8 Reasons Why You You Should Become an Expat in Europe
Wondering why people choose to move to fascinating European cities such as London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Lisbon? This list keeps changing, of course, but Europe has a lot to offer to expats from across the world — great career opportunities, an excellent education system, a sound medical care system, exciting locales to explore, and much more. All of these are supported by a rich history, exceptional architecture, and exquisite cuisines that one can experiment with. These are just some of the reasons to become an expat in Europe.
Reasons to Become an Expat in Europe:
Here we try and mention some of the major attractions of Europe and the many options that the expats can explore:
1. Ample Career Opportunities
Not only does this Old World continent offer great job opportunities to those who want to settle down here, but it also allows for a good work-life balance. Europe has some of the world’s best cities for those looking for career growth. As per current data, some of the prominent cities in Europe for finding work are London, Berlin, Stockholm, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Eindhoven, and Tallinn. Sectors, where jobs are in demand in London, are those of finance, the fine arts, hospitality, research, etc. Apart from London, other cities in the UK that you can try working in are Manchester, Birmingham, or Cambridge.
Since Europe is like a global village that has a diverse culture, expats can take advantage of learning and practicing a foreign language like Portuguese, German, Spanish, and Norwegian. Workplaces too are globally oriented and offer the opportunity to mingle and work with people from across the world. Popular jobs in Europe for expats include teaching English, working in the tourism sector, positions in research and innovation, and STEM fields.
2. Europe is Quite Safe
Europe is a safe expat destination with hardly any major risks to life or property. However, it is always better to be alert and aware of the risks around you. Being on your guard, especially in touristy areas with large crowds, will prevent you from falling prey to some petty crimes. Choose a fanny pack over a backpack and you should be safe. If possible, avoid walking in dark alleys at night. Beware of scammers and ATM fraudsters. Taxi scams are also very popular across Europe.
Gun laws in Europe are tough, leading to low rates of gun-related violence. Police personnel in most parts of Europe are trained to interact with the public. Policing in Europe is typically passive and non-violent. Overall, the law and order scenario in Europe is safe and prioritizes the quality of life.
3. Strong Education System
Europe is home to many of the world’s oldest and most prestigious universities, research centers, and institutions of higher learning. It also has the most exciting and charming student cities in the world. These institutions of academic and higher learning are very different from each other by way of language, lifestyle, and living costs, but all offer a good quality of education.
European academies of learning stress on creativity, innovation, and support to help students reach their true potential. Also, citizens in European countries are encouraged to pursue education and those holding graduate degrees are held in high esteem. If you are moving to Europe with children, then you will find lots of excellent local and international schools.
To make education affordable, several European countries also invest in higher education systems. Apart from the many scholarships and financial support offered by European universities, some study programs are free.
4. Travel Options Galore
Traveling in Europe is no hassle with many options available to wander off to any corner of the continent. Getting around is not difficult due to the well-laid-out public transportation system. You can opt for whatever suits your budget — train, budget airlines, buses, ferries, or even car rentals.
Though each European city has its own rules and its transportation system, opting for walking tours around the city is also a great way to explore the area. Rail passes can come to your rescue if you’re planning to travel across several countries by train. Train travel is often more spacious and comfortable as compared to air travel and at times even easier. But if you’re the kind who is happy driving around and experiencing a city or countryside yourself, make sure you get hold of an international drivers’ license. Obtaining one is quick and easy.
5. The Home of Art and Music
Each country and city of this vast continent is steeped in history and architectural marvels. Add to that mix its music and artistic wonders, and Europe becomes certainly the perfect place to become a digital nomad for an explorer. Music has deep roots in the culture of almost every country on the continent. It hosts some of the most famous music festivals in the world — Pukkelpop in Belgium, Melt Festival in Germany, Sónar Reykjavik in Iceland, Love International in Croatia, to name a few. European music festivals offer the best international DJs and live acts. Going to theater and concert shows is a popular practice in Europe. Theatre shows in London, ballets in Paris, operas in Vienna, and concerts in Venice are all-time favorites with the expat population.
The art scene also thrives in Europe. No one presents museums better than Europeans — they seem to have mastered the art of preserving and displaying artifacts. And make no mistake about it, it’s not at all boring and painful. Europeans have also mastered the art of making museums fun as well as educational for visitors. Most museums do not charge children for their visit.
6. The continent of All Seasons
Whether you’re a beach person or a mountain fan, Europe offers both to its expats. Continental Europe enjoys pleasant weather from mid-April to the end of September. The warmest temperatures are reached during July and August, which is the summertime. Some countries also receive a lot of rainfall. So Europe has a variety of seasonal destinations to offer.
Beachgoers can enjoy between June and September. Seaside countries have the best weather during these months. Some of the beaches to explore are those of France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and healthcare system in Greece.
For ski lovers, the season lasts from the end of November till mid-April. There are plenty of resorts dedicated to winter sports all over the continent. Other popular winter destinations include the Alps and Pyrenees, in France, Healthcare system in Italy, and Switzerland, or Austria.
But even the freezing temperatures in the north of Europe are exciting. They make possible the sighting of the mesmerizing Northern Lights. The continent is not hit by tornadoes or hurricanes, and ice and hail storms are also rare. Though most parts of Europe are generally cold and freezing, the many not-so-cold places have much to offer to expats, who prefer them to the cold cities.
7. Sumptuous Cuisines to Tickle that Palette
The palettes of expats are spoilt for choice when they come across the varied options of cuisines that Europe has to offer. The continent is a paradise for food enthusiasts. There’s great food everywhere — at local bistros, classy restaurants, roadside cafes, and even that being sold on food carts. Experimenting with cheese and wine in France, trying varied waffles in Belgium, enjoying yogurt and Greek salad, and the irresistible Italian gelato can be fun.
European dishes vary from country to country, and local specialties are different. From the English breakfast to Scottish haggis or Irish stew, French cuisine also is world-renowned, not to mention its popular wine brands. Add to the list the variety of cheese from Holland, Danish pancakes, delicious Bulgarian pastry, seafood of Sweden and Finland, paellas and tapas from Spain, and you will find there’s a whole lot to choose from when in Europe.
Restaurants offering vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free food can be located without much trouble. Most expats prefer cooking their meals using the fresh and flavorful items available at the farm markets. Waffles in Belgium, Moussaka in Greece, Cheese fondue in Switzerland, Haggis in Scotland, Halloumi and watermelon in Cyprus are some foods that are extremely popular with expats in Europe.
8. Outstanding and Reliable Healthcare System
Major parts of Europe offer high-quality medical care to all. Almost all countries of the continent follow a universal healthcare system, which includes taking care of foreigners too. Countries belonging to the European Union offer a European Health Insurance Card to their citizens. Communication is not a problem as most doctors and pharmacists speak at least some level of English along with their regional language.
The emergency number to call is 112, but most countries also have a 911 equivalent. The operators of these numbers speak in English as well as in their local language. The cost of a visit to an emergency room of a European hospital depends on its location and the patient’s medical condition. European healthcare system is reliable and outstanding.
Having a European health insurance plan helps. The insurance company directly gets in touch with the hospital to take care of the medical expenses. But people prefer to go to pharmacies and clinics instead of going to their doctor first. For a non-emergency medical problem or to get tests done, a visit to a clinic is the best option. You may be charged a small fee or your visit may even be free of cost, depending on the seriousness of the illness. If you are charged a fee, keep a copy of the bill so that it can be later reimbursed from the health insurance company. Pharmacies are usually open 24/7 and they help diagnose and prescribe medicines for ailments such as fever, sore throat, stomach ache, headache, and similar conditions.
When in Europe, expats get easy access to healthcare facilities across the continent. For a more comprehensive global healthcare insurance, expats can purchase a private international medical plan. This plan can be used even outside of Europe. As an international citizen residing in Europe, you can opt for some of the best international health insurance policies, including Cigna Global Medical and the Allianz European health insurance plan. Ideally, you should opt for an international health insurance plan that suits your budget and makes you feel secure in a European destination.