Hi 😊 I'm looking for some information on beginning a search to move to Europe! I'd be moving as a family...dad(35yrs old on sales), mom (33years and finishing nursing school) and our daughter who will be 4-5ish when we want to move.
I'm looking for advice for
-how to pick a place
-how to look for a job there
-how to look up nursing colleges (or is it better to finish here then move? I have 2 years left to go)
-how to best become knowledgeable on a country
Our destination is fairly flexible, but it'd need to be a safe country (at least comparable to an area like Denver, Colorado), English language is preferable but doesn't have to be the main language, a good education system (at least comparable to an area like Denver, Colorado) and lastly a country that's possibly cheaper to live but can also make a decent living (ie not looking to move to downtown Paris or anything lol) the few that he been tossed around but not really researched yet are France, Norway, Ireland and Croatia. All over the place, I know...but I'm looking for a starting point!
Thanks in advance for any direction or advice you can offer!
We moved to China pregnant and with an 18 month old, and then to Germany 5 years later, so the kids were then 4 and 6. So I feel we have adequate experience with this!
Firstly you need to think about employment - perhaps you can find a job from home and then move on an expat package, which would then help you with setting up home and finding schools etc. You may also need to talk to a tax consultant.
I would consider how you want your child educated, as in which language of instruction and which curriculum you want them to follow. There are many international schools, some which follow the IB programme, some which follow the British/US systems and several other programs. Investigate if your child would be eligible for a state school place - as this can be dependent on your visas.
Health insurances should also be investigated before you move.
I would finish your nursing course before you moved, and ideally get some experience too, because then that will make you more employable once you are here, and you have obviously already done the due diligence on your nursing school to know that it is a quality course.
It is the most exciting thing living in a foreign country, and the benefits are limitless. I love that my children can switch between English and German depending on who they are playing with! And sometimes that it is a merger of both.
As regards personal safety, Europe is in general a fair bit safer than the USA. For more detail than that you need to drill down to the neighbourhood level rather than country vs country.
I've known a couple of people relocate from the UK to Norway. In general the cost of living was double but the wages triple, so a good improvement in lifestyle - and when they travel, they're rich. English is almost universally spoken, so there is not so much culture shock or isolation, though immigrants are expected to work at learning Norwegian - and the classes are free.
If you have the choice I would look for high earnings as in Norway rather than somewhere cheaper to live. Unless you are taking a lot of wealth with you, you will be better off this way. Of your other choices, Ireland is still in debt and recession so not a great jobs market and high taxes trying to put their system right. Croatia and much of central and eastern Europe i wouldn't expect high wages or a high standard of living. France I feel may not be the most welcoming place to anglophone immigrants? Am i being unfair there?
Northern Europe seems generally more progressive, wealthy and welcoming. Other than Norway, both Denmark and Sweden have high standards of living and an open welcoming culture. Finland has always felt more insular to me.
But norway's your best bet - oil wealth spread among a small population means they're super affluent.
Andyf makes a good point, the Northern countries are a pretty wise option as far as lifestyle, safety and education go, and you'll find plenty of English-speaking communities and job opportunities.
For more specific advice, try connecting with people that have actually relocated and can walk you through the steps and any tips&tricks they've learned. You can usually find them on forums, Facebook groups or even dedicated websites, depending on what location you're looking at.