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How do you move abroad, if not with work?

(33 Posts)
msrisotto Sun 25-Jan-15 08:49:01

Do people do this? Just decide they want to and make it happen?

I guess that would be harder/impossible for America due to difficulties getting a visa (?), what about other countries?

Do you need to be rich to make sure you can tide yourself over until you get a job? If you have a career, is it harder to take it abroad? I work as an allied health professional in the NHS here, taking that to a country were they don't speak English sounds hard - is there a way to make it work? I do speak Spanish on a conversational level although I can't follow a film unless I already know it IYSWIM so I could move to a Spanish speaking country but it would take probably up to 6 months intensive learning to get me up to speed.

I'd love to hear your experiences, I feel like I need to do this.

Costacoffeeplease Sun 25-Jan-15 09:08:05

We moved abroad 12 years ago, we had no idea what we were going to do for a living and didn't speak the language all that well. We're still here, we earn much much less than we did in the UK, but have a completely different lifestyle, and that's why we moved. We've been lucky, to a certain extent, and yes, you need a significant amount of money to see you through the first couple of years, we've seen a lot of people come and go, some have lost everything with bad property or business decisions, so it's not easy

msrisotto Sun 25-Jan-15 09:39:32

I don't fancy being financially destitute I must say.

Costacoffeeplease Sun 25-Jan-15 09:52:40

Where we are there is very little in the way of benefits so you do have to be very careful

surroundedbyblondes Sun 25-Jan-15 10:03:42

We moved to DHs home country so he spoke the language though I didn't. He started applying for jobs prior to the move and started working within a month of our arrival. We had saved quite a lot though and and it cost quite a bit. It was certainly a few years of taking out of the savings account before we started to put money back into it again.

I took language classes once the DC were at pre-school and have got to a point where I manage reasonably well. I started working and we feel well-established and at home here.

I wouldn't have moved somewhere that we had no connection to. It's important to understand something of the culture (and by that I mean the way people live, spend money and work in the place you're moving to) Where we live (Scandinavia) there are generous benefits for working parents (long parental leave, state-funded days off to take care of sick children...) but you will get no help to be a full term stay at home parent to children once they reach pre-school age and could end up feeling very lonely if you chose that. So I would really advise you to think about how see your life/lifestyle and whether it matches the place you move to or you are prepared to adapt.

Archfarchnad Sun 25-Jan-15 10:13:30

When I was 21 and a recent graduate I moved to another European country with no more than a rucksack and a few hundred pounds savings. I had no contacts there, but a teaching English qualification to make a living with. I turned up not speaking the language and with nowhere to stay, and took it from there. Now 23 years later I'm still here, with solid language skills and a job I love, a husband and two kids, house, car, cat, the works. It would be so much more difficult to move country now!

Bonsoir Sun 25-Jan-15 10:17:09

I moved to Paris in my early 20s from the UK but I found a job first. I got a much better job by searching for an expat position from the UK than I would have on the local market.

InfinitySeven Sun 25-Jan-15 10:21:54

I moved with DP at 22. Didn't know the language, and we took about £4,000 plus flights. Stayed in hotels for a few weeks, then holiday apartments, then got a rental contract. DP studied, and I found a way to bring my career abroad and earn on a self employed basis. We had to conserve money at times but other times we could go blow some on big tourist attractions or great meals. It was hard, at times. Some of the places we stayed were rough, and picking up the intricacies of the language was tough. There was a lot of pressure on me as the only one of us who could make money too. But it was good.

We could have stayed but we came back when someone in DPs family got very ill.

msrisotto Sun 25-Jan-15 19:13:00

How did you go about getting an expat position Bonsoir?

Bonsoir Sun 25-Jan-15 20:16:38

I replied to an ad in the newspaper by a recruitment consultant in London for a job in Paris!

msrisotto Sun 25-Jan-15 20:48:49

Ah ok. Interesting. I don't work in business settings so I don't know if there will be demand for my sort of skills on an expat basis.

fizzycolagurlie Mon 26-Jan-15 01:21:50

There is always the green card lottery in the US. It might be worth a punt.
If you research areas you like the sound of living in, you can find out very quickly what industries are offering the most jobs so you can fit what you do / what you've done, or face the prospect of training again, to fill those gaps as it were.

Glastokitty Mon 26-Jan-15 01:49:49

We applied for visas, saved like mad, sold everything, tried and failed to get jobs in new country, booked tickets and a holiday rental and went! It took my husband about a month to get a job, I didnt look for a job until we're remorse settled. I must admit the first few months were a bit of a white knuckle ride! But it was well worth it!

MooseBeTimeForSnow Mon 26-Jan-15 02:00:04

We're in Canada. Hubby works in the oil industry and applied (with my agreement) for a job here, which he was successful in getting. Ge warns far more here than he ever would in the UK, but the cost of living here is quite high. In this city a 2 bed, 3 storey townhouse will set you back £300k.
I was a lawyer in the UK but I cannot practice here. I'd have to pretty much start from scratch - sit 4 law courses to get the equivalent degree, training contract etc.
There is partly funded healthcare here. Pretty much everything else covered by DHs health insurance.
To be a nurse here can be done, but requires some exams. I know a nurse from the USA who had 25 years experience working in the ER who wasn't allowed to put a plaster on here without the exams.
A colleague of mine waited 3 years to emigrate applying to the embassy. It took my DH 3 months with the job offer from his employer and a sponsored visa. We're now permanent residents and have just applied for citizenship.

rootypig Mon 26-Jan-15 03:05:53

Marry a forriner and regret it forever

fizzy most Brits aren't eligible for the green card lottery, it only takes people from countries that are not already well represented in other immigration categories (work, student, family visas). America's crap anyway, so don't worry about it grin

how old are you risotto? there are countries like Aus and Canada that are pretty open to young skilled workers.

butterfliesinmytummy Mon 26-Jan-15 04:34:27

I moved to Paris at 21 too but also hd a job to go to, I did an internship in Lyon during my uni course and was offered a 6 month contract after graduating. I stayed 3 years and met dh there. He was traveling a lot for work and I got fed up so sold everything, got myself a freelance editing job and bought a one way ticket to singapore. I lived there with dh on a tourist visa for 6 months, then moved with him another 8 times, getting married and having dcs along the way. Although I didn't move with work, he did, and accommodation was always provided so I was free to earn a lower wage (teaching etc) in countries where I didn't speak the language.

Like many on here, I've been an expat for a long time and I don't think I've met anyone who has moved without having a job to move for. It's pretty tricky but life should be full of adventure. Never burn your bridges, always make sure you have somewhere to come back to if you end up with nothing and always always have an escape fund!

butterfliesinmytummy Mon 26-Jan-15 04:35:36

Arf at rooty "Americas crap anyway"

You've read about them banning imports of UK chocolate too, then?

rootypig Mon 26-Jan-15 04:56:51

Nothing surprises me anymore butterflies. They've bloody ruined English chocolate anyway, so who even cares <huff> <stamp>

What does your DH do? I want his job grin

butterfliesinmytummy Mon 26-Jan-15 05:01:29

He builds oil rigs ... You might not want his job right now!

knotswapper Mon 26-Jan-15 05:10:16

NHS workers are generally welcome here in Australia, in many fields. To get here would involve either being sponsored by an Australian employer, having skills on the list of skills required by Australia or to apply for PR (and having the necessary language/qualifications/work experience to meet the minimum points) and then coming out here and applying for work.

You'd have to pay for the cost of flights, the visa application/migration lawyer, then a month's bond and rent in advance, plus furniture & shipping costs. It's not cheap, but with planning is manageable.

I've worked overseas for most of my professional life - all of my international transfers have been related to work. I've worked in the Netherlands, Germany, Thailand, US, Sweden and Australia.

rootypig Mon 26-Jan-15 05:48:47

No danger, I wouldn't know an oil rig if I fell over it. Was actually pointing to some off the coast and asking DH what sort of boats they were a few weeks back......! I hope things aren't too precarious for you.

mrsnec Mon 26-Jan-15 05:52:38

I'm in the EU. In a country that's a popular holiday destination but also very big expat community because of the forces presence here.

We moved here because dh is an only child and his parents retired here after his df decided it was his favourite place in the world (and Canada wouldn't let him in)

Dh borrowed enough money to start a business. It took 5 years to get it off the ground and it still barely supports us. I could never get a job here but then I don't have a trade or profession really and you need to speak 3 languages to work in Lidl over here!

I believe hcps and teachers do have some luck though. I'm an sahm now and thankfully this country is very child friendly.

We hated where we lived in the UK. Both from the south but ended up in the Midlands with work and couldn't afford to go back down south. Dh had never lived abroad but I had and I felt he needed to experience it.

Cost of living and taxes are lower here. Everyone speaks English and dd will have the same kind of childhood I had. It's been very hard financially and still is.

I felt determined to make it work because it cost so much to get here. We shipped everything and if I did this again I'd sell everything, have as much money behind me as possible and start again. We also didn't sell our uk house on time and at first we were commuting and then paying mortgage on both properties then sold the UK house at a massive loss.

Dh still says we should have gone to the states instead but I don't agree.

I don't speak the language here but I'm learning and will bring dd up bilingual. I can read the language though.

SoonToBeSix Mon 26-Jan-15 06:18:35

Uk citizens can't apply for the US green card lottery.

rootypig Mon 26-Jan-15 06:38:30

Not strictly true Soon, northern Irish people can.

rootypig Mon 26-Jan-15 06:39:14

(and having two parents or a spouse born in Ireland makes you eligible I think)

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