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Old 10-17-2013, 01:22 PM
 
625 posts, read 277,927 times
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Default Best country for a U.S. expat?

A friend is finishing an advanced degree in health care and is interested in seeking jobs in Europe. She's frustrated with American politics and attitudes, and wants out.

Which European countries are friendliest to U.S. expats? She has traveled across much of Europe and enjoyed her time in every country she visited. She would prefer to live somewhere where expats are not socially excluded or resented. Her only other preference is that the country have a large percentage of English-speakers. She will be happy to learn the local language...it would just be helpful to not have a major language barrier in the meantime.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Gorgeous Scotland
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What kind of degree does she have? Does she have experience? Qualifying for a work visa should be her first priority, not which country is friendliest.
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ameriscot View Post
What kind of degree does she have? Does she have experience? Qualifying for a work visa should be her first priority, not which country is friendliest.
She's aware that she will have to qualify for a work visa. She's just looking for feedback on this as an aside. I told her I would ask on CD for her. Her priorities are well in order.

Her degree will be a dual Master's in Health Care Quality and International Health Care Systems, from a prestigious university. She has 15 years of experience in the HCQ field and is already a registered nurse.
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Old 10-17-2013, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Gorgeous Scotland
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Originally Posted by Slithytoves View Post
She's aware that she will have to qualify for a work visa. She's just looking for feedback on this as an aside. I told her I would ask on CD for her. Her priorities are well in order.

Her degree will be a dual Master's in Health Care Quality and International Health Care Systems, from a prestigious university. She has 15 years of experience in the HCQ field and is already a registered nurse.
Is she fluent in any foreign languages? If not, I'd suggest she focus on the UK.
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Old 10-17-2013, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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I assume your friend won't have much trouble with visas as a registered nurse with an advanced degree. The easiest languages to learn as an English speaker would be the Scandinavian languages, Dutch, and the southern Romance languages. That being said, I've found Dutch people to be particularly friendly, and most speak English. I've also found the Spanish to be friendly, but their economy is not so good right now nor do they speak very good English in general. I've also heard from Spaniards that their government is corrupt, and of course now there is the issue of Catalonia. Avoid Belgium as well for bad politics. Scandinavians are known to be reserved, but they of course are known to be very democratic. Switzerland has by far the best political situation in Europe, but German (especially Swiss German) is not particularly easy. It's also astronomically expensive.
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Old 10-17-2013, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Finland
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I would seriously suggest Finland. If she has qualifications in special fields like anaesthetics, complex venereal medicine or pharmaceuticals, she'd be most welcome. 85% of the populace under 65yo speaks English and she'll learn Finnish while working. Salary's not "that good", but standards of living throughout the society is world class.
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Old 10-17-2013, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Airstrip 1, Oceania
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I would not assume that every country in Europe will recognise her qualifications - they sound like admin/managerial rather than clinical. This needs to be carefully checked to see what the local equivalent is and if it is in demand.
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Old 10-17-2013, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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Originally Posted by Ariete View Post
I would seriously suggest Finland. If she has qualifications in special fields like anaesthetics, complex venereal medicine or pharmaceuticals, she'd be most welcome. 85% of the populace under 65yo speaks English and she'll learn Finnish while working. Salary's not "that good", but standards of living throughout the society is world class.
Is it actually easy to find a job in Finland without knowing Finnish?
And how many years might it take a person to learn Finnish? I know it's one of the hardest languages in Europe.
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Old 10-17-2013, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Finland
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Originally Posted by lndigo View Post
Is it actually easy to find a job in Finland without knowing Finnish?
And how many years might it take a person to learn Finnish? I know it's one of the hardest languages in Europe.
As a rule of thumb, first-generation immigrants always sound foreign. But we don't care and accept that, so long as you can communicate in everyday life.
It's not easy to go to an electronics company saying "I want work", but saying "I'm a qualified nurse and want to learn Finnish" might get you a long way. After all, we've been shipping nurses from the Philippines, Thailand and most recently from Spain, beginning since the 90's.

If you have an education not being basic chemistry, electronics or various human resources, you're always welcome. I've met prominent astronomers from India and skilled construction workers from Poland, and their Finnish is far from adequate. Still they have work here.
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Omaha Nebraska and dreamland when I am sleeping
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lndigo View Post
Is it actually easy to find a job in Finland without knowing Finnish?
And how many years might it take a person to learn Finnish? I know it's one of the hardest languages in Europe.
I dont know, it is a tough language.


I am still learning basic Russian myself
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