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Greetings All,

I am currently a sophomore in a University here in the United States and I am majoring in International Relations. After me and my fiance graduate college, we want to move to Europe (she is studying to either be an engineer or teacher). We have a top 5: Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, and Italy. Currently, we are leaning heavily towards Portugal. We are looking at Madeira, the Azores, or Lisboa.

Naturally, I have a few questions, if you guys would not mind answering:

1) How hard would it be for us to find quality full time jobs that we can live comfortably at middle/upper-middle class with our American 4-year college degrees? What kind of job market is out there for foreigners with international relations degrees and foreign teachers?

2) What is the general cost of living?

3) How does Portugal compare to the other countries I listed? Any pros and cons?

I am sure I will have more questions later but these are coming off the top of my head.

Thank you in advance.
 

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I am currently a sophomore in a University here in the United States and I am majoring in International Relations. After me and my fiance graduate college, we want to move to Europe (she is studying to either be an engineer or teacher). We have a top 5: Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, and Italy. Currently, we are leaning heavily towards Portugal. We are looking at Madeira, the Azores, or Lisboa.

Naturally, I have a few questions, if you guys would not mind answering:

1) How hard would it be for us to find quality full time jobs that we can live comfortably at middle/upper-middle class with our American 4-year college degrees? What kind of job market is out there for foreigners with international relations degrees and foreign teachers?

2) What is the general cost of living?

3) How does Portugal compare to the other countries I listed? Any pros and cons?

I am sure I will have more questions later but these are coming off the top of my head.
Hi, welcome to the forum!
Before I start answering your questions, may I ask one of my own?
What nationality do you hold?
Do either of you have a passport from a EU country, or are you eligible for one through ancestry? That makes a big difference in how easy - in terms of visa procedure and other red tape to relocate to Portugal or anywhere else in the European Union, or Switzerland (by the way, one of the most restrictive countries in the world for immigration if you are a non-EU national).
If you only have US citizenship, it will be very difficult. You have no automatic right to live in Portugal, only to visit as a tourist. That is restricted to 3 months in any 6 months, and no work of any kind is allowed. It will be very difficult to get a visa that allows you to work, as you come well down the line in order of priorities for such a visa. In short, a visa is only issued if your potential employer can get a work permit, and none will be issued unless they can convince the authorities that you have qualifications and experience no other applicants have in Portugal or throughout EU. As a graduate-to-be, it will be just about impossible to meet such criteria. There may be a list of shortage occupation, but you'll need relevant experience and qualifications, and they need to have some special reasons for hiring a non-national. Do you speak Portuguese fluently?
Portugal, as is much of Europe, is in the middle of recession and jobs of any kind are hard to come by, and where they exist, they are snapped up by local workers with fluent Portuguese, and all the relevant qualifications and experience. What sort of employers will go through a tedious and expensive process of sponsoring a non-EU worker for a work permit, with uncertain outcome, when there are thousands of locals willing and able to do the job?
If you still want to live and possibly work in Portugal, you need to explore different avenues.
You can enrol on a language course full-time on a student visa, and work in spare time (which is allowed). But you'll have to pay quite high tuition fees in advance, as well as meeting foreseeable cost of accommodation, food and travel before a visa is issued. There may be some sort of study abroad or research programs through your uni in Portugal, which you can explore. There may be training places or internship available in your specialist field - details from your professional body. Or there may be volunteering, religious or charity work that may interest you. Important thing about all these possibilities is that normally everything needs to be set up before arriving in Portugal, and you need to obtain a relevant visa before catching a transatlantic flight.
If you can give us some more details about you and your fiancé, we may be able to help further.
 

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Hi Raptor
Welcome to the forum, Joppa information is brilliant, but don´t get scared. There is several Americans living in Portugal, you will find some on the forum, if you check older posts, you might get some answers to your questions. I believe that making the move you want to do, require a lot of planning, so my advice is; to start, call the Portuguese Embassy and let them know about your plans. They will tell you everything you need to Know. There are several American schools, in Portugal, and they fallow the American school program, so a job as a teacher might be possible. Start searching and start sending some CV´s over; see what kind of answers you get. Regarding the countries you listed, Portugal is by far the friendliest of all, cost of living is cheaper in Spain; Portugal has the lowest wages of all
John999
 

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Hi everyone,

I am new here and I am trying to reply on some of the messages.. Just like Raptor I would love to move to Portugal.. I live in the EU and my portuguese is now basic within a few months it should be a lot better. I am not planning to move to Portugal immediately.. My planning is somewhere in 2010 maybe late 2010 or even 2011.

Basically the best advice is to call the Portuguese embassy and ask for more information?

What do you recommend when it comes to find a place to live? Are there any agencies for expats in Portugal or is it better to watch the local papers/internetpages?
 

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HI Cherrrryblossom, there are lots of agencies here, so you will not have a problem finding a place to live. there are also lots of good information websites that will give you plenty of good info on the country.
 

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Hi Cherrrryblossom
You are right in that, you are not in the same situation as Raptor, so your biggest “problem”, will be finding a job. Finding a place to live is all about you, and what do you want! If you are looking for an area where you can meet other expats, they are already all over the Country, so… My advice is, write down 10 things you want in your new location, then, do some web search for places who can offer you does things. After that, make a few visits to does places before you decide where you want to live, and, only after that you will look for a lawyer and state agents.
John999
:confused2::ranger:
 

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Thanks for the reactions.
Finding a place to stay isn't my biggest problem.. I already have a few options..
I think I'm going to write down 10 things and search on the web first :)
I'm planning to visit a few cities next year, so I can make the right decision..

Do a bit more research;)
 

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Hey Raptor, im in the same boat as you. I'm a sophomore as well here in Georgia. I too would love to move abroad to Portugal or Spain when I graduate. Ive read a lot about immigration to Europe and basically sum it up as a real big hassle. Still, ill pursue my dream regardless. However for me, I'm thinking about joining WWOOF, which stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms after college..You and your fiance shoud look into it since you can work up to a year or even more.. I know this has nothing to do with international relations but it could give you a good starting point in establishing a possible new life in Europe. Just a suggestion..My dream would be to WWOOF in Portugal and then meet a girl there so I could possibly stay there for good. Haha

Wish you the best of luck

For some reason it wont let me post URLs so just google wwoof portugal
 
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