Moving To A French-Speaking Country

If you are planning to move to a French speaking country, you’ll definitely want to learn the language. But you should keep in mind that while there are many countries for which French is the primary language, there are also many different verities of French that are spoken.

For instance, the French that is spoken in Quebec Canada is quite different to that of Parisian French. If you are relocating to France, but you have studied French in Canada, you may have some difficulty adjusting to the differences. The accent will be slightly different, some words will be different, etc.

The same is true of places like New Orleans, Belgium, and some French-speaking African countries. While the basics are the same, there are enough differences in the variations of the language that you may find some adjusting is in order.

So, whether you are moving to France, moving to Belgium, or moving to any number of other French-speaking countries or cities, it’s best to study the language that is spoken locally, even if it’s harder to find the materials you need.

Look for a tutor who is from the place you plan to move to. You could even try using a social networking web site to find someone who is from that place. Try local universities to find out if they offer courses, but look further afield as well.

To thrive in a foreign country, no matter where that may be, you will need to be able to communicate, and communicate well, with the people around you.

Ensure You Have a Swift and Easy Relocation to Paris

Moving abroad can be an exciting and/or anxious time, depending on your reasons for moving. If you’re relocating to Paris, then it’s probably more likely to be for professional or business reasons than it is to retire. Paris is a marvellous city – the city of love, but also the nation’s capital and full of the opportunities that a capital city usually has to offer.

In economic terms, Paris represents continental Europe’s largest economy and is responsible for over a quarter of France’s total GDP. Numerous multinational companies have bases there, as well as several financial organisations. The job prospects are also extremely attractive – a 35-hour working week allowing the possibilities in many companies to work longer hours and take the time saved as ‘RTT’ (Réduction du temps de travail) to create a long weekend, and an earlier retirement age than here in the UK.

Having decided that moving to France, and specifically Paris, is for you, there will be a lot to organise. Despite being just over the channel, French cultural traditions do differ from ours and you’ll be well advised to spend some time learning French before you go, particularly if you’ve not yet secured a job offer in Paris. You’ll also need to organise some kind of healthcare insurance. France has one of the best healthcare systems in the world but unlike the NHS, it isn’t free. Your EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) won’t cover you if you’re a resident, so health insurance is a must, even if you’re a healthy person generally – accidents can happen to anyone.

You’ll also need to sort out your accommodation, both here and there. Unfortunately, the city is well known for its expensive accommodation and it may take you a great deal of research to find something affordable and in the right location. If you know where you will be working, don’t worry if your apartment or house is located a fair distance away – just make sure that the transport routes between the two are suitable. Likewise, you could be fairly close and yet not on a convenient metro route.

With most Parisian accommodation being found within the city’s arrondissements, you may not relish the prospect of moving all of your belongings there. In fact, packing and organising removals to anywhere can be a stressful process. That said, moving in to a capital city makes the process harder to organise yourself, as you are unlikely to be taking your own car packed full of possessions – you’ll certainly not find anywhere nearby to park it!

Here at European Removal Experts we provide simple and cost effective removals to France. We also know that when you’re moving abroad, it can be hard to time the moving out of one property with the moving in to another. This is why we offer Long and Short Term Storage for up to two weeks and we can also sell boxes and packing materials if you require them. Our aim is to make the whole process of relocating to Paris as smooth and as easy as possible for you, including providing you with your furniture removal direct to your new door.

Things to take with you when moving to Europe

Whether you’re moving to Switzerland or just across the same city you were born in, there are some things that should be packed up in boxes and others that should stay close to you on the trip. There’s nothing worse than realising that one of the documents you really need is at the bottom of a box, inside a moving van heading towards the Alps at 50 miles an hour.

The essentials

This list is a short one- wallet, passport, and important personal items like credit cards, car keys, and a mobile phone. If you’re relocating to Switzerland the journey from door to door may take a quite a long time so it can be helpful to carry a phone charger too. Batteries can be easily depleted by playing games or browsing the internet while waiting in airport lounge, for example. Keep the batteries topped up so that your phone will be ready to use when needed.

Handy information

It’s also a good idea to pre-load certain phone numbers or at least write them down and carry the list in a safe place, like your purse or wallet. Note down the contact detail for your moving company, an emergency contact back at your starting point, and any numbers you might need on arrival in your new home. If moving between countries, don’t forget the international dialling codes!

Some people also like to look up helpful local contacts before they leave home. The phone number of a local 24-hour plumber is a good example, and make sure that you know the emergency services number if it will no longer be 999. If you get stuck, dialling 112 should work across the EU and in some other countries too.

Pack for your first night

When you and your family have just finished moving to Zurich (or Paris, or Stoke-on-Trent) you’ll probably be tired. Pack a first-night bag and carry that with you, so nobody will have to start unpacking straight away. Include a toothbrush and toiletries, soap, a towel, and a change of clothing. If you expect to arrive at an empty house late at night a roll of toilet paper might also come in very handy!

In the morning, when you’ve had a shower and are feeling fresh and ready to tackle those boxes, you can start unpacking in earnest.

Don’t forget the kids

Mums and dads won’t need us to tell them what to pack for their babies, but toddlers and primary school children sometimes have trouble when moving. The process can be scary for the younger members of the family, even if it’s just a case of saying goodbye to the old house and moving into the one next door. Relocating over a long distance is certainly daunting for smaller kids.

Let them choose a toy to take on the journey and make sure they have plenty to do. A colouring book can go a long way and a few sweets or cereal bars can also make sure the whole family stays cheerful on the way to their your new home.

5 Top Reasons to Break from the U.K (just for a while, at least!)

Our client base covers everyone from families moving to France for a rustic life among olive groves, to young professionals relocating to Zurich for their careers. To say our client book is diverse is an indubitable understatement!

The U.K economy isn’t great right now, which is why heaps of folks are heading to pastures new throughout Europe, be it on a temporary basis or more permanently. Here are five of the top reasons behind some of our recent customers’ relocation’s to some of the most glorious (and unexpected!) spots on the continent.

1. Career change/job prospects
Travelling for work used to mean moving to the city or adding an hour onto the daily commute. These days, we meet hundreds of folks relocating to France, Belgium, Spain and loads of other promising European locales for work reasons. Contract work and international experience are becoming more attractive to prospective employers. A stint overseas could set you in fantastic stead for a position back home in due course.

2. Quality of family life
According to a 2011 article in the Guardian, the U.K has the worst quality of life in Europe based on cost of living, average holidays per year, number of sunny days, working hours, life expectancy and about ten other deciding factors. One in ten Brits are seriously considering emigration or temporary relocation to another country to access a better standard of living for themselves and their families.

3. A change is as good as a rest
The idea of someone living the same life for their whole life (as most of our parents did) isn’t practical anymore. We don’t typically work for the same company in the same role living in the same house. We travel, we live, we work, we explore and make changes that previous generations couldn’t have easily made. A year living in Bruges – why not?

4. The world is getting smaller
Just a hundred years ago it took two days to get from London to Bristol on a fast horse. The option is still there today, but at less than two hours the train seems more appropriate! The great age of travel has made every corner of the world more accessible for us all, so why not make the most of it?

5. Retirement
It used to mean heading out to pasture in the potting shed, but these days retirement can be the best years of your life! A 2010 article in the Telegraph set Spain high on the list of retiree destinations. In fact, the Mediterranean in general ranked high in terms of affordability, ex-pat integration and quality of life.

Fun in the sun, a great career move or just more time to do the things you like – what’s stopping you? Our removals service extends far and wide over the European continent, making it as easy as possible for folks just like you to pick up, pack up and head off hassle-free!

Moving to Germany? Learn the Language First

One of the things that can be most isolating when moving to Germany is not being able to speak the language. Although learning a new language is easiest when you immerse yourself in it, you can give yourself a head start by learning some German before you move. Here are some ways you can get a grasp on the language before relocating to Germany:

• Teach Yourself
Prior to moving to Berlin, Munich or anywhere else in Germany, teach yourself as much of the language as you can. Read a few beginners books and listen to some audio to give you an idea of pronunciation and intonation. You should also try to learn some grammar as this will help you to structure sentences.

• Take Some Classes
Before you move, aim to take some German classes, both one-on-one and as part of a group. One-on-one classes will enable your tutor to focus on aspects of the language that you need to, or areas that you may be struggling with. Group classes will give you a feel of real world German conversations and knowing other learners will help to keep you motivated.

• Befriend a Native
Only by talking to a native speaker will you get an indication of how the language is used in the real world. Use the internet to get in contact with native German speakers, and aim to converse via email or via Skype before you move. This will give you a chance to practice your German in a low-pressure environment.

Everyone Should Live Abroad Once

We specialise in moving to Holland, Germany and a bunch of other culturally rich European countries. Here are our top five reasons every person should spend at least a little of their life living continental!

1.    Culture is obviously the first thing that springs to mind. Think of the difference between Edinburgh and Devon, Liverpool and Oxford, Rowen (a tiny village in North Wales) and London! Experiencing different culture can open your eyes to the world in a unique way.

2.    Expanding your career horizons. Experiencing different cultures isn’t just for students and the super-rich. With a little planning and dedication it’s possible for pretty much anyone to find a job abroad. It may even be a step down the career ladder, but in terms of adding interest to your CV, living abroad depicts a superb strength of character.

3.    The thrill of the unknown. Call it “fear” if you like. The thrill/fear of relocating to Germany etc. is something that can be incredibly beneficial in life. Not everyone is OK with getting out of their comfort zone, but even something like a few months relocating to Belgium can have an astounding effect on confidence and mindset.

4.    Culinary exploration. Maybe you’re already a well-fed food aficionado, but if you’re more the pie ‘n’ chips type, living another culinary lifestyle can be a wonderful adventure!

5.    Appreciating home. Sure, it rains a lot in the UK and our sports teams are frequently embarrassed, but true appreciation for all things British is certainly a wonderful side to living abroad. You’ll be surprised what you miss most!

Dealing with Stressful House Moves

Everybody knows that moving house can be one the most stressful events that you will ever go through. Indeed, for some it can be even more stressful than a divorce or bereavement. Maybe it is because the serious business of moving comes directly after all the fun stuff like viewing properties and making bids ends.

Certainly, few people would say that packing, notifying banks and utility companies of your move, organising the re-direction of your post to your new address and registering your children with new schools is that much fun. However, it needs to be done and, if you’re moving abroad, there are probably many more things that will need to be added to that list as well

At least if you’re relocating to Germany, Spain, France or indeed any European country; moving your furniture and other possessions doesn’t have to add to your worries. Here at European Removal Experts, we specialise in facilitating household and business removals to Continental European destinations so we can take care of all the stress of moving for you.

If you’re looking for removals to Germany, we can provide you with door-to-door deliveries to and from a wide range of German destinations such as Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne and Stuttgart. Similarly, we can provide comparable services to locations in Spain, France, Italy and beyond.

So, if you want one less stressful aspect to deal with when moving to Germany, France or wherever; look no further than us here at European Removal Experts.

Tips to Stay Organized

Who can’t use some moving tips when they’re packing up their whole life for a new home? If you’re among thousands of people who have picked up and moved their family to a new home or a new community, you have fresh memories of some of the ups and downs or thrills or frustrations of moving.

Drawing from personal experience, I know there are lots of ways to help make your household move easier and more smooth. Read here for help to get your life, and your possessions, organized for a peaceful and exciting move.

Make a list.
Write everything down! You’ll thank yourself later. Before you pack even one box, create a simple record keeping system. Create a computer-printed list of numbers with a space to write the contents. Or have a spiral-bound notebook for the job. You’ll place a number on EVERY box you pack and list the contents on your list. Don’t put the list down unless it’s in a place you’ll call Packing Central. This is where you’ll find your labels, marking pens, box tape, and other supplies. When describing the box contents, be specific — “A-D files” is better than “files”, and “Tulip dishes” rather than “misc. kitchen”.

Have plenty of supplies.
Don’t make me say this twice– you’ll need LOTS of boxes–probably more boxes than you think, and having enough boxes will make your life easier! (If you buy your boxes from a moving company, you can always return unused boxes for a refund. If you got them free from the grocery, just toss any leftovers.) Have about 10 boxes set aside to use for last minute items on moving day, such as bedding, clothing, and cleaning supplies. You’ll need strong plastic packing tape to close up the boxes securely. Use unprinted newsprint (newspaper can stain your items) or packing paper or bubble wrap to wrap and cushion household good. Again, you’ll need lots more supplies than you think, so get extra so the packing can go smoothly. Return any unused supplies after the truck is packed.

Utilize wardrobe boxes.
These tall boxes are perfect for bulky, lightweight items such as comforters, pillows, and blankets, as well as clothes that need to remain hanging. Call your mover to ask the width of the wardrobe boxes they’ll be bringing. Then measure the clothes in your closets (including coat closets) to see how many wardrobe boxes you’ll need. You can also use them for closet storage boxes, shoe boxes, and other bulky items such as fabric bolts, large baskets, or gift wrap tubes.

Don’t make the boxes too heavy to lift, however. One mover told the story of someone who put a bowling ball in a wardrobe box! When the box was lifted off the truck the bottom gave way, sending the bowling ball on a wild ride down the ramp, across the street to the gutter, then down a hill where it finally came to rest in a roadside ditch. (Is that a strike or a spare?)

Strategize wardrobe box use.
Moving companies will be happy to deliver boxes ahead of your moving day. Or if you’re doing the move yourself, get things organized as early as possible. A few days before your move, fill some sturdy handled shopping bags with bulky closet items such as shoes, sweaters, belts, and jeans. On moving day, fill the bottom of the wardrobe boxes with some of the shopping bags, then add your hanging clothing. Pack hanging items tightly so things won’t move around and fall off of hangers. Finally, cover the shoulders of your clothes (a dry cleaning bag works well), then add a few purses or sweaters on top. You’ll have fewer boxes, and closet items remain together. Also, the shopping bags will make it easier to retrieve your belongings from the bottoms of a tall wardrobe box.

Color coordinate.
Designate a color for each room in the new home, such as yellow for kitchen, orange for dining room, etc. Apply colored stickers on the box near the box number. In your new home. Put a matching sticker on the door to each room. The movers will know where to put everything when they arrive at the destination. It’s also helpful to post a big sign on the wall in the room where you want boxes stacked, (“Boxes here please”) to keep them out of furniture and traffic areas.

For more moving tips, go on to Page 2 and find out more about strategies for filling wardrobe boxes, making a cleaning kit, and using “personal” boxes.
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Keep things together.
Insist on keeping things together when you or the movers are packing boxes. Keep bookends with books, light bulbs with lamps, and extension cords with appliances. Small, loose parts can be attached to the item they belong to with tape or placed in small envelopes — to keep picture hooks with pictures, shelf brackets with a bookcase, a special wrench and bolts with the wall unit. Keep larger corresponding items (such as a cable TV cord) in resealable bags, and tape these to the underside or back of the item. As a backup, have a “Parts Box” open on the kitchen counter and fill it with cables, cords, parts, pieces, brackets, or nails that are removed from any items of furniture. Keep this box with you, or mark it well with a rainbow of colored stickers so it can be easily located on move-in day.

Pack ahead.
Anything you can pack ahead will save you time on moving day. If it’s summer, get your winter clothes out of the way. You don’t really need 5 radios or TV’s around your house for the last few days there. Box up your shampoo and extra toothpaste and live out of a travel cosmetic case for the last week or two. Pare down cooking utensils and food supplies to bare essentials. Wastebaskets can also be packed (put things in them!) while you switch to using plastic grocery bags (hang them on a cabinet door or door handle to collect trash.)

Consolidate cleaning supplies.
If you must clean your old place after moving out, put together a kit of basic cleaning supplies and rags. Clean anything possible ahead of time (the inside of kitchen cupboards, the oven, windows, etc.), and if possible, vacuum each room as movers empty it.

Use your luggage.
Fill luggage and duffle bags with clothing, sheets, towels, and paper goods. Even for local moves you’ll be able to quickly spot your navy suitcase holding your favorite sweaters, whereas “Box #189” might remain elusive for days.

Safeguard valued items.
It’s a good idea to keep valuable possessions, such as silverware, collections, or antiques, with you. If you have a long move and no room in your car, bury the items in a box titled “Misc. from kitchen pantry”. Either way, check your homeowner’s insurance to see how you are covered during the move, and if you need additional insurance from the mover. Also, find out what paperwork (receipts, appraisals, and photos) you might need to file a claim in case of loss.

Keep important papers with you.
Your list of “important” papers might include: birth certificates, school records, mover estimates, new job contacts, utility company numbers, recent bank records, current bills, phone lists, closing papers, realtor info, maps, and more. Don’t leave these with the mover. Keep them with you!

Personal boxes.
Use brightly colored storage tote boxes, one for each person. Let each family member fill theirs with items they’ll want ‘right away’ in the new home — a set of sheets, a towel, a couple of extension cords, a phone, nightlights, address book, pens and paper, keys, kleenex, and travel cosmetic case, and so on.

Moving may not be the most fun you’ve ever had, but planning ahead will go a long way toward making the process bearable.

A stress-free move to France

Many people decide on moving to France later in life, as a second home or somewhere to retire to if the weather is warmer, such as the South of France. However, most people at this stage in their lives don’t want to acquire all the furniture, belongings and household items in duplicate all over again for their new home – they’d rather move some of what they’ve already amassed over the years across the continent.

Insurance can become a worry – removal firms have a reputation even when moving furniture from street to street in the same town, so it’s understandable that if you’re dreaming of moving to France, you’ll be worried about who takes care of your belongings as it crosses not only streets, but continents. Not to mention that this means you’ll also end up dealing with extra hassle in customs as you prove that you’re living in the country rather than importing goods.

Not to worry though, there are specialist companies – like us – that can help when you’re relocating to France or any other European country. If you need peace of mind by someone who understands the logistics of the international removals market, then it would be wise to choose a specialist over a regular moving company.

If you want to say Allo Allo to your new home without waving au revoir to some of your valuable belongings, then a specialist removals company will give you the safest and most secure way of moving to France.

How to Feel At Home After a Move to France

Choosing to make a move to France can feel like a huge step. The new, foreign surroundings can feel incredibly overwhelming, particularly if you don’t know your new area very well. When relocating to France, it’s important to allow yourself time to settle in and relax in your new surroundings. Here are some tips to help you do that.

• Have accommodation prepared before you move
Not having some accommodation ready when you arrive in France will only add to your stress. Book some temporary accommodation for when you arrive and look for something permanent once you’re settled in the area.

• Bring your furniture
Once you’ve found somewhere permanent, you can make it feel more like home by bringing over all your furniture. A company that provides furniture removals to France can have it with you in just a few days, and that familiarity should help curb any homesickness you may be experiencing.

• Act like a tourist
If you don’t have to work when you first arrive, take the time to get to know your new area as best you can. Imagine you are a tourist and try to take in all the major areas in just a few days. This will help you to find your way around and you may even discover some hidden gems.

• Meet the locals and other expats
After moving to France, aim to talk to someone new every day. Meeting the locals will help you fell more at home in your new area and meeting other expats will help you to see how other people have settled in.