One of the first things most people worry about when moving to Europe is how Brexit is going to impact on their move and of course, their experience there. The reality is that Brexit will impact on your move, but it’s not the only thing that should be on your mind. In fact, there are several things about living in Europe that you are probably completely unaware of. We have put together some interesting facts about Europe, just so you know what you are getting yourself into.
Fun Facts About Europe
Most people ready themselves for a country change (especially to Europe) for job opportunities, romance, business opportunities, or adventure. For many, it is the quality of life and personal safety that Europe offers in comparison to their home country that draws them in. By learning the following fun and interesting facts about Europe, you might end up with a few good reasons of your own!
- Kids have a chance of exceptional tertiary education:
Education in Europe is nothing to scoff at, especially when compared to the quality and cost of good education in South Africa. The cost of college education in Europe is extremely affordable and, in some cases, even free.
- Cultural diversity is accepted with open arms in Europe:
This is one of the most impressive facts about Europe. The country consists of large immigrant communities and is widely inclusive. South African expats living in Europe feel right at home.
- Europeans like to kick back and relax – and that’s the norm:
Now, we aren’t talking about slacking off at work. We are talking about annual leave allotted to employees. In South Africa, the standard is 15 days per annum, whereas in Europe, 4 weeks (yes, an entire month) is given.
- Europeans aren’t natural drinkers:
In South Africa, beer, wine and spirits are enjoyed in excess. In Europe, wine is considered a good accompaniment with lunch and supper, but the nation in general never really over-drinks. Binge drinking isn’t a common thing in most European countries.
- The national anthem of Spain is quite unusual:
Spain is a popular European country to move to. If you are immigrating to Spain, you might be interested in the National Anthem, which happens to have no words.
- European citizens breathe easier:
This is quite literally true. South Africa isn’t known for taking air pollution very seriously at all. In Europe, that’s quite a different story. European countries are drawing more power from alternative non-fossil fuel sources such as solar, wind, hydro, and biomass. This means that there’s less coal and other pollutants in the air. There are also very strict environmental protection controls in place which means that if you abuse the environment and produce pollution in excess, you’re going to be punished for it.
- Switzerland has a lot of banks:
Got used to waiting in queues at banks in South Africa? If you are heading to the European country of Switzerland, you might find it surprising that the country has more banks than it does dentists!
- Being looked after trumps personal liberties:
In South Africa, the nation is pretty fixated on democracy and each individual having personal liberties. In Europe, the people are far less focused on that and far more focused on ensuring that their chosen government caters fully to its people and that no one is left in need.
- Healthcare is of the best in the world:
Healthcare in South Africa, especially in the public sector, is very below par in terms of world rankings. If you take a look at the Euro Health Consumer Index, you will see that European countries rank the best in the world in terms of the quality and availability of health care.
- Sweden’s official Twitter account is managed by the citizens:
Sweden is another popular European country for SA expats. This country is all about accountability and trust, it seems. In fact, each week of the month, the country’s official Twitter account is handed over to a citizen to manage.
- Overworking isn’t an expectation:
Many European countries love South African expats because they know how to work hard. In fact, most South Africans will work their 40 hours a week plus more. European employers emphasize a work/life balance and so require fewer work hours per week. Strict labour laws are in place in favour of the employee’s wellbeing and mental health.
These fun facts about Europe make a decision to relocate to Europe sound pretty good, don’t they? The simple fact is that while Europe is in total contrast to South Africa, both countries have their draw cards and as an SA expat abroad; Europe isn’t a bad place to end up!
Choose FinGlobal for all you Financial and Tax Emigration needs
Immigrating to Europe is an exciting experience, but what happens when you hit those challenging hurdles along the way? You know, when you suddenly realise that your financial and tax emigration isn’t sorted out, or that your SA retirement annuity funds are all tied up back home and you can’t gain access to them? Well, to put it simply, that’s when you contact our team of professional consultants at FinGlobal. We have helped thousands of SA expats across the globe to get their financial situation organised and in ship-shape. With 10 years of experience behind us, we believe that we are just the team to assist you with your tax emigration, financial emigration, and retirement annuity issues. For further assistance, all you need to do is contact us for your FREE and no obligation consultation and quote.