A Mover’s Guide: Living in Belgium

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Photo by Polly on Unsplash

What better time for a change of scenery than now? From settling on a location to getting a driver’s license or even learning the language, a move to Belgium has to start somewhere.

  • Put in the Research First

It wouldn’t be a smart move to up and travel across the ocean, for example, to live in a foreign country without doing a little bit of research first. Perhaps the culture or rolling landscapes aren’t a good fit. Or maybe the cost of living doesn’t meet expectations. This is where a little research goes a long way.

  • Pick a City to Call Home

Say Belgium is the perfect match, what then? Which city would be home? The capital of Brussels has the largest number of English-speaking career opportunities. Cities like Antwerp and Ghent are popular for tourists but the scenery in Ardennes is peaceful. Take a look at what each city in Belgium has to offer.

  • Obtain a Visa

Citizens of a non-Schengen country without a visa-free travel agreement with the area are required to obtain a visa to live in a foreign country. This should be one of the first things on your agenda if you plan to be a Belgium resident.

  • Orchestrate the Move

With the city chosen and the visa straightened out, what’s next is the moving of belongings to the new home. They are likely to be either driven or shipped, depending on where the person is moving from. This could also be costly.

Similarly, when moving pets into Belgium, there is a long process to go through. It’s recommended to arrange their move quickly. There may also be restrictions and paperwork that must be filled out. Doing research on the process is advised prior to moving.

  • Look into Health Insurance

For stays less than a few months, it’s not common to get health insurance. But, residents looking to stay in Belgium for 6 months or more should at least look into getting health insurance.

  • Job Hunting

There are many people who will have a job prior to moving to Belgium. In fact, it could be the reason for their move. For those who don’t begin job hunting until they’ve moved, it may be more difficult to find an open position. Another factor might become an obstacle to overcome—the language barrier. Brussels contains the largest number of English speakers but learning French or Dutch would open the door for more job opportunities.

  • Get an International Driver’s License

An international driver’s license allows anyone over the age of 18 to drive in virtually any country. However, a local Belgium license can be obtained. Obtaining a Belgium or international license is recommended before moving.

  • Embrace the Culture

To live in a place as culturally rich as Belgium and not enjoy the culture is a waste. The country has gorgeous views with decades of history mixed in. Even the food has a cultural history. Movies, supermarkets, historical landmarks, and more all contain a pride for Belgium citizens. Settling down in such a country means becoming a part of its culture and its history too.