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Greetings to All!

My name is Christine and I am moving with my husband, James, to Limassol in one year (hopefully). We had a two year moving plan but recently came up with a way to fund both my certification in TOEFL business English AND our move much faster than we originally thought. <snip>

I want to get my TOEFL cert because it will allow me to spend four weeks in Limassol over the summer, and the program also offers job placement. My husband is a graphic designer with 15 years of experience in large format printing and digital graphics as well as extensive knowledge of full color LED video/message displays, so I don't think he'll have much trouble in the gainful employment department.

We made this decision because we are both still young enough to start over and we wish to change our lives for the better. (I am 33 and he is 40.) I have a very good friend in Limassol who moved from the US 12? years ago. She is willing to host us on the short term and even put up with my cat if I can figure out how to bring the cat with me.

Do people move to Cyprus from the US often? Most comprehensive info I find in English is geared toward UK citizens. I will need to know about banking and transfers, importing my kitty cat, and shipping a pallet worth of items. We are only bringing sentimental items, two bicycles, two weeks worth of career wardrobe, two netbooks and a desktop computer. I will probably ship any books I can't part with to my friend, if she's okay with that.

I know this has been a very long post. :ranger: Thank you for your patience. I will try to be more brief in the future. Any input y'all may have is completely welcome. Hope to see you all soon!
 

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Hi and welcome from a fellow American! There are quite a few Americans here if you know where to look. If you have kids you will find them much more easily as you will be involved with all the kids groups, schools etc.

As for jobs, you seem to have checked out your employment options over here however, I would still make sure you have back up funds just in case. Cost of living is also more expensive than the US especially Austin. Two questions I have are: Have you visited Cyprus before?? And, do you speak Greek? Not that it is necessary but it makes it easier.

As for shipping, we used a company called UPakWeShip that was great and not very expensive compared to all the others and we checked a lot. I don't about pets though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Cleo,

Thanks for your reply! We don't have kids, but maybe we can meet people anyway. :D

We have not visited Cyprus before. I have been to Greece and Turkey, though! :) Also, I plan to get my TOEFL certification in a four week program in Limassol. Hopefully my husband can join me there for part of that time. I have done a lot of research on Cyprus, and have talked to my friend there a great deal over the years.

We don't speak Greek. I can understand a little and I know a few words and phrases I used when visiting my Aunt in Greece. We are trying to learn as much Greek as possible. I have enrolled in an online course and we plan to enroll in a course in the spring.
 

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You should bear in mind that the Greek which is spoken in Cyprus is not the same as that spoken in Greece.
The Cypriot form of Greek is much closer to the old form of Greek which is only spoken in some small remote villages on the Greek mainland while most of the country speaks a more modern version.

Veronica
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Veronica!

Thanks for replying to me! I saw some Cypriot news on the internet, and the Greek definitely sounds different from what I heard in Greece. However, I think that some Greek is better than no Greek at all, right? I am able to speak French (Parisian) with Haitian Creole speakers and we understand each other, so I might be able to work it out in Greek after a few weeks...

I was wondering: when Cleo says that the cost of living is higher in Cyprus than in the US, especially in Austin, what does that mean? I currently pay about $925 (EU622) in rent for a 3 bedroom apartment, $200 (EU134) per month for groceries for two people, $100 - $150 (EU67 - EU100) for energy, $60 (EU 40) for broadband internet, and around $140 (EU94) for 2 mobile phones with data and text services. Of course, we also make a certain amount of money per month here, too. What can I expect when I get to Cyprus as per "average" income and expenditures per month? I know certain groceries are actually less expensive, but other items cost more. Any info on this would be appreciated, as some of the cost of living info I have found is outdated or geared toward UK expats. It will help me plan our budget accordingly.

Ack, sorry, I wasn't very brief. Again. I guess I'm just a wordy person.
:doh: Thanks for all the info and your patience, guys. :)
 

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Hi Veronica!

Thanks for replying to me! I saw some Cypriot news on the internet, and the Greek definitely sounds different from what I heard in Greece. However, I think that some Greek is better than no Greek at all, right? I am able to speak French (Parisian) with Haitian Creole speakers and we understand each other, so I might be able to work it out in Greek after a few weeks...

I was wondering: when Cleo says that the cost of living is higher in Cyprus than in the US, especially in Austin, what does that mean? I currently pay about $925 (EU622) in rent for a 3 bedroom apartment, $200 (EU134) per month for groceries for two people, $100 - $150 (EU67 - EU100) for energy, $60 (EU 40) for broadband internet, and around $140 (EU94) for 2 mobile phones with data and text services. Of course, we also make a certain amount of money per month here, too. What can I expect when I get to Cyprus as per "average" income and expenditures per month? I know certain groceries are actually less expensive, but other items cost more. Any info on this would be appreciated, as some of the cost of living info I have found is outdated or geared toward UK expats. It will help me plan our budget accordingly.

Ack, sorry, I wasn't very brief. Again. I guess I'm just a wordy person.
:doh: Thanks for all the info and your patience, guys. :)
Yes you are right that some Greek is better than none and you can adapt to Cypriot Greek once you are here, in fact even different parts of Cyprus have thier own dialect.
As for the cost of living here, it does sound as though it is more expensive than the USA. Rent wont be a lot different but other costs are certainly higher than those you have quoted.
The internet and mobile phones wont be any higher but groceries will be a lot higher.

Veronica
 

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Hi Veronica!

Thanks for replying to me! I saw some Cypriot news on the internet, and the Greek definitely sounds different from what I heard in Greece. However, I think that some Greek is better than no Greek at all, right? I am able to speak French (Parisian) with Haitian Creole speakers and we understand each other, so I might be able to work it out in Greek after a few weeks...

I was wondering: when Cleo says that the cost of living is higher in Cyprus than in the US, especially in Austin, what does that mean? I currently pay about $925 (EU622) in rent for a 3 bedroom apartment, $200 (EU134) per month for groceries for two people, $100 - $150 (EU67 - EU100) for energy, $60 (EU 40) for broadband internet, and around $140 (EU94) for 2 mobile phones with data and text services. Of course, we also make a certain amount of money per month here, too. What can I expect when I get to Cyprus as per "average" income and expenditures per month? I know certain groceries are actually less expensive, but other items cost more. Any info on this would be appreciated, as some of the cost of living info I have found is outdated or geared toward UK expats. It will help me plan our budget accordingly.

Ack, sorry, I wasn't very brief. Again. I guess I'm just a wordy person.
:doh: Thanks for all the info and your patience, guys. :)
Hi Christine,

We moved from Washington DC area and I am from Chicago both of which are much more expensive than Austin and Cyprus is more expensive than DC. We are a family of 4 - two being toddlers - and we pay about 200 Euros A WEEK for groceries and of course that is in addition to all the free/inexpensive fruits and veg. Gas is about 80 - 100 Euros a week for one car. Restaurants are much more - even American chains like TGIF are much more than what they are in the US. Restuarants in general are much more - there is no quick, inexpensive on the run food like Panera, Subway, Chipotle etc. except Mcdonalds :eek: Electricity is more too.
Average income I would say is about 1000 Euros a month.

I am not trying to be a downer but I don't want you to be shocked either.
I would suggest coming over for a month or so if you can to really investigate it all and the job situation before you make the big move.
 

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Our grocery bill is probably in excess of 250 a week (but we have two infants gobbling up formula and experimenting with finger food like a couple of trainee Sumo wrestlers). It'll be cheaper if you have no kids to worry about but you're still probably looking at over 400 a month for groceries. I'd agree with Cleo about the salary - wages here are very poor compared to the rest of the developed world. The average has probably increased a little in the last year or so, but it's probably not much more than 1000 a month. Many people have two jobs - when I first arrived in Cyprus a few years ago, I worked as a teacher in the mornings, and gave lessons in the afternoons at a Language Institute, and then gave some evening classes and one or two Saturday lessons. It meant that I worked in excess of a 48 hour week, but my take home was about 2300 Euro a month. I couldn't keep that up though as it was exhausting. I now have one job (38 hour week) but earn about the same - but such 'well paying' jobs are difficult to find, but they are there if you are determined enough.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This thread has been more informative than most of the research I've done in the past year!

I expected a lot of what most of you are telling me, but I was nervous: I knew the cost of living was higher and that wages were lower, but I didn't know to what degree. Now I can make better plans! My friend owns several businesses in Limassol, but I want to try to get us jobs "under our own steam," as it were.

I am hoping we have something before we go, but just in case, how long do some people wait before getting employed once they move to Cyprus? (More budgeting! :))

Also, I have an MA in English, and will be getting my cert in TEFL. Any chance I could teach at a regular school, or will I be relying solely on TEFL placement services? (It's ok if no one knows anything about this.) Thanks to all!
 

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This thread has been more informative than most of the research I've done in the past year!

I expected a lot of what most of you are telling me, but I was nervous: I knew the cost of living was higher and that wages were lower, but I didn't know to what degree. Now I can make better plans! My friend owns several businesses in Limassol, but I want to try to get us jobs "under our own steam," as it were.

I am hoping we have something before we go, but just in case, how long do some people wait before getting employed once they move to Cyprus? (More budgeting! :))

Also, I have an MA in English, and will be getting my cert in TEFL. Any chance I could teach at a regular school, or will I be relying solely on TEFL placement services? (It's ok if no one knows anything about this.) Thanks to all!
Kimonas is the one who can tell you about jobs in education here.
I expect he will soon be along to tell you:)
 

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Kimonas is the one who can tell you about jobs in education here.
I expect he will soon be along to tell you:)
Hello again!

It will not be possible to teach in a regular school as teachers are classified as civil servants and are listed Cypriot graduates (it takes years for your number to come up and you must speak fluent Greek and effectively be Cypriot to get a job in a state school - although there are a hand full of foreigners). Private schools are a good choice, although the salary is poor by wetsern standards it is good for Cyprus. You need no special qualifications to teach in a secondary school (other than a first degree) no teacher training is required (although it does help). Many principals are very wary of foreign teachers as they feel they are not committed and may leave suddenly (as many that are hired do for a wide variety of reasons - not least underestimating how far a relatively meagre salary can take them).

It took me two years to find a steady job and get a contract. I was fired from my that full-time job in a private school in Nicosia becasue the headmaster did not like foreigners and had taken me on in a desperate panic as his previous teacher had had a mental breakdown - couldn't discipline the children (there is a great deal of latent xenophobia in the larger cities - especially against citizens of the US and UK all related to the Cyprus Problem - best not to bring that up at all). There are always private lessons that can be quite lucrative if you can attract enough tutees. This, however, is a grey area and you need to be quite careful not to be seen to be runnning an illegal Fronesterio (afternoon school) without a liscence.

There is a bizarre regulation here which states that you can only teach the subject of your first degree - and you must have a qualification above that which you are teaching. It was possible up until quite recently to get employment in private Universities/colleges with a Maters degree, but many have now entered the frenzied collaborations market with European partners and are struggling to adhere to EU directives which has closed off teaching in University/Colleges to all but those with PhDs.

If you have any specific questions about various subjects and institutions, I'll do my best to help out.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks, Kimonas!

I had wondered about tutoring privately, because my aunt in Athens had told me that I could do well teaching English "under the table." Still the whole idea of doing something illegal makes me nervous. I continue to think that having the MA and getting the TEFL certificate will still be the way to go for me, despite potentially low salaries. I also have other skills (IT, legal secretary) and a small circle of friends in Cyprus (both expats and Cypriot), so who knows what might come along when I go over there in the spring to check things out?

Getting this info from y'all is going to make all the difference when we make the final move. I will think up some more questions for y'all!
 

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Thanks, Kimonas!

I had wondered about tutoring privately, because my aunt in Athens had told me that I could do well teaching English "under the table." Still the whole idea of doing something illegal makes me nervous.
Do be aware that you will need to register with the Cyprus Social Insurance if you are intending to work in Cyprus. You will not be able to do this if you are working illegally, you would also have problems getting a resident's permit. If you enter the country as retired or of 'independant means' then you are not allowed to work. The Police have recently been having crack-downs on people who work illegally.
 

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Do be aware that you will need to register with the Cyprus Social Insurance if you are intending to work in Cyprus. You will not be able to do this if you are working illegally, you would also have problems getting a resident's permit. If you enter the country as retired or of 'independant means' then you are not allowed to work. The Police have recently been having crack-downs on people who work illegally.
Unfortunately there are so many people working illegally the police will find it very hard to stop it. It gets me mad when people come over here and work for cash, don't pay tax or social insurance. These people undercut the ones who are working legally and take the food from their tables. It is risky though and if caught the authorities crack down very hard and to be honest I have no sympathy for those who are caught.

Veronica
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Veronica, I don't blame you. I would feel the same way: people should pay taxes to the country they live in to fund the infrastructure upon which they depend.

It's a bit different in the US because if I have a skill I can teach out of my home without having to worry about that kind of thing -- like knitting: I helped with my tuition by teaching other people to knit. I didn't make a ton of money - not enough to pay taxes on - but I did have to pay taxes on the money I made teaching English while I got my degree. Not that that was a lot of money either, but it was enough to pay taxes on. Here whether you pay taxes is dependent upon the amount you make doing whatever you do - to a point, anyway.

I actually do have a small business, as well. But I'm not sure if that's an easy thing to transfer, so I'm not going to depend on it. I read that if you bring a business to Cyprus you could get a residence visa. i am not clear yet onh what documentation you need to bring, however.
 

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Thanks, Kimonas!

I had wondered about tutoring privately, because my aunt in Athens had told me that I could do well teaching English "under the table." Still the whole idea of doing something illegal makes me nervous. I continue to think that having the MA and getting the TEFL certificate will still be the way to go for me, despite potentially low salaries. I also have other skills (IT, legal secretary) and a small circle of friends in Cyprus (both expats and Cypriot), so who knows what might come along when I go over there in the spring to check things out?

Getting this info from y'all is going to make all the difference when we make the final move. I will think up some more questions for y'all!
Hello,

Legal Secretary might be something to look into as well as that qualification as such doesn't really exist here just yet while having a legal backround is sought after by companies who register foreign companies in Cyprus as only law and accounting firms are allowed to get them registered.

Also, I have heard that the salaries for graphic design are not well paid, so please don't take it for granted that because he has the experience and because the job in the US pays well he wont have a problem. Unless of course you have contacts in the field who might actually hire him.


btw some friends of mine moved to Austin last year and opened a restaurant called La Condessa.

Good Luck
 

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Unfortunately there are so many people working illegally the police will find it very hard to stop it. It gets me mad when people come over here and work for cash, don't pay tax or social insurance. These people undercut the ones who are working legally and take the food from their tables. It is risky though and if caught the authorities crack down very hard and to be honest I have no sympathy for those who are caught.

Veronica
Well said Veronica! I agree entirely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
As do I. I thought I was pretty clear about my intentions here, but let me just emphasize that we are not moving to Cyprus because we plan to break the law or take food off of anyone's table. We don't think that we are somehow entitled to have some fantastic life once we leave the States. We only seek the chance to try and obtain the same happiness that some of you have found, and we don't believe in taking more than our fair share of anything.

Well said Veronica! I agree entirely.
 

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As do I. I thought I was pretty clear about my intentions here, but let me just emphasize that we are not moving to Cyprus because we plan to break the law or take food off of anyone's table. We don't think that we are somehow entitled to have some fantastic life once we leave the States. We only seek the chance to try and obtain the same happiness that some of you have found, and we don't believe in taking more than our fair share of anything.
I am sorry Christine, I was just making a point. It wasn't meant to be aimed at you and I hope I (we) didn't offend you.

Lets get back to the topic, shall we? There is a sticky at the top of the topic menu about starting a business in Cyprus, maybe one of the messages has something about the documentation you need or some ideas about how to go about it?

Ah, just had a look, there isn't a sticky.... it must be a thread that I am thinking about....
 

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As do I. I thought I was pretty clear about my intentions here, but let me just emphasize that we are not moving to Cyprus because we plan to break the law or take food off of anyone's table. We don't think that we are somehow entitled to have some fantastic life once we leave the States. We only seek the chance to try and obtain the same happiness that some of you have found, and we don't believe in taking more than our fair share of anything.
Christine as Babs has said the comments were not aimed at you, (in fact you said in your post that the thought of doing something illegal made you nervous).
It was simply that you said your aunt had suggested you could teach 'under the table' that prompted me to vent my feelings about those people who do not have the same concience as you do and are happy to take what is not rightfully theirs to take.

As for your business, what sort of business is it? If it is internet based you would have no problems running it here and there are many foreign businesses being run from Cyprus because the taxes are lower than in many other countries.
It is certainly looking looking into that possibility.

Veronica
 
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