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Old 10-04-2008, 11:23 PM
586 posts, read 1,367,738 times
Reputation: 215


Our family is really giving alot of thought of moving out of the US. My husband is from Ireland and my daughter and I are both EU citizens. We have been thinking of New Zealand or one of the Scandinavian Countries.

I really would like to hear of anyone who has moved to a Scandinavian country. We will be visiting for ourselves. Our daughter is 2 and the main reason for our move is we want her to be cultured. Also, we don't feel the US will offer her a education like we would want.

My husband is an engineer and I have a master's in library science. We want to feel safe, part of a culture/community and live in a less material lifestyle.

Thank you for reading.

Old 10-05-2008, 12:23 AM
Location: rain city
2,943 posts, read 10,836,614 times
Reputation: 4803
Go for it.

If you're both EU citizens it's an open door. If I had the wherewithal to move to an EU country, I'd be packing right now.....

Materialism exists in every corner of the world. If you're looking to escape that, I don't know where you'd do it.

Nonetheless, you've been here, are unhappy with it for your own reasons, and have the means to emigrate. Why not? Life is an adventure. Jump.
Old 10-05-2008, 06:39 AM
Location: Paris
19 posts, read 75,650 times
Reputation: 30
Default Nothing is rotten in the kingdom of Denmark

Hi Mossy
I'm a frog but have been living in Denmark for 2 years now. To start with, I can tell you the only two things I don't really like about this country :
- Winters can be a bit long and dark here (compared to Paris anyway, because I guess they are nowhere nearly as depressing as they can be in Tromsų, Norway for example !). Besides there is very little snow, which is not what you may expect from a Scandinavian country.
- People here are very nice and friendly but tend to be a bit cold and introvert.

This being said (and it was just my humble opinion), Denmark is a great country to live in and I guess (because I ain't got no kids) it is an even better country to raise a family. Very safe, calm and friendly atmosphere all over the country, very good social security and educational systems, strong economy. And they are in urgent need of engineers - your husband won't have no trouble finding a job over here - above all since people won't mind speaking english. And anyway the state provides danish lessons for next to nothing.
People here always complain about the rather high taxes, but I don't as I think salaries are relatively high too, and these high taxes are one of the reasons why northern european countries have very few social problems. It must admit that cars here are a money pit. As a result most families only have one car, but you will pretty soon find yourself riding your bike to work everyday (all cities are very bicycle-friendly).

To sum it up, if you dream of living in an exciting country where something new happens everyday and where you can make a lot of money - RUN AWAY. If you want to live in a quiet and friendly country where people have a rather laid-back attitude - Denmark might be a smart choice.
Visit the country for a few days/weeks and make your own opinion.
And as Azoria wrote, the fact that all of you guys are EU-citizens will help a lot.

If you have some more specific questions, just ask. Maybe some Danes will also give their two cents.

I cannot say much about the other scandinavian countries as I've only travelled there a few times, but Norway might well be the most beautiful country I have ever visited.
Old 10-05-2008, 06:43 AM
Location: Munich + FL, 32082
481 posts, read 1,970,826 times
Reputation: 386
Do you speak any of the Scandinavian languages? While almost every Scandinavian also speaks English, you would still have to learn the local language first to get a well paid job.

Anyhow, all Scandinavian countries are good and safe places to raise kids and they have excellent schools.
Old 10-05-2008, 09:00 AM
1,567 posts, read 1,554,289 times
Reputation: 461
As already posted. Go with Denmark. Its a great country to live in. But if enjoy more of the outdoors then go with Sweden.
Old 10-05-2008, 09:52 AM
1,149 posts, read 5,106,220 times
Reputation: 586
People of a Lutheran or secular background will have an easier time to adapt.

First read also about Jante Law. Scandinavian people rather go for safety than taking big risks.

The educational system in Sweden is good but students are way behind in natural sciences compared to say a Russian, Iranian or Indian child. What is good in Scandinavian countries (I've noticed it compared to American children) is how kids learn to be critical of what's written in media. Geography and history is high on the agenda. English is taught from an early age and the Scandinavian languages are fairly close to English. Dutch and especially Frisian are closer though.You should still learn the local language.

Danes are more continental and the most fun-loving. If you want to live somewhere more busy and densely populated you should consider the capitals or the largest cities. Norway is the most rural. Norway and Sweden are more stereotypically Scandinavian. Denmark goes towards the Netherlands and northern Germany. The Danes, like the Dutch, have recently become more aggressive towards immigrants although it applies more to people of a non-European origin. They are not as open-minded or tolerant as you may think. Sweden is the most socialist Scandinavian country despite the new government in power. I would say the Swedes are also the least family-oriented and the most serious. In my experience Danes are more self-depreciating and ironic whereas Swedes want to appear correct and think that the Swedish model is superior.

All Scandinavian countries, Sweden in particular, are Americanized, or anglicied. In fact you will receive much more respect if you speak English than bad Swedish. It applies more if you look non-Nordic.

You write " We want to feel safe, part of a culture/community and live in a less material lifestyle." There's crime in Scandinavia too. It depends where you live. Scandinavians are private people. You're too idealistic here. Being part of a community is more an American thing. Sweden and Denmark are very materialistic. Small kids have mobile phones and they wear fashionable clothes.

I don't recommend the Scandinavian countries for young ambitious people. There are many jobs for engineers at Kista in Stockholm. You need to visit the Scandinavian countries.
Old 10-05-2008, 12:42 PM
342 posts, read 1,651,603 times
Reputation: 236
Both are wonderful places. However Scandinavia is very expensive and the weather leaves a lot to be desired. New Zealand is is one of the most isolated places in the world.
Old 10-05-2008, 01:48 PM
1,149 posts, read 5,106,220 times
Reputation: 586
Originally Posted by califantastic View Post
Both are wonderful places. However Scandinavia is very expensive and the weather leaves a lot to be desired. New Zealand is is one of the most isolated places in the world.
It depends what weather you like. I dislike heat. Western Norway is quite mild. Very cold temperatures are more common in the very north and the more east you go towards Finland and the rest of northeastern Europe. SAD is partly cultural, even genetic, if you look at the Finns, the eastern neighbours of Scandinavians.

The Scandinavian countries are expensive. So is Iceland. But these countries have a high living standard for ordinary people. The same cannot be said of all European countries. Southern England is as if not more expensive yet with a much lower average living standard.
Old 10-06-2008, 10:44 AM
586 posts, read 1,367,738 times
Reputation: 215
Thank you all for the great replies and feedback. I truly appreciate it! I really understood the points you were telling me. I never lived in Europe but I do know some of the cultures and when you told me things it made sense. My husband and I are unhappy living in the US even though I was raised here most of my life. I came from Canada when I was 5.

I know the grass isn't greener on the other side but I do feel there is a place for us somewhere. I think the big push to find a place is because of our daughter. We don't want her educated in the US. There are good schools here but the costs are crazy and kids in the US are totally out of control. I know it is everywhere though. We thought of moving back to Ireland but Ireland isn't the same since the celtic tiger era. It is a possibility.

I know my husband would like to give mainland europe a try but I don't speak any languages besides English. My husband speaks french and some german. We will be making trips but even then it will not give a complete picture which makes me a bit nervous. It just seems we will never find that place and we can't keep searching and moving which we have been doing here in the US since my husband came over in 2000.

I wanted to ask this of all people who have moved because they weren't happy: how did you go about finding a place to settle besides getting or having a job already there?

New Zealand is not a go. I meant to say Aussie land.

Old 10-06-2008, 12:21 PM
2,544 posts, read 3,451,239 times
Reputation: 2902
I don't agree with the assertion that US kids are "Out of Control". The city ones are, but frankly, I find many US kids to be somewhat subdued and culturally boring, not to metion extremely narrow minded/ciquish.

I can't speak for sure, but Time Magazine recently had a big article about British youth becoming the most criminally inclined in the Western world. Also, reading around, you may find the Europe of your childhood is not the Europe of old, owning to changing demographics and crass-culture spreading overseas (from the US, admittedly...)
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