Moving from the US to Europe can be an exciting and transformative experience, but it also comes with its share of surprises and adjustments. Here are the top 20 things that will surprise you about moving abroad.
People often underestimate the cultural differences they’ll encounter, from social norms and customs to daily routines and communication styles.
Homes and apartments in Europe tend to be smaller compared to those in the US, leading to adjustments in living arrangements and storage.
Efficient and widespread public transportation systems can be a pleasant surprise, making it easy to get around without a car.
Experiencing a universal healthcare system, like the one in many European countries, can be different from the healthcare system in the US.
Many European countries emphasize work-life balance, with longer vacations, shorter workweeks, and more leisure time.
Food portions may be smaller, and dining out might have a different pace and etiquette.
Even if English is widely spoken, language barriers can still exist, especially in more rural areas.
The Value Added Tax (VAT) is often included in the displayed price, and tax rates can be higher than what people are used to in the US.
Different electrical outlets and voltages may require adaptors and adjustments to using electronic devices.
Grocery shopping might involve more frequent trips to smaller stores due to limited storage space.
Expectations around personal space, greetings, and social interactions can vary from what people are accustomed to in the US.
European cities often prioritize cycling and walking, which can influence urban dynamics and lifestyle.
The charm of historic buildings and cobblestone streets can be delightful but might present challenges for those with mobility issues.
Tipping practices can differ from the US, with some countries not requiring or expecting tips.
Banking procedures, currency exchange rates, and credit card acceptance might work differently.
Differences in education systems and grading can affect families with school-aged children.
One thing that may surprise you about moving abroad is that you may nog be able to find your favorite brands in your new country abroad. Brands and products available in the US might not be as readily available, leading to new discoveries and preferences.
You might be surprised at what makes you homesick and when you get homesick…. I don’t get homesick very often, but when I do it’s because I’m listening to country music or see certain foods, or when the time gets closer to when I will be going home.
Seasonal variations might be more pronounced than in some parts of the US.
Living amid centuries-old history and landmarks can create a unique sense of connection to the past.
It’s important to approach the move with an open mind, a willingness to learn, and a sense of adventure. Each person’s experience will be unique, and embracing these surprises can lead to a richer and more fulfilling life abroad.