Living in Europe

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by OPTIMUS PRIME, Sep 6, 2006.

  1. OPTIMUS PRIME

    OPTIMUS PRIME Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    7
    Hi, my name is OPTIMUS PRIME. With a name like this, you probably can figure I fence epee and have extraordinary Autobot powers.

    I've decided to move a European country for fencing. It will be my first time making a living outside of the United States.

    I would like to know if there are any other board members/lurkers who have left the country to train with Eurofencers. I will be gone overseas for a period of 1-2 years. I hope to fence as much as humanly possible.

    My plan is to gain TEFL certification (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and make some money this way. Other than that, I will live on the edge in the cheapest place I can find. Can any fencers out there reading this who have such experience help me, OPTIMUS PRIME, in my mission? I am particularly looking for advice about any 'cultural' differences between fencing clubs in European countries and the United States, if there are any. I wouldn't want to make a bad impression. Please, tell me your experience.
     
  2. KD5MDK

    KD5MDK Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Messages:
    13,294
    Likes Received:
    636
    It rains frequently in most parts of Europe. Be sure not to rust.

    When you say you intend to teach English, surely you need some command of the native language of your students too, right? It will be cheaper to live in post-Communist countries like Poland, Hungary, etc. It is less likely you'll have experience with their languages than German or French, however.
     
  3. Jason

    Jason Podium

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2002
    Messages:
    2,498
    Likes Received:
    321
    Optimus! Before you transform and roll out, you should recognize that fencing clubs and "club culture" varies in different countries.

    Similarly, job opportunities vary as well.

    Where are you looking to go?

    I trained for about 4 years in Poland. I went with the US Peace Corps--teaching English--and stayed, once my 2-year PC stint was over, still living off the fruits of my linguistic excellence.

    KD5MDK is incorrect--you do not need to be able to speak the native language in order to get a teaching position. However, knowing the local language will open up more opportunities for you in terms of jobs, housing, the ladies, etc.
     
  4. nahouw

    nahouw Podium

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Messages:
    1,178
    Likes Received:
    46
    I know a few people who have, and an important point about working in foreign countries: you can't just up and go to live there -- there is a process, which you have to follow. Tourist visas are generally good for only 90 days, so you have to get a work visa. First step is to find a job and then obtain the work permit. Then you can have the longer term visa, and then apply for resident permit.

    EU countries will tend to want to employ there own people then other EU nations then US citizens, so this will be a hard process for you. Most I know went on student visas, being enrolled in a foreign program (and the easiest solution)

    One of the things that you will need to show on your applications is that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and health coverage. Most US policies only cover you in the US, so you will have to find addional health coverage.

    Your first step would be to get your TEFL certification, and then correspond with different countries to locate employment and see if they will sponsor you.

    Or, if you rather shoe-string it, theoretically you can go to any country for 90 days on a tourist visa, leave for a couple of weeks and then come back in on a another 90 day tourist visa until somebody notices.
     
  5. veeco

    veeco Podium

    Joined:
    May 16, 2000
    Messages:
    3,186
    Likes Received:
    208
    I haven't really done what you want to do, but I have done the opposite. I moved to the US, with 2 suit cases, and an internship offer. I found a fencing club close by, and fenced there.

    After a few years, I moved back to Europe (France) and fenced there.

    Now, I am in Switzerland, and about to go back the US.

    I highly recommend you do this. It's a great experience and you will learn so much about fencing, but also about how people live outside of your world, you might even pick up a few language skills on the way.

    As an advice, I must say, most fencers I have met are the nicest people and will stick with you if you are in trouble, so don't hesitate to research the clubs where you are going to live, and see with someone there if you can crash on their couch for a couple of weeks when you arrive.

    But one thing is certain: you will need a visa. Some countries are easier than others, but the quality of fencing might not be up to your standards.
     
  6. RITFencing

    RITFencing Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    4,559
    Likes Received:
    395
    I would also visit the area before you take the plunge... make sure you are really ok with living and working there.
     
  7. RoninX

    RoninX Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Messages:
    1,455
    Likes Received:
    85
    Be adventurous... there is always "more than meets the eye" to living abroad :D
     
  8. OPTIMUS PRIME

    OPTIMUS PRIME Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    7
    Yeah tell me about it. The babes look 6-10 years older than they really are sometimes.
    Phew...that was a close call for OPTIMUS.... :D
     
    TrainingDummy and LUDICROUS like this.
  9. RoninX

    RoninX Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Messages:
    1,455
    Likes Received:
    85
    They don't call them "decepti-cons" for nothing!! :D
     
  10. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Messages:
    36,286
    Likes Received:
    1,203
    What if one is rich enough either to live there without having to work or to spend an extended time vacationing there? It seems very inconvenient to be limited to 3 months if neither a work nor a student visa is applicable...
     
  11. sabreur

    sabreur Podium

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2000
    Messages:
    2,352
    Likes Received:
    261
    I assume this is a purely rhetorical question, or have you come into an unexpected inheritance or hit the lottery?

    When you request permission for an extended stay, you are asked to show proof that a) you will be working and you have the necessary work permits or b) you have the means to support yourself without working.

    Very few countries would turn down a request from someone who is wealthy enough not to have to work to come and distribute some of his/her pelf among the locals.
     
  12. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Messages:
    36,286
    Likes Received:
    1,203
    That's what I was wondering about. It would seem counterproductive economically to expel "cash cows" after 3 months...
     
  13. TrainingDummy

    TrainingDummy Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2005
    Messages:
    609
    Likes Received:
    32
    Have you heard the movie theme for the original transformers movie by hair-metal band Lion? Priceless!
     
  14. LUDICROUS

    LUDICROUS Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    1,217
    Likes Received:
    70
    Have you heard the Transformers version of Metallica's "One" ? That owns.
     
  15. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Messages:
    36,286
    Likes Received:
    1,203
    Methinks I am missing something about this poster's name. Is it a company that manufactures transformers? A band? What? :confused:
     
  16. LUDICROUS

    LUDICROUS Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    1,217
    Likes Received:
    70
    Wow, you're old. :p

    Transformers is a cult cartoon featuring machines that transform into Fighting machines from cars/trucks/etc.

    Autobots vs Deciptocons, OPTIMUS PRIME versus Megatron.
     
  17. wrdbrn

    wrdbrn Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    19
    There was a NPR show I caught part of about moving to Europe. Their advice was try before you buy.... and be sure your first extended stay of 3 months or so is in the very worst weather cycle...

    Good Luck!
     
  18. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Messages:
    36,286
    Likes Received:
    1,203
    You say that like it's a BAD thing. :)

    Thanks for cluing me in. Although....well...before I didn't know, now I just don't care. :D
     
  19. KD5MDK

    KD5MDK Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Messages:
    13,294
    Likes Received:
    636
    Remarkably, this is the first time in a long time I've heard of someone missing an 80s reference because they're too old. All the other ones have been from people too young to get them.
     
  20. I_luv_saber

    I_luv_saber Podium

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    Messages:
    2,597
    Likes Received:
    77
    I'd like any information anyone can offer on this as well, as I was considering doing this to support myself when I move to Budapest, at least as a plan B or until I can get a job closer to what I'd like.
    What I know (or think I do) so far:

    1) I have heard jobs in Hungary are quite good for TEFL positions, as there is a big push there now to learn English... not sure if this is actually true or not, just hearsay.
    2) This has been said, but I have also heard jobs in Western Europe can be a bit tricky to get if your American, as there are plenty from Britain or other EU countries to fill this need, without as much red tape. As an American, your better bet is Centeral/Eastern Europe, or elsewhere if you don't have your heart set on Europe.
    3) Don't expect to be making gobs of money, but you can support yourself and not be worried about how to pay next months rent (again, this is all stuff I've heard, someone with experience in the matter would be great!). Pay can vary majorly depending on a few things. Firstly, where you go. Again, for an American, just about anywhere but the EU is okay (Aside from those in Centeral or Eastern Europe). Second, if you get a job before you go, you have the security, but usually less pay as the employers have not had a chance for a live interview. But, going without a job is a bit of a risk, so that's your call. Third, experience and schools. If you have your TEFL through a more famous school or program or some good experience, you should be paid more.
    4) Pick a TEFL program that offers job placement, even if it's a bit more expensive, it's normally cheaper than a headhunter. Sometimes the more expensive programs will also either cover your flight, or offer a discount as they cut deals with the airlines.
    Here are two I've looked at:

    www.oxfordseminars.com
    www.teflcorp.com

    But really, just google TEFL courses. If you aren't near a location, there are online courses, but make sure it's longer than 40 hours :) (I believe most employers like 100-140 hour course time). This is all the info I have, and ALL is just hearsay from TEFL teachers and some of the programs. Any real info from someone who knows would be great!
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2006

Share This Page