Need A Change Of Scene? Embrace The Itch!

Have you ever dreamed of buying an Italian villa and fixing it up as depicted in the film Under the Tuscan Sun?

Maybe you want to take a gap year before or after your time at university. Or, perhaps you are feeling burnt out and you’re in need of a long sabbatical.

Whatever the case, a temporary or permanent move to Europe can be a rewarding experience.

Working abroad can be a welcome addition to your resume, and immersing yourself in a new culture can be an enriching and renewing experience.

Below, we’ll discuss some of the considerations involved in moving to Europe permanently, working remotely in Europe, and traveling to Europe with a work/study program or other incentive programs.

Making A Permanent Move

First, you will need to obtain the travel visas and work permits needed to live and work in the country of your choice.

As requirements differ from country to country, you will need to research the specifics.

Contacting the U.S. Embassy in that country is a good place to start. Their job is to help American citizens who travel or live abroad.

The next step is finding a job in your host country. If you interested in how to get a job in Europe, the Europass CV is not to be overlooked.

The Europass is a standardized CV format that is easy to use and familiar to most employers.

You can use your current resume to inform your Europass CV. Still, you should research CV expectations in your country of interest and any company-specific requirements. For example, the Europass is not used in the U.K.

Often, it is good to travel to a new place and spend some time there – a few weeks to a few months, if possible – to make sure that the language, culture, and lifestyle are a good fit for you.

You can also use that time to look for a job and secure permanent housing.

You may find that working remotely for a time or engaging in one of the other opportunities below will allow you to “try on” a European lifestyle before making your final decision.

Work Remotely In Europe

If you are a location-independent freelancer or if you have the option of working remotely, you can live and work in Europe without having to quit your current job. Others have taken up teaching English online in order to have remote work.

A number of European nations have also made things easier for digital nomads.

Countries including Croatia, Czech Republic, Norway, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Iceland, and Greece are offering digital nomad visas.

These visas vary in length from six months to five years. Some have special requirements, like a minimum income requirement.

A major benefit of working remotely in Europe is that one is not limited to a single country or location.

Many digital nomads engage in “slow travel,” spending several weeks at one location and getting to know it intimately before moving on to the next. 

Remote workers can also take advantage of Europe’s extensive railway system for inexpensive travel.

If traveling frequently, you can even time your train rides overnight, sleeping on the train rather than having to find additional accommodations.

Work/Study And Other Programs For Students And Beyond

Many universities offer work/study programs in which a student can attend university in a European country while also gaining work experience.

Some students and graduates obtain a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate and teach English during their residency.

Interestingly, these teachers are not required to be adept at the local language – they are required to speak English only to their students to achieve an immersion effect.

Many towns and villages in Europe want to attract tourists, residents, and skilled workers amid dwindling and aging local populations.

Wonder Grottole in Italy, for example, is one of several programs that allow participants to purchase deeply discounted properties if they agree to renovate them and contribute to the community – often by living and working in them. 

Other opportunities teach winemaking, beekeeping, pasta making, or other traditional skills, thus helping to preserve these for coming generations.

Some programs offer influencers a place to stay and interesting activities to do in exchange for social media coverage.

A final option involves housesitting or petsitting. After an application process and background check, travelers can apply for “sits.”

This offers the traveler free accommodations in exchange for simple chores such as watering plants or caring for cats and dogs. Sits may range from a few days to a few months in length.

Key Takeaways

Permanent or temporary residence in Europe can be an enriching experience. Before you travel, do your research.

Apply for and obtain any necessary visas or work permits. Be on the lookout for perks and amenities meant especially for students, digital nomads, teachers, or those willing to help revitalize a community.