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Thinking of Moving to Europe from the US

Travel Forums Europe Thinking of Moving to Europe from the US

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1. Posted by nirvanagrl (First Time Poster 1 posts) 11y

Hi Everyone! I have lived in the US all my life. Not happily so but this has always been my place of birth. My mother and father are both from other countries (My mother is Cuban and my dad is Colombian). Over the past summer we traveled to South America. And i got a taste of the world. I am a passionate person who loves art and history. I am studying Art at University even now. But after college is over i want to get up and go! I want to move to Europe and see the art and culture i have only read about in books. How exactly does one go about moving to Europe. I would be moving alone and I am not sure how many jobs i could find with a Bachelors of Fine Arts. I will be visiting hopefully this Fall. I am applying to attended the Art Academy in Imatra, Finland, and a friend that i have made who is studying from that school at my school this semester said she would travel with me while I am in their Country. But I want to get peoples advice on the real chances of survival when moving to Europe from the US. Just pick up and go sort of move. Sorry if its confusing I am trying to word it the best i can! Well any help would be appreciated! Thanks!

2. Posted by aitor (Full Member 102 posts) 11y

Hi Tina,

Real chances to survive in just six months? I don't think you will have a problem for "survive", I think you can find any job, even if it is not well paid.

I have been in Finland, but here in my city, where there are a lot of foreign students, I see a lot of them doing little jobs.

Good luck, I think you should go.



3. Posted by kafri (Full Member 28 posts) 11y

Hey, make sure not to travel in Scandinavia only! Mediterranean Sea is the place to be in Europe during summertime! I'm not so sure about your working plans, the only concrete thing I know is the fact that art study courses have the highest amount of foreign students in Germany. But it's also not a secret that most art students remain jobless or rather have great problems finding an adequate job. Anyway, I think it's worth to give it a try!


4. Posted by notarealme (Full Member 49 posts) 11y

The one thing i would look out for is getting the right visa to work on, because as a Non-EU Citizen you are not allowed to work without a permit, and much like the US if you get caught, you are deported for a good few years. Its not as easy as moving here you need all the right papers.

Anywho have fun,


5. Posted by zachary (Respected Member 471 posts) 11y

great question! i have always wanted to do the same thing.......i work online so i dont have a problem working from anywhere (as long as i have internet access & my laptop).

but 1st thing is like what Aitor said is make sure you have the right paperwork needed, 2ndly you have to have the balls to do it

hope you do it! & good luck if you do

6. Posted by lhdeleted (Inactive 6 posts) 11y

Hey Tina-

I know where you're coming from and think you should definitely do it! I am kind of in the same boat... graduated, have been working 3 years, and always wanted to go to France so I decided I'm going. Go now, before you are older and feel tied down but never got it out of your system. I'll share what I know from looking into France (don't know how much the options differ for other countries).

As far as I know the options are:
Student visa
Work Visa
Extended stay tourist visa
Be happy with 3 months or just keep moving

--Student Visa--
If you are attending the Art Academy in Finland, you shouldn't have a problem. Just apply for a student visa, take your classes, and travel around on your free time. I'm sure there are people at the school to help you find a place to live, etc. As for working while taking classes, I don't know what the rules are for Finland, but in France I am pretty sure the rules are that if you are taking at least 20 credit hours, you can work 20 hours/week, during the summer after one year of school, and for one year after you are done with school. I would guess that Finland would have a similar policy (you will probably find info at, click on 'Services', then 'Permits for entry and residence').

--Work Visa--
Work visas are really hard to get because the employer has to prove to the government that you have skills that they need that they cannot find in someone with an EU passport. For that reason, one of the easier ways to get a work permit is for teaching english, since your native english is a desired skill, though of course they can get native english speakers from England also and they have the right papers. But you can look into getting TEFL (teaching english as a foreign language... there are a few other acronyms that mean the same thing... TESOL etc) certification and they usually help with placement. Much more in demand in Asia than in Europe though. But you definitely can't get a work permit to go work in a pub or something.

There are a bunch of programs through which you can get work experience as an intern... might not be a bad way to go. They take care of the visa, or at least get you the papers you need to apply yourself. Program length varies... I worked abroad in Hungary for 3 months through AIESEC ( It's one of the bigger organizations to go through. AIESEC has programs 2 to 18 months in a variety of fields (don't know about art though). There are other programs too... check with your school's study abroad office, or look online at any other school's abroad office.

--Tourist Visa--
With this type of visa, you are not allowed to work in the country but you can stay longer than 3 months. For this one, you need proof of financial stability (ie a job in the US). I got my boss to let me take my computer to France and work from there, so this is the kind I applied for. I don't think it is that easy to find an employer who will send you abroad right away, but you never know.

--no visa--
Without a visa, you can only stay for 3 months as a tourist and cannot work. You can try to do work under the table but I'm sure most employers will want you to have the papers. You can also try to get around the 3 month thing by crossing the border and coming back, but someone might notice a pattern in the passport stamps... who knows... personally i wouldn't risk it. but if you keep moving from country to country, maybe that is legit? It seems there are a lot of people on this forum who do just that... have no idea how they do it...

you can email me if you want more info, though i dont know how much info i have. Good luck!!


7. Posted by applegirl (Full Member 144 posts) 11y

Something which might interest you is that Hackney (Council) here in London, has got the highest concentration of artists in Europe. It used to be the poorest council in the UK but is slowly (very slowly) improving. These days it's very vibrant, full of small (un)pretentious galleries, live music, and (small, fringe) theatres.
There are some good opportunities, I think, to exhibit art at cafes here and around London - you'd probably not earn a lot of money (if you're not one of the few very lucky) but it's a good start.

8. Posted by Ianina (Budding Member 3 posts) 11y


Just do it. Don't fret. Don't worry. Make the decision. I thought about it and fretted for quite sometime but it wasn't until I quit worrying that it happened. If it doesn't work out, you come home and try again.

You'll survive.

Be well,

9. Posted by bet_yes (First Time Poster 1 posts) 7y

I have wondered the same thing. I am 26, untied so to speak. I have a BA and am working on my masters in For. Psych. I am bilingual (span) as I am hispanic. I have a good job but want out, I am looking to make a dream come through realistically. The first step I am reading is visa to go to the embassy. But which/what way work/school a bit flustered but determined.

10. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

@ bet_yes: Please open your own thread.

Mod's, can you split this up/close this thread, pretty please?