Moving to a new country is never an easy task. Especially if you are moving to a whole different continent. When you decide on moving from Japan to Europe, you should know what you are getting yourself into. You will be surrounded by a totally different culture, people, traditions, opportunities, etc. If you don’t prepare the right way, you might be in for an unpleasant surprise. Luckily, we have the best guide for those moving from Japan and relocating to Europe. You will learn all that you need to and be ready for the adventure of a lifetime.
Downsize before moving from Japan to Europe
Relocation is a great opportunity to declutter your home. You likely won’t have the room to take all of your belongings with you. This is why you should start to clear out unnecessary items during the months before the move. Start by making three separate piles, to keep, to donate, and to throw away. A good tip is to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year. You will surely find something that doesn’t interest you anymore. However, if it still works, don’t throw it in the trash.
First, ask your friends and family if they would want something. You can donate the remaining items before moving internationally, as long as they are not damaged or broken. Finally, properly dispose of the rest. There are a number of recycling options that you can take advantage of.
Save money before making the move from Japan to Europe
While Europe is an excellent place to live and work, it may be more expensive than you are used to. That is why you should start saving money at least a year before you relocate there. If you are unsure of which country you are moving to, do some research on at least 5-6 locations. Find out how high the costs of living are in each of them. Moreover, if you don’t have a job lined up, make sure you have enough money to live off of for at least a couple of months. You are not yet familiar with the job market at your destination, so don’t assume that it will be a breeze to find one. Prepare for the worst scenario, so you will have enough room to live comfortably.
Decide which country to move to
With over 40 countries on the European continent, there are plenty of opportunities to suit anyone’s interests. While you are figuring out how to adapt to life outside Japan, make a list of your top places. Consider the cost of living, the job market, the people and culture, the language, etc. Another good idea is to read travel and guide books for each of the countries. They will give you a more complete look into each of the country’s characteristics.
Moreover, consider the climate. If you prefer warmer weather, stay clear of Scandinavia and other northern countries. On the other hand, if you enjoy scenic landscapes more than the bustle of the city, there are plenty of small towns and villages to choose from. Think about where you see yourself in the near future as well as further down the road. It is all about recognizing your own interests and searching for them in Europe.
Apply for a visa when moving from Japan to Europe
Although it is not the most fun part of moving from Japan to Europe, you need to think about obtaining a visa. For a stay that is less than 90 days, you will not need a visa until 2021. However, as you plan to relocate there, you will need to apply for one. The first step is to find the closest embassy of the country you are moving to. Depending on your employment status, as well as other factors, there are different types of visas you can apply for. If you are a student, you can obtain a study visa. These are usually easier to get than work visas, as Europe has some strict regulations for those wishing to work there. Don’t hesitate to inquire at the embassy on the exact paperwork you will need.
Learn the language
Learning a new language can help you grow as a person and have a wider understanding of the people and culture. Engish is spoken widely around Europe, so if you speak it, you won’t have trouble communicating. However, if you have the opportunity to learn the language of the country you are moving to, you should take it.
First, once you arrive there, it will make your stay much easier as you will be able to talk to locals and even customs officials. People will appreciate the time and effort it took you to learn their language. Second, finding a job will be much easier. Most companies will rather hire someone that speaks their language and can talk to clients and their colleagues without trouble. Finally, you will make friends more easily. Finding friends when you move to a new country can be difficult, especially if you can’t talk to people. So learn the basics and you can improve your skills once you arrive there.
You can find many language schools that teach both kids and adults. If you are moving abroad with children, it will be much easier for them to learn a new language at such a young age. Also, it will help them make friends as well, and fit into their new school and surroundings.
Obtain a driver’s license
In most European countries, there are many public transportation options that are well-organized. However, if you prefer to drive, you should know what it takes to obtain a driver’s license there before moving from Japan to Europe. While some countries will let you drive with your own license for a time, others may need you to have an international driver’s license. Make sure you know the requirements of your destination country and what documentation you will need for a permanent license there.