Get ready to go to the European Union
Bureaucracy is one of those things you must deal with. In many cases paperwork and delays can be annoying and exasperating. When you thought you already had everything completed, it always seems that there one essential document that is missed. In this situation, be calm! Don’t give up on your adventure just because of the bureaucracy, it is just one of the first steps on the way to living your dream. And we can help you to do it!
In most cases it is possible to obtain a document that matches your qualification with the equivalent qualifications issued in the EU country to which you want to move. To do so, check out the ENIC / NARIC centre of the country you are going to. You should be aware that the administrations of EU countries remain responsible for their education systems and are free to apply their own rules, including whether or not to recognise qualifications obtained overseas.
Your travel documents
If you want to travel to an EU country, or cross the borders of the EU, you will need a passport which is valid for three months after your scheduled date of departure from the EU, and issued less than ten years ago.
If you require a visa (see below) you can apply for one at the consulate or embassy of the country you are planning to visit. If the visa is from a country in the "Schengen area", you will automatically have the possibility to travel to the other Schengen countries. In addition, a valid residence permit in any of the Schengen countries is equivalent to a visa. Instead, if you want to visit countries outside the Schengen area you may need a national visa, as there are passport checks as you approach the boundary.
Citizens of certain countries do not require visas to visit the EU if the stay does not exceed three months. The list of countries whose citizens require visas to travel to the United Kingdom or Ireland is somewhat different from that applied by the other EU countries, and can be found on the UK Government and Republic of Ireland government websites.
Your travel insurance
Even if you are not an EU-national, but you are resident in the territory of an EU Member State you can apply for and use a European Health Insurance Card or Temporary Replacement Certificate. It should never cost you anything and it should be provided by your health insurer prior to travelling. However, it is important to know that you cannot use the EHIC for medical treatment in Denmark, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland.
Bear in mind that the card does not guarantee free services. Each country’s healthcare system is different and some services that do not cost you anything in your home country might not be free in another country. The period of validity of the card can also vary for each Member State.
Time to explore
After finishing with all the bureaucracy it’s time for you to enjoy your trip. Either travel or stay, don’t forget to spend time with those who know the country best, the locals. Keep your mind open and do not let your own stereotypes, prejudice or clichés prevent you from having a wonderful time. One of the best parts of being overseas is to experience new ideas, cultures or thoughts. You will feel a more intimate, authentic and deep experience of the place.
Before going on a trip, you might like to plan it. Check out visit Europe and explore all the transport possibilities, like rail networks or cheap airlines. You can also find ideas on how to make the best of your leisure activities and be inspired by other personal travel stories around European cities. Find out how to plan your trip with let's Go, a travel guide written entirely by students and which brings together invaluable travel experiences.
Indeed, you will not be the only foreigner living in your new city. There are different expatriates groups around the world that can provide you with many useful tips, and you can easily find them online.