Living Abroad in Europe: What You Should Know
With more than 6.32 million Americans living abroad in over 160 countries, the expatriate lifestyle is clearly an adventurer's delight. Living in a new country long term doesn't just give an expat a solid understanding of a new environment; it is likely to provide an immersive and first-hand understanding of its cultural nuances as well. But if packing it all in, selling all of your belongings and high-tailing it to some fabulous land faraway for years at a time is merely a reverie and not in your immediate plans, considering a short-term extended stay in Europe might just fit the bill.
Europe -- a continent that boasts 50 independent countries and where over 1.6 million Americans call home -- is the perfect place for a short-term extended stay. Europe's countries are within reasonable proximity to one another and are easily accessible by train, bus, car or a short hop on an inexpensive local air carrier like easyJet or Ryanair. Make an advance reservation with Viator, for example, and hop an early bus from Paris to Bruges for the day and you'll be walking through a Belgian UNESCO World Heritage Site in no time. Buy a Eurail Global Pass and travel unlimited by train through up to 24 countries for up to 3 months. With easy access to so many European cities, it makes sense that so many Americans call Europe home. But before you hop the first plane smokin' to Europe, here's what you should know that will make your short-term extended stay a blast.
No Visa Required
Once you arrive in your new home-away-from-home, feel free to store your passport a little deeper in your backpack -- but only if you are traveling within the European Union's Schengen Zone, which comprises 26 countries without internal border controls.
Finding a Place to Live
Link Up With Expats
To not immerse fully, during what most would consider an enviable experience, would be a travesty! Revel in the beauty of Europe's amazing cities and its people on your short-term extended stay. And if you aren't ready for the life of a long-term expat just yet but have become smitten with a short-term stay -- as many are known to do -- repatriate to the United States for a mere 6 months … and then just turn around and do it all over again.