Americans Break Down What It Would Take For Them To Move To Europe For A Job
Shari Sirotnak/Unsplash

Listen ... we're just gonna be totally honest with you.

The answer is "not much" IF loved ones can come too.


Reddit user benharper09 asked

"Americans of Reddit: What would it take for you to consider moving to Europe to live and work there?"

We don't know if this Reddit user is, like, gathering market data or just really wants to know why Americans don't leave - but here's what Reddit had to say.

Whole Squad Comes With

"My wife and I have discussed moving out of the States, but family keeps us rooted. Maybe when the parents have passed."

- JroyBbop

"I used to live in Louisiana and it’s a damn nightmare there but when me and my wife found out we were pregnant in 2020 I decided that by 2022 I wouldn’t be in Louisiana anymore raising my child and we let all our family know. There’s still FaceTime and social media and mailing gifts and all that."

"If they want to see him or us in person then they can travel here but I wasn’t staying in hell so he can be near his family. It’ll be better for him to be somewhere that’s not as damn horrible. I literally had fear for my life from about age 10-33 when I moved. Nothing was gonna make me stay and raise my kid with that same fear."

- PaulblankPF

"This is a big one. Our entire support system is either here in town or within 2 hours away."

- WizardofAud

A Job

homer simpson job GIFGiphy

"Um, job opportunities? Europe doesn't let you just up and live there if you want to."

- zugabdu

"Here in Austria we are currently looking for a large number of people willing to work. Austria has around 150.000 job openings that cannot be filled because there aren't enough people."

- benharper09

"I doubt Americans will fill many, particularly with professional jobs requiring a college degree, as salaries tend to be far high over here."

"There are obviously a few exceptions, but as a general rule I don’t see it happening."

- monkey3man

"There are pretty significant differences in cost of living too though, as many European countries have healthcare, childcare, you can actually live in many European cities without owning a car which as I understand it is realistically impossible in the US. Looking at salary v. salary is too simplistic to really compare the buying power you're left with after taxes."

- Randyboob

Are We Even Wanted?

"Do they even want us?"

- Infinite-Hearing-738

"Not if you are old without money. Or young without skills."

- RedditRage

"Yeah. We do. I would welcome Americans with open arms. Though I understand it's hard for most Americans to move to Europe."

- Mrbananacompany

"I mean maybe you personally be okay with Americans moving to your country but your immigration laws are not so amenable."

"It's not that Americans don't consider or want to move to Europe as this question implies, we want to but it's not easy to do legally."

- Infinite-Hearing-738

"We are strongly considering making the move. My biggest concern is the language barrier. I know some people may speak English as a second language but I wouldn’t want to presume."

- GeoffAO2

Pros Over Cons

"Consider yes. Actually moving to one of the many countries with their pros, cons, and immigration policies is a whole other matter. This kind of thing works best for people who are very young, very rich, or have an employer involved."

"Not Europe, but I looked into Canada for a while and the pros and cons ended up convincing me it wasn't worth it for my family."

- Bobanderrs

"For the last few years this has been an annual discussion my wife and I have. The pros just don’t outweigh the cons yet. Burning a huge amount of money to move away from family and friends to be an outsider in a place where seasonal depression would crush me and cold weather issues would be detrimental to my wife’s health issue along with a lower paying job with fewer prospects for advancement in a place where the cost of living is so much more expensive…it always seems like a good idea until we list out all these things."

"That and Canada seems to be experiencing the same issues the US is - albeit on a much quieter level (which to some degree is often more concerning. Trucker convey tried to happen here and it got egged out of existence with them all fleeing. In Canada everyone stood around and just let it exist. For days. And days.) - which make me realize I might be better off staying put. It also seems wrong for me to be the one to up and move when I am white, straight, and in a decent financial position. My vote, my voice, my donations all make a difference for marginal groups that are fighting. We have a lot of friends in the LGBTQ community and being the ones that got to leave would just kind of haunt me."

- zerobeat

Language Barrier

season 10 friends GIFGiphy

"Aside from everything everyone has said is language. I took Spanish for 6 years and maybe understand 10%. I took German for a year and can say hello. I did duelingo polish everyday for six months and got nowhere."

"I've accepted its damn near impossible for me to learn a language. I could sell my house to have the money. I could leave my family. But job stability and language...those are my 2 big problems."

- Scarlett-Amber9517

"This is the big one for me. You could go to Germany, Denmark, Norway as a tourist and just speak English. But working a day-to-day job, going to the supermarket and all that, you really need to speak the language to be productive, no matter how patient your co-workers are. (I’m a software engineer)"

- AaronDNewman

"I will say, being in the country helps immensely. I can't imagine trying to learn a language while sitting in the US."

- AKdriving

Once You Understand, It Makes It Hard

"My family are immigrants to the US so know how hard it is to start somewhere new. Also a lot of my family is in the US and I don’t want to miss my nieces and nephews growing up"

- Positpostit

"I am a UK person living in America (have been here ages) - I know my wife and children dont like the way america is shifting, and through citizenship of me and my children I could easily get everyone legally into the UK."

"But... would my (college age) kids want to go there? Would we be able to make friends as near-retirees? Would the (inferior) material standard of living be too much of an adjustment and we would be shivering through the winter wondering what we did?"

"The favorable exchange rate makes it tempting too... but the reality is I think there would be some big personal drawbacks for my family"

- GoodAndBluts

​Guarantee Safety

"Being able to guarantee my safety as a practicing Jew."

"I love Europe, have loved my time in Europe, but the track record on that score .....is not great."

- firerosearien

"I feel the same way as a black woman. I'm used to and can often reconize/avoid most of the racism in the US. But it's an entirely different beast in other countries. At my age, I don't think I have it in me to navigate those complexities."

- OG_PunchyPunch

"I can understand this. The problem about saying “moving to Europe” is that Europe has so many different cultures and attitudes depending on where you go."

"Here in the UK, racism certainly still exists but as a mixed race person, I’ve only experienced racism towards myself a handful of times and I personally believe the UK has some really good attitudes to race, especially in London probably the most diverse place in the world"

- HoodedArcher64

Money

The Simpsons Money GIFGiphy

"Uhh money."

- [Reddit]

"And help with the paperwork and whatnot. It’s not easy to immigrate to Europe, they’re not really interested in you just arriving."

- TheBimpo

"It can be expensive, long and frustrating but I just did this with a big family and pets about a year ago."

"Particularly thankful today to be "somewhere else" with my teens and twenties daughters."

"All the help you need is on Reddit. Lots of helpful people and resources."

- 50MillionChickens

"You start at the beginning, and learn learn learn. Just like any other thing you want to know. People figure it all out every day, and I am confident you could, too!"

- redditshy

Marketable Skill Or Marriage

"I have no marketable skills that eu countries want. And most don’t accept a lot of what I can do for a work visa. So my best bet to immigrate is marriage."

- Herodotus_9

"Same. No one in Europe wants me, so the answer to OP's question is, "it would take any counry in the EU wanting me."

- wakattawakaranai

"Came here to say this. From the research I've done, the desirable skills for most countries are stem/healthcare/etc. and while it makes sense why that is, not everyone can just up and make a career change to one of those fields."

"That can be expensive or daunting even if you're just doing it to change jobs and stay in the US."

- ingb96

"This. If it was easy/possible for most Americans to move to Europe a lot more of us would be leaving. Even if you ignore the legal hurdles, more than half of Americans can’t afford a $1000 emergency (the most relevant statistic I could find), and probably couldn’t afford to move states let alone continents."

- H_Mc

"I'm married to an eu citizen. My kids are eu citizens. But I still can't get residency until I'm at least conversationally fluent in the language."

-okayyeahsurewhy

AS Long As There Is No Dragons

stop motion horror GIFGiphy

"The castles look nice, but the threat if dragons keep me away."

- NeverLickATazer

"That's not much of a problem in Europe, my hometown only got destroyed 5 times by a dragon in 30 years."

- ohara1250

"Did the smith and the cobbler survive the dragon strike? Or did the plague do them in?"

- jojowhitesox

"So you have 'dragon season' like we have Hurricane season and Tornado season. Got it."

- Gr8NonSequitur

"We have sorted that problem in Wales and advertise the fact on our flag."

- mileswilliams

"The dragons you see coming. It's the rats that get you"

- benharper09

You've seen what Reddit has to say, so now it's your turn at the mic.

Americans, what would it take for YOU to head across the pond to live in Europe?

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