For British millennials – those folk who came of age around the millennium – and the generation that followed them and is coming of age now, there has never been a better time to move abroad. To retain their EU rights before the UK leaves, to take advantage of the booming US, Pacific and European economies, to enjoy the freedoms that internet-working offers; the grass has never looked greener abroad. According to one relocation website, 350,000 people in Britain aged 18 to 35 enquired about moving abroad in the year following the Brexit Referendum. This was an increase of 60% on the year before.
Half of the 350,000 said that looking for better job prospects was the main impetus for looking beyond Britain’s shores. What, call centre in Huddersfield not good enough for you? Here are six more great reasons to move abroad in 2018.
Abroad is cheaper
Prices of everyday items are far lower in many popular overseas locations. In Spain you’ll be paying 25 per cent less than in the UK for general consumer goods and a third less for rent. Beer is half the price! Millennials may be concerned that mobile phones, internet connections and McDonalds McMeals are more expensive (not that we want to suggest anything about millennials, you understand), but when it comes to pure hedonism, the best things in life in Spain are still free – sun, sea and sand. Prices in Greece are even lower than Spain.
No language, no problem!
Language is not the problem it once was. Google translate (and other online translation services) mean you can be sitting in a far-flung café reading the local news online. You can get your paperwork, medical questions, rental contract or anything else translated in an instant whether it’s in Swahili or Swedish. Developers are already working on an in-ear translator, so can it be long until we have devices that offer immediate translation? Many millennials won’t need that anyway – for younger people those school French and Spanish lessons haven’t quite had time to be forgotten yet, unlike for those moving abroad in their 50s and 60s. Don’t worry about missing the folks back home either – Skype and Facetime mean that your mum can nag you for a haircut whenever you like!
Bigger, better homes
The British have the smallest and most expensive homes in Europe. The average British home sold last year was 90 square metres, according to the Office for National Statistics. In France it was 94m2, in Portugal 106m2 and even in tiny Luxembourg it was 131m2. And the winner: the USA on, 245 square metres! Not only that, but the British “rentysomethings” all too often have to put up with living in shared houses where bedrooms have been subdivided into rabbit-hutch-like “pods”, and the living rooms turned into yet more bedrooms.
Okay, snowflakes, so you have to put up with tough living while saving for your own place, is that so hard? Well, according to Resolution, a thinktank in the UK, British millennials are paying three times more (nearly a third) of their taxed income on rent, compared to the same age group in the 1960s and 70s, who paid 5 to 10%. So it is hardly their fault if they struggle to save, or have given up the fight. If you fancy heading down to London to make your fortune you’ll be paying the equivalent of US$2,360 in rent, while in Geneva (where wages are double the UK’s) you’ll pay $1,610. In Madrid you’ll pay $900, in Stockholm $880 and in Berlin $690.
Study for less
If you study in France you can claim permanent residency in two years rather than five and maintain all your EU rights to work anywhere in Europe. But that’s not the only reason to study abroad. According to research from the British Council in 2015, a third of British youngsters are considering studying abroad. UCAS has started offering overseas courses. The most obvious negative, the language barrier, doesn’t exist as the courses are taught in English. There are at least 2,000 English-language undergraduate courses in non-English-speaking Europe. Instead of paying £9,000 per year and ending Uni with debts of £50,000, you could do a course in Maastricht in the Netherlands for tuition fees of under £2,000 (although living costs are very similar there). Other EU countries have courses that cost in the hundreds of pounds, at least while the UK is in the EU.
A taste of the exotic
Of course, it’s all a matter of taste, but the heat and passions of the Mediterranean lifestyle can feel sexier and more exotic than Margate or Manchester on a Saturday night. We British developed our taste for alcohol because it was safer to drink the water in the days of yore, and we kept drinking to keep out the cold. Contrast that with the joy of the “paseo” in Spain, when whole families get dressed up to the nines and leave the house to walk the streets and seashore, stop for a drink or a coffee, chat with neighbours and even flirt a little, with no need for public drunkenness. All this despite Spain having a bar for every 180 people, compared to the UK where we have one pub per 1,150 people (and that’s probably now a gastropub charging £2.50 for a packet of pork scratchings).
Thinking of making a move to Spain? Buying a property and getting set up there can be tricky so why not download a free guide to make it a little easier?
Be a digital nomad
If you’ve got a laptop and an internet connection, you’re in business. With freelancing apparently the way ahead for work in the 21st century, “digital nomads” are the new breed of modern wanderer. Instead of hanging around the water cooler, you can have your laptop open on the beach (mind the sand!), instead of the 9 to 5 and a horrific commute on Southern Rail, sit at the pavement café and be your own boss!
Whether a web designer, content writer, online teacher, graphic artist, marketer or bookkeeper, the world is your oyster. Don’t miss the opportunity of a lifetime – the door closes on frictionless EU residency in March 2019.