For many Canadian citizens dreaming of a life abroad, Europe stands out as a continent rich in culture, history, and opportunities. Whether it’s for work, study, or a change of pace, moving to a foreign country in Europe offers a unique adventure. However, this journey requires careful planning.
If you’re wondering how to move to Europe from Canada in a way that sets you up to take advantage of everything Europe has to offer, here are six things you’ll want to consider as you map out your relocation.
1. Vacation Time and Public Holidays
Europe is renowned for its work-life balance, with many European countries offering generous vacation packages. For instance, France leads with 30 days, while the United Kingdom and others like Austria and Sweden follow closely behind.
The range of national public holidays also varies. Most countries usually have between 4 and 13 days. Although vacation and public holidays may seem like a small consideration, for those moving to Europe, they are a great opportunity to visit your loved ones back home.
Healthcare systems vary significantly across Europe. Some countries have comprehensive universal healthcare, often at no cost, while others might require additional health insurance. Canadians moving to Europe should research the healthcare system of their destination country. For example, Austria and France are known for their excellent healthcare systems.
Another healthcare advantage many European countries offer is that pharmacists have the authority to prescribe medicine for straightforward health conditions, delivering quicker access to healthcare than one might expect in Canada.
Income equality, the even distribution of wealth within a population, is another important factor. Countries like Denmark, Sweden, and Germany are celebrated for their income equality, which contributes to economic growth, political harmony, and social cohesion. This can significantly impact the quality of life for a Canadian citizen residing in these countries.
The cost of living also varies widely in Europe. While major metropolitan areas in different countries can be expensive, nations like Denmark and Switzerland are at the higher end of the scale. Conversely, countries such as Bulgaria and Portugal offer more affordable living costs. Understanding these differences is crucial for budgeting and maintaining a desired lifestyle.
5. Proximity to Varied Destinations
One of the perks for Canadians living abroad in Europe as well as Canadian travellers is the proximity to a myriad of exciting destinations. The European Union, slightly larger than Canada, offers easy access to diverse cultures and landscapes. The generous vacation allowances in many European countries further facilitate travel and exploration.
The ease of obtaining permanent residency or a residence permit differs across Europe. Countries like Germany, Portugal, and Spain are known for their straightforward immigration policies, making them attractive options for Canadian expats. Also, programs like the Digital Nomad Program in Croatia and Estonia cater to Canadians who work remotely, providing unique opportunities for residence in the European Union.