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Have any of you travel lovers tried to solve your "addiction" by moving to Europe for an extended stay?

Have any of you travel lovers tried to solve your "addiction" by moving to Europe for an extended stay?

Aug 26th, 2000, 10:26 AM
  #21  
Santa Chiara
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I would prefer not to get too specific but I will say that I work for an American university that has a program in Italy. There are dozens of such programs, not only in Italy but also in France and other European countries. It helps, of course, to have experience in university administration.

The best way that I know to work in Europe is through an American-based corporation. As business becomes increasingly globalized more of these kinds of opportunities should be available.

And for Debbie Lee, I know a couple who did exactly what you are contemplating. He, too, is of direct Italian descent, and he and his wife and children are now in Italy. It helps, however, that he taught English back in the states.

Good luck to all who have this dream. It may not be as unattainable as you may think.
 
Aug 26th, 2000, 10:54 AM
  #22  
russ i
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This will be boring to some of you, but here is some nuts and bolts information about my move to Italy in 1997, where I lived for 2 years.

Figuring that the only way I would earn a living would be to teach English, I enrolled in a 5 week course in Milan to earn my CELTA (Cetificate for English Language Teaching to Adults). I had never taught before. I began the course in June of 1997 and it was the most intense learning experience of my life. 8 hours a day, plus homework every night, plus a paper every weekend. Upon completion, I moved to Bologna and got an apartment with a friend. (1,400,000 lire/month total or about $350 each).

The CELTA certificate helped me land about 6 hours a week at each of 3 language schools, earning about 25,000-30,000 lire/hour. I supplemented this with private lessons (no CELTA required), which I got by putting signs up around my area. I ended up with 17 students, which meant I was being paid about 30 hour a week (plus another 10 hours of unpaid lesson preparation). This gave me about 3.3 million lire a month (about $1600). Since I did not need a car, this enabled be to pay for rent, food and utilities, and still do some travel within Italy. Big trips (Egypt, Morocco, Prague) had to come out of savings.

On the plus side: I was living in Italy and having a great time.

On the down side: I was running myself ragged running from place to place to work. I worked from 10am to 10 pm, but 4-5 hours of that was unpaid travel or down time due to scheduling reasons. Eventually I replaced the schools with more private students which I could do from home, even though I found teaching groups more stimulating.

After 4 months, I managed to land an administrative job working for an American University. This was a dream come true: 8:30-4:30, 8 weeks of paid vacation and holidays, 10 minute walk to work, great co-workers! From that point onward, it was the experience I was looking for. All that vacation gave me the opportunity to do so much more traveling than I had expected to do. Besides seeing 17 of the 20 Italian regions, I was able to go to Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, Morroco, Greece, Chzec Republic, Austria, Germany, France, Spain, and England.

Obviously, economics is a major consideration if you are thinking of trying this. I would highly recommend it to single people or couples (as long as BOTH of you really want to do it); however, I did meet families there who were doing this, but it was a big struggle. Unless you can get transferred there with a good salary and benefits, I donít know that I would recommend it to a couple with children, or anyone with a lot of debt.

Anyway, do it now, while you can. I wish that circumstances had not dictated my return so soon to the U.S., but I know Iíll be back some day.
 
Aug 26th, 2000, 02:24 PM
  #23  
upyougo
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Aug 26th, 2000, 02:56 PM
  #24  
Steve Mueller
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This will apply only to a small percentage of those that would like to live overseas, but there are a surprising number of post-doctoral and visiting scholar positions in Europe and Asia. After finishing a two-year postdoc in the US, my wife and I became interested in living overseas for a year or two. I found programs and interested sponsors in Germany, the Netherlands, and England. We eventually chose Japan where I spent a year as a visiting scholar at the University of Tokyo.
 
Aug 27th, 2000, 03:13 AM
  #25  
jim
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If you want to work in France you have to:

1. Know where to look
2. Use the Internet as a resource
3. Be lucky
4. Persevere

I am in the computer field, not a rocket scientist by any means.

I looked for North American companies with offices in France. Then I looked for job postings for these companies (their French affiliates) and sent a resume (in French) to their French offices. After sending the resumes I arranged a trip to France, and followed up my resumes, about 3 weeks later, with a letter indicating I would be in France at such and such a time for an interview.

After interviewing expect to wait a long time. But follow up regularly until you get the coup de grace (yes or no). (Note the lucky/tricky part is arranging employment while waiting).

Hopefully your company will send you a letter d'attestation which rationalizes why they need you with a stamp from the appropriate ministry. You present this letter to your local consulate along with an employment contract to obtain a work visa.

If hired, have a nest egg, because there will be start-up costs that your company won't cover. Remember, you have to go out of your way not to inconvenience them for hiring you. Expect headaches searching for an apartment and make sure you bring all your papers because you will need just about everything when applying for a carte de sejour.

Be kind to your employer and landlord because you NEED them. (actually, be kind to everyone you meet, know matter what problems you may be experiencing). Also understand that delays and inconveniences in the paper process are a fact of life. You are there as a guest. Hope that delays and trips to offices aren't enough to effect your ability to do your job well.

Make sure all affairs (or as many as possible) at home are taken care of. Don't burn bridges at home. Have a contact (family member preferable) who can take care of issues (should they arise) at home.

Well that's it. Like I said earlier, travelling is better. But working in a foreign country is a learning experience (the language and the culture). It is good for people with a writer's mindset who stand back and observe. If you are more one of the types who likes to be in the in-crowd expect to be disappointed.

I am an average guy in his thirties, overweight, receding hair-line, introverted, not well-off financially, and of average intelligence. Standard Parisien? Definitely not. But if you try to treat all people with respect you can survive here. A prima-donna attitude is the last thing you should bring along.

So that's it. I hope I didn't discourage anyone. It appears reading this newsgroup that people who work overseas seem to have found paradise. I haven't. But I do know, in the long run, it's good for me to be here and I thank the Lord daily for giving me the oppurtunity.
 
Aug 27th, 2000, 06:52 AM
  #26  
arjay
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Russ & Jim: Very interesting 'how-to' posts! I was especially interested (and had been wondering as I was reading thru the posts) to read about someone with CELTA experience, as I'd just been leafing thru a Transitions Abroad mag with dozens of ads for teaching programs - and they make landing a job sound so easy.
Good luck to everyone who follows their dream!
 
Aug 27th, 2000, 08:28 AM
  #27  
Mike Miller
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I'm also very intrigued with the idea of living abroad and subscribe to Transitions Abroad. Website: http://www.transitionsabroad.com/
 
Aug 27th, 2000, 07:00 PM
  #28  
up
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top
 
Aug 27th, 2000, 10:18 PM
  #29  
Brooke
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If any of you want to work in Europe and are of Italian decent you can get a European passport. There is certain criteria you have to meet but it is worth checking out as it allows you to work just about anywhere in Europe. I had a three month holiday in 1996 in Italy and I haven't lost the bug yet. I am hoping the year I am heading off to spend abroad in two weeks will. love your messages they are a great help.
 
Aug 28th, 2000, 04:47 AM
  #30  
Rachel
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You can also get an Irish passport if you (or your spouse) has a grandparent or parent born in Ireland (or in Northern Ireland before 1922). The Irish passport will allow you to work anywhere in Europe. It takes about a year to get.

One word of warning, though...Most (not all, of course) of the people I talk to about moving overseas (I've done it myself) have this picture of living in some sort of paradise, where they will have none of the stresses and problems that they do in America, and that they'll get to sit in a cafe everyday along some bustling avenue, sipping strong coffee and eating pastries--WAKE UP! Life is pretty much the same no matter where you go--people who are relaxed and happy in America are going to be relaxes and happy in Italy. People who get stressed out and upset in the U.S. are going to get stressed out and upset in Greece. It's just a change of scenery--any other changes are up to the individual to make.
 
Aug 28th, 2000, 05:07 AM
  #31  
Paige
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I had always wanted to live in Europe, so here I am, in Munich. I get 6 weeks VC and travel all over Europe and LOVE it! But, I had to quit my job with a really good company that I had worked at for over 10 years. If/when I move back to the states, I may have to start over with 2 weeks vc (aarrgghh!!). Depending on where you are in life, moving overseas can be a really big deal. We had to sell our house and cars, get rid of a lot of stuff and put other stuff in storage. Monthly payments for storage add up, especially when you pay in dollars and earn weak marks! Like other posters have said, living abroad sounds so exciting but you still have to work, pay bills, deal with (non-English speaking!) landlords, etc. All that said, I'm glad we did it and wouldn't change a thing. By the way, we're computer programmer/analysts. The German company we now work for came to our U.S. city looking for people with our skills, so that's how we got over here.
 
Aug 28th, 2000, 03:39 PM
  #32  
upsydaisy
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Again.
 
Aug 28th, 2000, 04:21 PM
  #33  
julie
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Yest, I have wanted to stay longer--have stayed at the most, 5 weeks in a place, long enough to get the flavor and yearn for more, but, upon reflection, I think it is not so much the "place" as it is the different life style, that you are taken out of your orbit and environment for a while, and it seems, upon returning, better than your life style. That is the romantic in all of us..we tend to forget the crummy stuff and remember the rare and beautiful moments. That is the kindness that our memory offers us, and makes life special.
 
Aug 29th, 2000, 07:39 AM
  #34  
lasttime
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Aug 29th, 2000, 07:45 AM
  #35  
luigi
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Thanks to Jim, Rachel and Paige for their "reality check" messages. While it is something I have longed to do, I have also been afraid of the 'grass is always greener' syndrome. And from everything I have read, especially in Italy, the red tape and bureaucracy are almost a show-stopper.

So, at least for now, I will have to content myself with a week or three vacation there every year or two. On the other hand, it remains a dream and sometimes, as someone said in a different post... "dreams do come true"!
ciao,
luigi
 
Aug 29th, 2000, 10:47 AM
  #36  
Austin
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Kristin

No because then I'd have no place to go
 
Aug 29th, 2000, 01:36 PM
  #37  
Kristin
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Thanks to all of you for your very thoughtful responses to my query. I appreciate that people with differing opinions all contributed their ideas. I think that we are very likely going to take the plunge and go for a year (school year, actually). I have wanted to do this for several years and I am 58, so I think that while we both still have our health (and NO grandchildren yet) we should do it!
 
Aug 30th, 2000, 06:08 AM
  #38  
topper
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.
 
Aug 30th, 2000, 06:25 AM
  #39  
topper
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Aug 30th, 2000, 06:38 AM
  #40  
Ed
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I have spent two years in Spain, one as an exchange student, and another teaching English. The second year I came with little experience, a few books, and about a month's worth of money. I couldn't find a job in language schools, because they were mostly hiring British teachers with no visa necessary rather than Americans with lots of paperwork. So I put up signs all over Sevilla advertising for students, and at first I got no calls, but I just kept papering the city with signs, and found enough students that I had to turn people away. I had to teach in my students' homes, but luckily most of them lived in one area, and the others lived near me. I was there on a tourist visa, but had no problems. I ended up breaking even for my eight months in Spain and I even had savings enough (mostly from before) to spend a month in Nice learning French. I think anyone without US financial obligations can do something similar. It didn't cure my travel addiction, but luckily I ended up in NYC, which is a great multicultural city in its own right. Here there are few of the things that annoy me about the rest of the US.
 

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