Okay guys, I'm 22 and I have lived in Savannah, Georgia literally my whole life. I have family all over the United States so I've been to almost every state in my country. I really really really wanna move to Europe for year or two but I have no idea how or where to even begin this process or how much it's going to cost. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
[ Edit: Edited on 13-Sep-2015, at 11:41 by alyssa_natalie ]
"I have no idea how or where to even begin this process...."
Well, start with a passport!
Not all countries want foreigners taking jobs away from local citizens. With the refugee crisis in Europe at over 100,000 needing food, jobs, housing, etc. your chance of getting a mediocre, routine manual labor job is decreasing rapidly. (If you could get a job!)
If you intend to work to support yourself some countries may only accept foreigners with genuine work experience in a specialty that is in demand.
If you have friends that have connections with overseas companies that might be one way to get overseas and support yourself.
The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence! (Or world!) If you have a lot of money you can of course visit on a tourist visa and extend or move on as needed. You have to research visa requirements too.
Go to your free library back home and check out some travel guides. See what country interests you and then research visa requirements. Usually there are expat forums you can look over for help living in particular countries. Foreigners living in countries that are not their home country are Expats.
Work for the State Department in overseas locations. But sometimes you need connections for those jobs too. My first 20 countries was courtesy of the military. But now the US military is down to the lowest level it has been in a long time. Which means fewer chances to use that method for most people.
See if the Peace Corp is still in business. If you have a couple degrees there may be some openings for teaching English in some countries. Work history, proficiency in English, education and TEFL courses required.
Travel agency in your hometown can give you the cost of plane tickets to some big cities. Visiting usually no problem - staying a long time and supporting yourself legally is the problem. Unless you intend to do something immoral or illegal to make your wish come true.
I'm not sure about the advice to go to the library and a travel agent! Perhaps as the original poster is asking on an internet forum he has internet access. :-)
Hi, if I was u I'd come here for 6 weeks or so. Get cheap buses from city to city, get a feel for it, ask around in bars and shops for work, they're usually hiring.
Berlin's good, Barcelona, Madrid, Porto all good but depends what u like.
I wouldn't just plunge in, find a sponsor and move all ur stuff cos u might not like the way we crazy Europeans live! There are alot of differences, the food for a start and the languages.
I would try before you buy...
"I'm not sure about the advice to go to the library and a travel agent! Perhaps as the original poster is asking on an internet forum he has internet access. :-)"
Well, since the poster has no clue about anything any source of help is useful!
Although some young people almost exclusively rely on smartphones or maybe sometimes a tablet she should avail herself of any free help. Yeah, reading a travel guide is old fashioned but those books give you information you can read anywhere. They have help with hotels, help with scams to avoid, what to see and do, etc. Even sometimes help with visa requirements too. (In the US there is no charge to borrow books from a library.)
A travel agency can help with the cost of plane tickets too. Sometimes a real person in front of you makes some things a little clearer.
Other than criticism what do you suggest?
I'd suggest Skyscanner to get an idea of flight costs; most ordinary travel agents here would be utterly useless at advising on backpacker travel or relocating, they're geared up for selling sunshine holidays and cruises.
For researching destinations including visa requirements my first port of call would be Wikivoyage, do some reading on there to get a sense of visas, distances, ideas for sights and activities, safety, accommodation.
Hi there Alyssa! Much of Europe falls in the ever-expanding Schengen area. The old tales about spending years in Europe are before the days of many European countries combining immigration. For tourists, Schengen means you can only spend 90 days at a time in most of Europe. In addition, you can only clock 90 days total out of 180. This means you can't do a border run to reset your visa. Essentially, as an American, unless you get sponsored to work, you can only be in most of Europe 6 months a year, and only three months at a time, before having to leave for three months.
Hope this helps a bit! Maybe look into teaching English? Also, the UK is not part of the Schengen area. I'm not sure on their length of stay, put perhaps you could do 90 days in the Schengen area, then 90 days in the UK, then 90 days back to Schengen?
"....most ordinary travel agents here would be utterly useless at advising on backpacker travel or relocating, they're geared up for selling sunshine holidays and cruises."
The cost of a plane ticket to Europe from the US is the same for a backpacker or for a wealthy tourist! In the US travel agencies are more than happy to give prices and just sell a plane ticket too.
thanks for the help everyone! all was useful info