practical information

Public Transport Timisoara Romania

The Public Transport Timisoara consists of extensive network of trams, trolleybuses, buses, designated cycling paths, taxis and very efficient network of Uber drivers. Most Romanians from Timisoara, especially those in their 20’s and 30’s speak good English and are very helpful. The good thing about Romania is that you don’t feel intimidated or somehow discriminated here just because you speak British or American type of English (like in some other countries).  Speaking to the locals is often the only way to get the needed information about public transportation in this city. The public signage is rarely available in other than the Romanian language. Fortunately, this changes as the local authorities started preparing Timisoara to be the European Capital of Culture in 2021. (more…)



Read more

Property renting process in Austria

Having just arrived from London to escape the rainy cold winters of the UK to spend the winter skiing in the Austrian Alps, I was lucky enough to move straight into an apartment found by a friend. Therefore, being blissfully unaware of the puzzling property renting process in Austria.

Albeit this was no ordinary apartment, it was one of the oldest buildings in the town and was collapsing to the floor. The owner was planning on getting it demolished that meant we managed to get it for steal. We were working nights and skiing during the day so it was only a place to lay our heads. She managed to get a great deal on a six months by month basis. This is highly unusual and admittedly I took the property renting process in Austria, for granted. Property rental prices can vary depending on where you live but cities are generally more expensive. (more…)



Read more

How to get Red White Red Card in Austria

Since 2011 Austria has introduced the Red White Red Card which allows workers who meet certain criteria from non-EU countries, to live and work in Austria with the intention of permanently settling here.

This is the journey of my good friend’s Lou from Australia. Lou was one of the lucky ones to apply for the Red-White-Red Card successfully – however, this was not without the usual Austrian bureaucratic adversity.

Often known around town as “Tattoo Lou” as her entire arm is covered with a tattoo of the indigenous-to-Australia Eucalyptus tree. I found it intriguing that someone with this type of obvious patriotism would go through all the trouble of applying for the rights to live and work in Austria permanently. If Lou came from any EU country she would be able to live and work freely in Austria. (more…)



Read more

Moving to Germany Checklist

Angela Merkel Upstages Them All. She is tall, blonde and curvaceous with cornflower blue eyes – and yes – she’s a Barbie doll, modelled on the current German Chancellor. Mattel celebrated the  50th anniversary of Barbie with version modelled on German chancellor and she was the highlight of the German toy fair at Nuremburg upstaging the other 70,000 new toys being exhibited. “She’s simply a good role model for girls around the world” said a Mattel spokeswoman.

Germany was a founder member of the EU in 1952 and has been a member of the Schengen Area since 1985. The capital city is Berlin and the currency is the euro. It has the greatest population, and German is the first spoken language for more people in the EU than any other language. (more…)



Read more

Moving to France with a dog

Would you miss your bacon? Most people who relocate to another country have some regrets at some time. Among the regrets for the British in France was the loss of English food! Bacon sarnies and crumpets?

France was a founder member of the EU in 1952, and is a member of the Schengen area. The capital is Paris and the currency is the euro.

Despite the odd niggles, France has some truly magnificent countryside, a wealth of culture, architecture and history to delight you — and although the people are, on the whole, not fulsome in their welcome, they can be superbly kind in the right circumstances.

Customs

Although Britain is not a member of the Schengen area, and therefore customs formalities apply, because we are members of the EU, there is little of consequence to concern the average Briton relocating to France.

Currency — there are no restrictions. Free import of goods bought from the EU with some restrictions on the amount of alcohol and cigarettes. Medicines for personal use only.

Pets

Dogs and cats require their own pet passport, microchips, rabies vaccinations within 1 year, but not closer than 21 days from departure, and up-to-date routine vaccinations. An alternative for cats and dogs from the United Kingdom to the rabies vaccination is to have a Sanitary Certificate issued 10 days or less before transportation; and a Certificate that the pet has been residing in the United Kingdom for at least 6 months prior to departure or since birth. (more…)



Read more

Moving to Austria from UK

Otzi the iceman

Undisturbed for 5000 years, his relatives live on. Otzi – entombed in ice, on the borders of Austria and Italy, lay undisturbed for over 5,000 years, yet his relatives, as proved by DNA testing, are alive today. From Otzi to Mozart, Austria is a country with a rich heritage, and a beautiful, diverse countryside, from the plains in the North to the Alps in the South. Here there is something for everyone. In 1995 Austria joined the EU, and also the Schengen area Capital city. The capital is Vienna and the currency is the euro.

Customs

Although Britain is not a member of the Schengen Area, and therefore customs formalities apply, because we are members of the EU, there is little of consequence to concern the average Briton relocating to Austria. You need not pay any import taxes or duties, nor observe any formalities concerning your personal property.
(more…)



Read more

Retirement in France for UK citizens

Many Britons have retired to France. The country is extremely popular with the Brits because of its close proximity to England. France is separated from England by the English Channel. Paris is the most populous city in France and also the capital, there is a large community of British expats in Paris, as a result The Cote d’Azur is an Anglophone or English speaking area, as well as Aix en Provence with many British expats residing there.

Similarly there are numerous Brits in Normandy probably, due to its close proximity to the southern English coast. From Stonehenge, London you can journey down to Portsmouth and board a ferry which is about 6 hours to Caen, Normandy. (more…)



Read more

Moving to Belgium with a dog

In 2010 over 4,000 people living in 100 different countries were surveyed about their family life by HSBC International, and Belgium came out top of the poll for a great lifestyle, better education for the children, a feeling of greater safety and a more active, outdoor life. Community spirit is high, the social life is good and there are plenty of opportunities.

Belgium was a founder member of the EU in 1952, and is a member of the Schengen Area. The capital is Brussels and the currency is the euro.  There are three regions – Dutch-speaking Flanders (60% population), French-speaking Wallonia in the south and bilingual Brussels. A small German-speaking minority live in the east. The landscape varies from the flat coastal plains with a coastline of 67 km, and the hills and forests of the Ardennes in the south.

Belgium Customs

Although Britain is not a member of the Schengen Area, and therefore customs formalities apply, because we are members of the EU, there is little of consequence to concern the average Briton relocating to Belgium. There are no restrictions on the amount of currency you may bring in; medication must be for personal use only. Alcohol and tobacco are not restricted, although large amounts may be questioned. Coats, fur and leather shoes made from protected animals will need special authorization. (more…)



Read more

Education in Austria

Austria, otherwise known as Österreich in the German language simply means the ‘Eastern Kingdom/Empire‘. German is the official language in Austria and also the predominant language, other languages spoken in Austria include: Bosnian, Serbian, Croatian, Montenegrin, Turkish, Polish and Hungarian. The seat of government is located in the Hofburg Palace in Vienna which makes Vienna de facto capital city; Vienna is also the largest city in Austria.

If you are interested in relocating to Austria to study, prospective students can enrol into the world class teaching university: Vienna University of Economics and Business, it features a beautiful, quiet campus that is situated idyllically outside of town offering undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Other universities situated in Austria include: University of Salzburg, University of Graz, Sigmund Freud University and so on.
(more…)



Read more

Cantons of Switzerland

The word canton means district or a section or part of a country; in total there are 26 cantons in Switzerland. Not all cantons speak the same language, some cantons are French speaking, German speaking and Italian speaking, while in other cantons like Graubünden: German, and Romansh are spoken.

Switzerland has become the international hotspot of choice for wealthy Britons looking to relocate abroad. There are many established British communities in the different cantons who live and work there. There is a high British population in cantons such as Geneva Zurich. Also there are British pubs such as Lady Godiva in Geneva (ladyg.ch), and the popular Mr Pickwick chain in areas such as: Baden, Zurich, Basel and Zug (pickwick.ch).  British groceries are also sold in Switzerland, meaning you can enjoy the foods you used to have back home in Britain. (more…)



Read more

Facts about Austria

Austria is a federal republic, the country is also referred to as ‘Lander’ in German. The main official language spoken in Austria is German.  However, one of the less known facts about austria is that there is a plethora of other languages spoken in Austria such as: Alemannic and Austro- Bavarian Turkish, Czech, Hungarian, Slovene, Turkish, Slovak, Romani among many others. This means that moving to Austria need not be onerous and laborious as it is home to a variety of communities and ethnic groups.
(more…)



Read more

Moving to Czech Republic

First experience in the Czech Republic. Culture shock, how easy it is to find things. Are the locals helpful? Do they speak English?

One of the first things you’ll notice about the Czech Republic is the beauty of the old buildings and the rich history. As a country, there is a lot of diversity; Prague is a relatively modern city and finding services and help will be substantially easier there than compared to smaller towns. When I lived in the Czech Republic a simple Google search brought what I needed most often, otherwise I just asked a local. In general Czech people are somewhat cold, but still helpful, especially if you try to speak some Czech. Aside from Prague and Brno, the majority of older people will not speak English, but it is common for English to be taught in schools so most young people should know some basic English.

(more…)



Read more