Have you been hit with a serious case of wanderlust and been considering moving abroad? Or have you simply grown discontent with the political atmosphere in the United States? These days, a lot of Americans have been considering what life would be like in another country. But, is it the right move for you? Well, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top reasons you might run into trouble when trying to move out of the U.S. You might soon realize that home sweet home isn’t looking quite so bad…
20. Language Barriers
One of the biggest issues that you’ll certainly run into when moving to a different country is the language barrier. Now, this may not be a problem if you happen to move to England or Australia, but if you go anywhere else in the world you will run into problems. “France is absolutely beautiful and the food is amazing and I love the culture, but to live there you will need to speak not just good French but near-native French (which I do speak),” shared Joseph Guindi, an Expat engineer.
19. Strict Governments
All Americans know that America was founded by immigrants that would come into Ellis Island – greeted by the iconic Statue of Liberty. However, although the U.S. is a country founded by immigrants, it’s surprisingly pretty difficult to get citizenship. So if it’s hard for people to emigrate here, you won’t believe how much more difficult it is in countries around the world. According to Cracked.com, “Immigration to Canada, Australia and New Zealand works by giving “points” to immigrants who have skills or other things that the country needs.” So if you happen to have a valuable skill, then give it a try – otherwise you might just get the boot.
18. Burgers & Fries
The traditional American dish is a nice juicy burger with a side order of fries. If this happens to be your favorite meal then you may be disappointed to find out that the rest of the world doesn’t hold it in such high regard. However, if you’re looking to expand your tastebuds beyond the typical American meal, then maybe a life abroad could be the life for you!
17. Different University Experience
For those looking to study abroad in Europe, you may immediately notice that the college experience is quite different. “No one will hold your hand. There are definitely not as many organizations, sports clubs or large events to get students to known one another. The career services offices and alumni offices tend to be small, if existent at all,” Chelsea Sloan, an American student doing a full Master’s degree in Germany, explains.
16. It’s Hard Making New Friends
So you’re in a new country and you don’t know any of the locals and haven’t made any new friends. However, you’re a friendly person so it shouldn’t be too difficult, right? Well, pair that in with the fact that you might not speak the local tongue and you may find yourself in a bit of a pickle. “In Europe, people tend to have made most of their friends by the time they graduate university,” Laurent Gorse, a Stanford graduate writes.
15. Less Opportunities
Since you don’t speak the language and don’t have any connections, you may quickly notice that you have less opportunities to find work. Large metropolitan cities in the U.S. like New York City and San Francisco are filled with tons of job opportunities at the moment. However, not only will find you less opportunity but you will quickly notice a major difference in work ethics in Europe, for example.
14. Different Work Ethics
You’ll quickly notice that in Europe, work takes a backseat to the enjoyment of life. “Quality of life means being able to enjoy your time with friends, family and hobbies. That means work takes second place to pleasure and while Europeans are productive people (their standards of living attest to that) work is not a priority,” Laurent Gorse explains. This also ties into another difference you’ll quickly notice…
13. Humble Brag
In Europe, bragging or flaunting about your material wealth is not considered polite or proper. If you happen to be at a dinner party in the U.S., asking someone what they do for a living is all a part of small talk and introductions. However, in Europe it would be considered quite rude to ask or to even brag about your material wealth.
12. No 24-Hour Stores
In the U.S., you can find an array of stores that are open 24-hours. Whether it’s the corner delis in NYC or the 24-hour Wal-Marts in the south, you can always get your needs whenever you’d like. However, throughout the world, the concept of a 24-hour store doesn’t really exist. This might be a real problem for you if you happen to need some tooth floss at 1 a.m.
There’s also another dilemma that you’ll have to get used to…
Not only are there no 24-hour stores, but most stores throughout Europe are closed on Sundays. This means that you will have to get all of your shopping done on Saturdays or whenever your day off from work is. So be prepared to rearrange your weekly schedules to make room for your errands and grocery shopping days.
10. Less Diversity
For the most part, cities throughout the world are particularly homogenous. You won’t find the same cultural diversity that you’ll find in major cities in the United States. If you love how diverse the U.S. is, then you may have a hard time accepting how much less diverse the rest of the world is.
9. Attitude To Americans
Although the United States is a world superpower, there are still a lot of stereotypes that people associate with Americans. Due to these stereotypes, a lot of people are a bit scornful towards Americans. You won’t find people being outright rude to you but you may feel a bit out of place when people finally realize where you’re from.
8. Lower Salaries
If you’re hoping to make some big bucks in the future, then heading off to Europe may not be the best plan. “Salaries are a LOT lower for most roles, for many, they are going to be way way less than you expect. Earning the equivalent of $100k in Europe is really rather remarkable,” Tom Goodwin, published writer, explains.
7. Trade Jobs
For those that are looking to get into a trade or already work a trade job, such as engineering, medicine, or IT, you’ll be able to make a much larger salary in the United States. Since Europeans especially don’t define themselves by their careers, you won’t be making much for a trade job.
6. More Expensive
Believe it or not, but living in Europe will cost you a pretty penny. Sure, it’s not that cheap to live in a major city in the United States, but hear us out. “While housing prices vary in the USA, on average, a home here is larger and less expensive than in most places in Europe,” talent acquisition/recruiter, Dan Holliday explains.
5. Relaxed Pace To Life
This one may mostly affect Americans that are from major cities like New York or Los Angeles. Living in a big city in the U.S. means that you’re used to living at quite a fast pace. In Europe, however, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle. This may either be exactly what you’re looking or could be absolute torture to some of you.
Every country throughout the world has different forms of etiquette. This means that you’ll probably run into an uncomfortable situation more often than not. Whether it’s you offending someone or them offending you, different cultural customs take time to master. This is another thing you’ll have to keep in mind when considering moving.
3. Immigrants Aren’t Always Treated Well
You may think that the United States treats its immigrants badly, but the rest of the world doesn’t do much better either. “In 2010, an immigrant in Japan died after police tied him up, put a towel in his mouth, and abandoned him on a plane to suffocate. In England, where detention and deportation is mainly handled by private security firms hired by the government, a man died in a similar way while being deported,” an article from Cracked.com reported.
2. Smaller Portions
Once again, food portions are hardly quite differently around the world, especially in Europe, as opposed to the United States. “If you are used to Cheesecake factory portions, living in France will make you starve,” Peter T. Mayer, founder of Myfingerprintart.com writes. Portions are smaller and you’ll just have to adapt!
1. Super Direct
If you’re used to sugar-coating things or talking around in circles to avoid hurting people’s feelings, then you may find that you don’t find in in Europe. Europeans are much more direct and to the point than in the United States. If a European thinks you’re fat and could use a jog, then they’ll probably tell you straight to your face. You’ll either absolutely love the honesty and appreciate it or be offended throughout your entire time in Europe.