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The 6 Easiest Ways to Move to Europe

What are the easiest ways to move to Europe? Let’s dive in and find out

If you’re thinking about moving to Europe, there are a ton of different ways to make that dream a reality. Of course, some of these methods are much easier than others.

It all depends on your flexibility, requirements, and how long you want to stay in Europe for.

When we talk about emigration, visas play a huge role, so you need to make sure you’re eligible to move to your chosen European nation, and this can be a massive hassle.

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1. Get a Student Visa

If you’re thinking of studying in Europe and have a place at a university, college, or language school, you may be eligible for a student visa.

Depending on which country you’re thinking of moving to, there are different student visa lengths and requirements.

a group of college graduates

A few countries offer semester-length visas as well as full-year visas, and some will even greenlight the length of your degree.

Many student visas will allow you to work alongside your studies. For example, the UK student visa allows you to work up to 20 hours a week to help support yourself and means you don’t have to completely rely on savings or summer jobs back home.

Student visas are also a great gateway to graduate visas or job seeker visas that enable you to stay another year, sometimes two, after you’ve graduated without having to have a work sponsorship. 

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2. Use the Schengen Zone to Your Advantage

If you want to move to Europe for up to three months and don’t plan on working while you’re there, Schengen is a great way to do so.

As a US citizen, you don’t need to apply for a visa, and you can travel around the Schengen countries without having to fill out a ton of paperwork. 

Not all European countries are in the Schengen Zone. For instance, Ireland and the UK are just a couple that aren’t included in the Schengen.

This is actually a good thing if you want to stay in Europe for longer, as you can stay visa-free for another three months in Bulgaria and Ireland, or you can stay in the UK for up to six months.

After this point, you should be free to return to the Schengen Zone for another three-month stint. You do have to make sure you’ve left the Zone for a minimum of 90 days before returning, so make sure you time it right.

3. Try Workaway

Want to live and work as a local, but don’t have a ton of money saved up? Workaway might be an ideal solution. It’s worth saying that a lot of the time you won’t get paid on gigs through this site.

a girl working at a Workaway

Predominantly, you’re working a couple of hours a day in return for free accommodation and sometimes food, so you’re saving a ton of money that way.

There are a few paid gigs on the site, which are well labeled, so you might be able to get a bit of spending money as well as save money on your accommodation.

The jobs range from hospitality to building to pet-sitting to language skills, and more. 

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4. Become an Au Pair

As a classic work abroad job, you can easily move to Europe as an au pair. If you have childcare experience or certificates, you can live with a family and take care of their children, using your designated days off to explore Europe.

The pay is pretty low and averages around $800 a month, but you pretty much have zero expenses as you’re living and eating with the host family. 

5. Get a Job Doing Resort or Seasonal Work

Love being on the slopes or can surf up a storm? Seasonal resort work is a great way to live abroad for a couple of months while earning some much-needed cash.

Ski resorts, holiday camps, seaside resorts, and adventure sports camps all recruit staff each year, normally complete with accommodation, pay, and free or reduced rental rates on gear. 

a ski teacher with a group of students at a resort

Roles range from admin and customer service to instructing to cheffing to housekeeping and beyond.

Many of these companies include visa processing services and fees within their recruitment package, so it’s an easy and seamless way to move to Europe for a few months, and you can always bounce from resort to resort and keep the living abroad dream going season after season.

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6. Become a Digital Nomad

If you can work remotely or are self-employed or a freelancer, you may be eligible for some of Europe’s new digital nomad visas. Each country has its own requirements, but on average the visa lasts up to a year and you have to be earning at least a certain amount each month to qualify.

This is normally in line with that country’s cost of living, so the more expensive a place is, the higher the minimum threshold.

There are also a ton of digital nomad communities cropping up across Europe, complete with their own co-working and co-living spaces, as well as calendars of social events.

If you’re looking for an easy way to live in Europe for a long period of time, looking at these kinds of setups might be one of your best options.