Cyprus has become one of the hot spots in the expat market although unfortunately the short-term situation has been overshadowed somewhat by possible property ownership implications for those who acquired land and houses previously owned by people who fled the area when the island was split. However, that aside, there is a very interesting post in the Cyprus Forum which covers a number of important issues that may arise if you are looking to emigrate to the country.
Background to the post
An English couple are emigrating to Cyprus for a new life in August 2009 and have arranged for a week in Cyprus in May to check out the area and other aspects of their new life. They have three kids aged 6, 12 and 13 and are obviously concerned about their education and the various options available. There is also the question of accommodation and whether they look down the furnished or unfurnished route and ship all of their belongings from the UK or just bring with them what they will need to get started.
While very often those looking to emigrate will be well aware of the major issues and the broader aspects of these issues it is often the minute details which can make or break their plans. The thread itself has attracted significant interest from a variety of different posters and some very interesting details about aspects of life in Cyprus and the options available. There is certainly plenty of food for thought!
While accommodation is ultimately the main issue when you have decided to emigrate there are many different factors to take into account. The vast majority of people tend to rent as this gives them the opportunity to move to a different area if they are unsettled, ensure they are happy in the country before shipping over their own goods and ultimately allows them to experience life in Cyprus (or whichever country they have chosen) before finally cutting ties with their homeland.
Furnished or unfurnished
When looking at rented property there are two options, furnished and unfurnished, although many people maybe under certain misapprehensions regarding the details of these options. Do not assume that a furnished property will have all of the mod cons, equipment and electronic machinery which you have back home because the chances are it will be very basic and the furnishings may not be of highest quality.
If you move towards the unfurnished option then there is the added cost of shipping over your own goods from the UK or else buying new equipment (or possibly second-hand equipment) for your new home. Unfortunately if you move towards the second option and acquire your own goods for your rented accommodation you may find that electronic equipment and many other items you may need are significantly more expensive in Cyprus than they are in the UK.
To ship or not to ship that is the question
The question of whether to ship your old equipment and goods over to Cyprus is one which has attracted significant attention on the thread. While at first glance, before doing any further investigation, many people would automatically assume that shipping over your own goods and equipment would be far more expensive than starting again in your new home land. However, this may not be the case!
As we touched on above, in general it seems as though white goods (electronic equipment for the home) are significantly more expensive in Cyprus than in the UK. There is even a suggestion that car prices are also significantly higher in Cyprus than the UK bringing into play the option of shipping over your old car in a large container which will also house your equipment from home. In this particular instance, although not for every country, it does actually seem as though shipping over your own equipment and goods could be cheaper in the long run.
The original posters of the thread have three children whom are all of educational age and they need to find schools for them as soon as possible. The initial options appear to be an international school, state school or private school with an indication that private schools may be out of the price range of the couple in question. However, the couple have reported back to the thread after their initial investigative visit to Cyprus to confirm they found independent schools to be the best option for their particular circumstances.
There is also another comment on the thread from a different poster suggesting that private schools may well hold back your children from integration and interaction with the local community and that English is already fairly widespread in Cypriot state schools. While this is more of a long-term situation you need to consider how your children will integrate with their own age group in your local community and how they will develop in their new homeland. If your children are unhappy this is likely to make the parents unhappy and could have serious consequences in the long-term.
The cost of living in Cyprus
When you consider that for many people it may be cheaper to ship their car and their belongings over to Cyprus from the UK this offers a reflection of the cost of living in the country. Many people will be surprised to learn that many everyday goods are significantly more expensive in Cyprus, with white electronic goods a particular example, than places such as the UK. It is therefore vital that you do your homework before moving over there lock, stock and barrel and know what you are letting yourself in for.
There are many threads on the Cyprus Forum which cover many of the main aspects in relatively small detail. However, this particular thread has attracted significant attention and offers some real advice which is both practical and useful. We are hearing from people who’ve been there, done it and got the T-shirt and are now in a position to advise and assist those who are making the move to Cyprus. This is exactly what the expat forum was designed for, in effect an information exchange with differing views and differing opinions offering advice which readers can investigate for themselves at a later date.
Even though much of the information on this particular thread is very detailed and very interesting you also need to do your own homework so that there are no misunderstandings and/or potential inaccuracies.