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Aaaargh! Culture Shock!

Culture shock is a bit like regular shock – sometimes you can’t identify it once you’re suffering from it, which makes it very hard to cope with.

Signs
Writing “symptoms” felt a little contrived, as culture shock isn’t really a disease or mental illness, more just a feeling of being lost, out of your depth (remember trying to put your foot down in a swimming pool and having that moment of utter panic as you gurgled and spluttered under the surface?), isolated or simply unable to grasp onto any little culture-related life-raft like familiar road signs or Marks and Spencers. Don’t’ panic though; culture shock is only temporary, so moving to France, moving to Switzerland, moving anywhere can become home with a little patience.

Coping
Culture shock is very much fear-based – the shock of the new and unfamiliar. Upon relocation (moving to France, Germany etc.) people tend to split into two groups – those who embrace the new culture over their own, and those who reject it and try to keep their own country alive. Neither of these is the right or wrong choice. Allowing you and your family to each develop your own tactic for dealing with a great move is crucial.

Of course the best way to cope is to be prepared. For example, when moving to Switzerland, have everyone take an interest in the new culture –the food, the hobbies, what the schools tend to look like, what are the common modes of transport, how do you swear in Swiss-German?

The important thing is to be patient, brave and regain control.

European Attractions

Moving to a new place is daunting etc, but really the best option is to pull your finger out, remind your fretful emotions just how many people would kill to be in your foreign shoes, and go exploring!

Germany
Relocating to Germany is going to give you wonderful access to, amongst other things, some of the best castles in the world. “Neuschwanstein” is arguably the most famous. King Ludwig II designed this flamboyant castle in 1869. In a lovely little fit of eccentricity he employed a theatre set designer instead of an architect. Upon moving to Germany, could you do the same?

France
The French Riviera (Cannes, Nice etc.) is astoundingly beautiful and relaxing. A trip over to the island of Corsica is primarily a popular French jaunt, reminiscent of the way we view somewhere like Cornwall – relaxing, inviting and stunning.

Holland
Moving to Holland is perhaps one of the lowest culture shock risks within Europe. Amongst the history of clogs, windmills and tulip fields, new Dutch culture is blossoming marvellously. Art and music festivals like “Festival aan de Werf” in Utrecht are amongst the most contemporary and unique in the world. The Dutch love festivals – flowers, marches, music, films, clothes, windmills, arts, bicycles – everything has its own celebratory event. Maybe your move to Holland will inspire them to throw a festival in your honour!

Belgium
Cities like Brussels and Antwerp are as chic as they come. The architecture, culture and people are classic and inimitable thanks to the influences of Belgium’s neighbouring countries.

Don’t Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out!

Relocating to Belgium? Moving to France? Wherever you’re off to, in all the frantic hubbub of the move, it can be difficult to hear the feeble whispers of those UK loose ends over the excited rambunctiousness of relocating somewhere fantastic!

Whether you intend to return to the UK or not, it simply makes sense to get your affairs in order before you leave.

Practicalities

Utilities – Your utility providers need to know the residential state of your home (if you have one) whether you rent it out, leave it empty, or have a friend/relative living in it rent-free. Furthermore, your mortgage provider needs to be kept in the loop too.

Health – Doctors and dentists are busy people, so don’t waste their time. Moving to Belgium etc. doesn’t mean you can’t be registered with most of your original health services in the UK.

Post – Redirecting your UK mail is crucial to cover those unforeseen notifications of various types.

Tax and Paperwork

P85 – This notifies the tax authority that you’re leaving the country, and helps ensure you’re taxed appropriately for your location.

R105 – This will prevent your savings being taxed by both the UK and your new country.

Pension – Applying for a pension forecast/update is a sensible idea, especially if you’re likely to be out of the UK indefinitely.

Will – Making a will might feel like casting a morbid shadow over the fun of moving to France etc, but it’s really just a prudent plan to cover the more unpleasant possibilities.

Let’s Go Dutch!

So, you’re moving to Holland. At European Removal Experts, we applaud your decision! Whether you are moving to Holland to experience the unique culture, to immerse yourself in the world-famous Dutch electronic dance scene, to be able to attend every Ajax home match or because of a more commercial yet equally positive reason such as joining a new job, meeting a friend or setting up a new business, European Removal Experts are your best choice for the safe and secure removal of all of your important furniture, documents, electronic equipment and household items.

We have vans and trucks with various storage capacities, so no matter how many of your possessions are winging their way over to Holland, you can rest assured that our highly-trained staff and fully insured vehicles will ensure that they arrive safely. We can imagine that there are many benefits in relocating to Holland: a more relaxed and stimulating culture perhaps, a vibrant arts scene and some beautiful natural scenery. Whatever your reason go for moving to Holland, European Removal Experts can guarantee that our professional service will allow you to make a smooth transition and blend seamlessly into the fabulous Dutch culture.

Here at Europe we wish you every luck in your new life, country and home. However, we understand how daunting moving home can be and we aim to make this process as simple for you as possible. So, please phone us for friendly advice and an instant quote today, and let’s all go Dutch with European Removal Experts!

Some Facts About Moving to Switzerland

If you are planning to move abroad to a country within the European Union, you will be aware that this is a relatively straightforward thing to do. The rules on moving around the EU mean that relocation from country to country is made as easy as possible for those who come from the member states. This is connected to the charter of the EU which promise the free movement of people, goods and services within the Union. But if you are moving to Switzerland, this could be difficult.

The rules on immigration for those who are planning on moving to Switzerland are very strict, and your nationality is important when it comes to making a decision about whether you will be allowed to move permanently. Citizens of the fifteen pre-2004 European Union member states and of the various European Free Trade Association countries face fewer restrictions than citizens from the rest of the world.

It may seem harsh, but the reality is that it is almost impossible for non-EU nationals to find work in Switzerland unless they have something to offer the state. The only way a non-EU national can find work in the country is if they are highly qualified and able to perform a job that no Swiss person can do. Having said that, if a non-EU national has a couple of million pound in the bank, they will be welcomed with open arms!

It’s also worth noting if you are planning on moving to Switzerland that without a job arranged in advance, you cannot take up residence.

Going Dutch

If you are moving to Holland and you are intending to find a job when you get there, the first thing to say is Good Luck! As with most countries at the moment, finding work isn’t as easy as it used to be just a couple of years ago, so if you are moving to Holland, or moving to France for that matter, it’s probably best to find employment before you leave. Having said that, if you are moving to Holland and are prepared to put the work in to find a job, there are a couple of ways you can look for work.

The public employment service – or the CWI, which is the Centre for Work and Income –  plays a huge role in the Dutch labour market as they help people find jobs in a similar way to the JobCentre here in the UK.

The staff at the CWI are very involved and will give as much help as you ask for when looking for a job, whether you are Dutch or moving to Holland from another country.

To get help from the CWI you need the equivalent of our national insurance number.  Every Dutch citizen obtains a personal registration number, called a SOFI-nummer, at the age of fourteen. Those moving to Holland can get a SOFI-nummer at the local tax office.

The bottom line is that, when it comes to moving to Holland, you will find the same problems – and solutions – as you will find here when you are looking for a job, so good luck!

The Benefits of Travel

In the recent general election, one of the hot topics was that of immigration and the effects this has on jobs. With the development of the European Union one of the key changes has been with border controls. People who live in E U member states are no longer considered citizens of just their country of birth but are also citizens of Europe. As such they have rights to travel and work in other member states and are entitled to the benefits not only of their country of origin but also of the country they move to. This has led to the development of a more flexible mobile workforce.

When we think of UK citizens moving abroad we usually think of people buying holiday homes and moving to France or Spain. However if we consider countries like Germany it is more likely that people will be moving there because of work.

If you are considering moving to Germany then we at European Removal Experts can help to make the transition as pain free as possible.

Once there it is also good to know that under EU legislation citizens of one country are entitled to the same benefits such as medical help.

Sometimes these benefits continue to be paid directly by the UK directly to you and sometimes they are paid to the country you are resident in and they in turn provide the same service as would be received by a native resident.

Also once you are working and paying into local tax and social insurance packages you are also entitled to additional benefits such as unemployment benefit and assistance when looking for work.

It is therefore good to know that even when making a big step like moving to Germany, you will not be without support should things not go entirely as planned.

You Don’t Have to be Wealthy to Live in Switzerland

If you are relocating to Switzerland, you will probably have heard some of the myths surrounding the country. One of these is that only the super rich can afford to live there, and while tax rates differ across the country which means that wealthy people can apply to different regions for their tax status, there are opportunities for us ‘ordinary’ people as well.

Having said that, many celebrities such as Tina Turner, Phil Collins, Lewis Hamilton, Shania Twain, Roger Moore, Yoko Ono and Michael Schumacher have all lived in the country at some point. The friendly tax system is perhaps the main reason which saw them moving to Switzerland, but there are other reasons for moving to this wonderful country, for example the relative lack of crime and the high standard of living.

Lets move away from the rarified atmosphere of the super rich celebrity and look at what Switzerland means for the rest of us. The good news for us mere mortals is that if your company is moving to Switzerland from the UK and you have been offered the chance to continue with your job, you can move to live and work in Switzerland relatively easily. Switzerland is not in the EU which means that it does not have the same rules relating to relocation, so you need to be aware of the process for moving to Switzerland well in advance of your starting date. But keep positive and remember that if you have a job offer, you should be able to get a visa which makes moving to Switzerland a lot easier.

Moving to Belgium Let the Experts Help You

Moving home can be a traumatic experience at the best of times, but when you are moving abroad the stress and trauma involved can be magnified many times over. If you are moving to Belgium there are some things you should be aware of before you organise your belongings to be transported across the North Sea. Although we have been members of the European Union since 1973, moving to Belgium – or moving to Germany and any other EU country – is not as straight forward as it could be, especially if you are living in Britain but you are not a UK passport holder. For example, when you are moving to Belgium you should know that for all visits of longer than 90 days a visa is required for non-EU citizens.

With the exception of Cyprus and Malta, nationals of the new European Union Member States are currently subject to transition arrangements which remain in place for two years and require a long-stay visa for those who are moving to Belgium. However, if you are self-employed you will be exempt from the visa requirement.

Now we have cleared up the boring bit about moving to Belgium, it’s time to start planning the logistics involved in getting your furniture moved. Of course, you could do it yourself by hiring a lorry, but why add to the stress by doing this? Get in touch with the people at Europemove.com and they will take care of everything for you, which means you will be free to concentrate on your new life.

Holland: More than just a Great Weekend Destination!

A city like Amsterdam has a strong reputation as a weekend destination, however there is much more to Holland than great weekend breaks! And moving to Holland could be one of the best life decisions that you will ever make.

Firstly, on a technical point, Holland is actually the name of a Western part of the Netherlands, however in this instance – and quite commonly – Holland shall mean the Netherlands! And with this in mind, it really is true to say that there is more to Holland than you think.

Of course Amsterdam alone is a good reason for moving to Holland, with its unrivalled nightlife, its laid back attitude and its impressive cultural credentials; however, whilst anyone moving to Holland will fall in love with Amsterdam, there is more to the Netherlands than one city.

In stark contrast to the bright lights and bicycles of Amsterdam, the Netherlands is also home to some of the most unique landscapes in the whole of Europe; and in fact much of what is now known as the Netherlands has been reclaimed from the sea – which means that a large part of Holland is in fact below sea-level.

This, combined with open expanses, makes Holland a truly awe inspiring place to live – and that’s why relocating to Holland could be the best decision you ever make!

Of course, whilst Holland may be a short flight away, moving your possessions there will still be a challenge – which is where European Removal Experts comes in. We have a strong commitment to getting you to exactly wherever you want to be in Europe.