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Learn the Language When Moving Abroad, Expert Advises

There are many preparations that need to be undertaken when people decide they are moving to France, moving to Belgium or heading anywhere else to live.

Writing on Tips from the T-List, blogger Nellie Huang noted that one of the most important things individuals can do is to learn the language of the country they are going to live in.

According to the expert, who is herself a seasoned traveller, this is “essential”.

She commented: “It helps you adapt to the new environment, make friends easily and integrate into [the] community.”

While many people wait until they reach their destination before signing up to an intensive language course, it can be advisable to start the process in advance as this can help make the moving process easier, she suggested.

However, the advantage of taking lessons in the country itself is that individuals are constantly talking to locals and this means they can pick things up quicker.

As well as learning the language, those moving to France, moving to Belgium or heading to other locations should make an effort to join in with the local communities, Ms Huang went on to suggest.

She remarked: “Arriving to a new country alone can be daunting. You seriously do not want to be faced with the question, ‘What am I doing here?’. The best way to get over your initial homesickness is to meet new people and make some friends.”

Going online to discover any groups that are designed to help new people meet each other can assist with this, she pointed out.

Meanwhile, exploring the area and being curious is also beneficial, the expert claimed.

These days, the process of relocating to France or another foreign country may be less daunting than it was in previous times because of the ease of communication afforded by the internet, mobile phones and other technological advances. These allow people to stay in regular contact with loved ones who are situated at home.

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.

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.

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!

On the Move

Over the last twenty years and the increase in travel technology the world has become an increasingly smaller place. This has particularly affected us in the UK where we used to revel in our isolation as an Island. This had served us well in the past protecting us from events in Europe. But with the opening of the Channel Tunnel in 1994 things have changed significantly.

With France now only 30 minutes away there has come a renewed appetite for travel and new opportunities for people who consider moving to France. This can be seen in the fact that when the tunnel was opened there were claims that it would be the end of the Channel ferries, but in fact they seem as popular as ever and there have only been some marginal realignment in services.

With the increase in travel for holidays there has also been an increase in people moving to France. This is perhaps inevitable as people travel and experience a different way and pace of life and they consider the possibility that they could have a better standard of living in France.

The fact that there has also been a rapid increase in property prices in the UK over the same period has meant that for perhaps the first time, people could consider selling up and moving to France with the possibility of buying a property and having some money to spare. Also with the ever closer ties with Europe there are more people moving from the UK to work abroad or even at extremes, commuting from France to the UK. The opening of the Channel Tunnel has certainly opened many opportunities.

Whatever your reason for considering moving to France, whether it is to enjoy retirement, to work or even to commute, we at European Removal Experts can help with those initial headaches of moving home especially to another country.

A Year In Europe

Most British Universities offer degrees that require students to spend a year in a European country. Generally the degrees are either language or business based but either way moving to France, moving to Germany, or moving to Holland or whichever country is involved, can be a great adventure. Even with the best intentions of keeping the stuff you take when you are moving to Germany to a minimum you may find that you need to take more than you first thought.

Shipping personal belongings to another European country doesn’t have to break the bank, generally you can find a removals company, like us at European Removal Experts, who will have space for a part-load. This is when they move more than one person’s goods in the same vehicle and because the cost is divided it makes it cheaper when you are moving to France for your year’s experience. If you are moving with friends on the same course then you could get together to move everything in one load and split the costs.

Of course you are likely to find that even if you get there with very little you will pick up rather a lot of stuff in the year that you are there and we often find that we are called in to help people move all their accumulated things back to the UK, after all we do have removal vans going both ways. So you don’t have to give up all those wonderful things you bought you can bring them back to be treasured for a life time. When you are ready to make your move just get it all wrapped and boxed up and we can do the rest for you so you can concentrate on more important things like studying, or a night out in a great bar.

Retiring To The Sun

Regardless of how the pound and the Euro behave there are thousands of British couples who decide to pack up and move to France when they retire. And who can blame them when the pace of living is a little slower, the food is better and in many areas the weather is better throughout the year. Settling into a new country and a new way of life is actually far easier if you have your own things round you so generally when the retirees go abroad they will take the contents of their homes with them.

Moving to France with your own furnishings can be far more cost effective than buying new when you get there and certainly means that the feel of being home can be created immediately. A specialist removal company, like us at European Removal Experts, will take any hassle out of the move and deliver to your new home at a date to suit you rather than us. Our wagons are helping people moving to France every week and we can even offer to move part-loads if you don’t want to take everything when you move.

If the property that you are moving to in France is not immediately habitable we can arrange to store your possessions in the interim so that it can be delivered as and when you are ready to receive it, after all many people buy properties that they are going to either renovate or at least bring up to date. When you are moving to France using the right removal company can make a huge difference to the amount of stress you feel so do make sure that you pick one that has plenty of experience and knows the ropes so that everything goes smoothly to help you ease into your new life.

Moving Around The Global Village

It is becoming more and more common to change jobs or get a promotion at work which will involve moving house not just within the UK, but also throughout the world. When you are moving house onto the European mainland you are highly likely to want to take your furniture and personal belongings with you than to put them in storage. Logistically this is really much easier than you might first think. Generally it does not involve huge amounts of paperwork and it is just like moving house in the UK except that it takes a little longer for the journey.
If you are moving to Germany or perhaps moving to France, two of the most popular mainland Europe destinations, you just need to find a reliable removals company with experience of this type of move, like ourselves at European Removal Experts, who will collect and deliver for you. One thing that you should consider is whether you need your belongings to go into storage at any point, be it a day or a month or two, before they are delivered. When you make your move you may not be going directly to the house you are going to occupy long term so if this applies when you are moving to Germany or any other country it makes sense to use a company that can offer the whole package.
Of course, you may just want to follow the removal van in your own car and that can certainly be arranged. But we find it is more usual for our customers to want to meet us at their new European home. Once the furniture has arrived it can be placed in the correct rooms so that you can unpack and settle into your new home at your leisure, with a minimum of fuss. Bon voyage.

Those Tricky Swiss

Moving to Switzerland is in many ways, very similar to moving to any UK address but with a longer distance to cover. The way in which it differs greatly from a UK house move, or even moving to Germany or France for example is in the need for detailed customs practices to be adhered to.

Switzerland has a fairly unique culture and a high standard of living in a beautiful environment. In order to maintain this, they do have a culture of rules and regulations that can appear prohibitive if you do not understand the correct way to navigate them. This should not be mis-interpreted as a negative statement about Switzerland; it is a very desirable place to live but you are required to respect their rules and regulations. They do have strict customs rules and for a successful move you will need to adhere to them.

The best method to navigate these rules when moving to Switzerland is to use a removal firm that specialises in such international moves and understands these rules and regulations. At European Removal Experts, we possess these credentials and will be able to assist you with any scale of move to the continent. This move may be moving to France, moving to Spain or moving to Switzerland or one of many other European destinations as well as Switzerland.

Some house moves will necessitate a dedicated van and full packing service but others may only require the moving of a select few items. With varying deadlines and schedules for each move, flexibility and a range of moving options is key to being a great removal service provider. We are able to include a period of Long and Short Term Storage with many of our house move options and aim to deliver what you need from your house move experience.

Reasons to Relocate

These days, relocation is on the rise. It isn’t hard to see why either as moving abroad can be a fantastic decision, and if you’re thinking of moving yourself here are a few reasons to tip the scales.

• The food. England isn’t always known for its top-class food, but France certainly is. All you gourmets out there will be in your element if you considered moving to France, and you can experience the delights of French cuisine every single day.

• The scenery. We do have some spectacular scenery in the UK, but can it really rival the Alps? If you have a love of skiing or of breathtaking views then moving to France or Switzerland could well be for you.

• The culture. You’ve lived in the UK all your life, so you know what it’s all about. But are you familiar with the cultures of the Netherlands, Switzerland or Germany? If you’d like to experience something completely different, then moving to Holland could be a great idea.

• The way of life. Britain is an incredibly fast paced society, and sometimes it’s nice to just sit back and take stock of everything. By relocating abroad, perhaps by relocating to Holland or Switzerland, you’ll be able to enjoy a much more peaceful way of life – particularly if you choose somewhere off the beaten track.

These are just a few reasons that you should relocate, and there are many more besides. So what are you waiting for? Pick your country and start your new life abroad, and remember to get in touch with us here at European Removal Experts to make the whole process as stress-free as possible.