, but I did find that it's the kind of thing I can revisit in the span of a holiday week. Indeed, after returning from Germany, a month is all it took before my life felt stale again.

 

I know that working in another country is not the same as studying there, but I do think they're similar experiences where it counts the most. In the end, we're still living somewhere new, meeting new people, new friends, and we're doing it for ourselves.

 

I'll mirror the thoughts of making an effort to adapt into the new culture. Not just with language (which is essential), but even something like different drinking habits is something that's worth the effort to adapt into.

 

And also, if you're not being picky about your destination country, then don't just pick between options 1, 2 and 3: send CVs everywhere!

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