So You Want to Move to Another County

So, you want to move to another country. If you don’t already know, I am an American living in Germany, and I get this question asked all the time. „How and why did you move?“ So, here it is, my explanation and how to go about moving to another country. I would also like to point out that there are many ways to go about moving to another country, this was just my personal experience.

First, you have to ask yourself, why do you want to move? And make sure this is something that you genuinely want to do because some people might not think about the consequences of moving to another country and what you would have to give up. When I moved to Germany from the US, I honestly had no idea what I was doing. I kind of just winged it, which was pretty scary. I was in a different state of mind, and I just wanted to get out of the US as soon as possible. The only thing that I had arranged before moving was that I was planning to stay with my best friend for a few weeks, that was all. I had no job, no apartment, just two suitcases, and a heart and mind full of wonder and hope. Wait, I take the job part back, I did have a job interview lined up, but I’ll get to that later.

I had decided to move in Dec 2014. I was very unhappy with my life at the time, and I felt very stuck. I studied fashion and worked part-time jobs in the industry, but nothing was really flourishing, as far as a fashion career; I felt a bit lost. I had a lot of pressure from my family to get a stable job, and when that wasn’t working out, I felt like a total failure because my family is very successful, and I wanted to follow in their footsteps. The fashion industry is very competitive, and it wasn’t easy to find a job for some reason. To make ends meet, I worked two to three Jobs in a six to seven-year span. My priorities were totally out of whack, and I was living a very party lifestyle; drinking nearly every night of the week, staying out till the sun came up even though I had to work early the next morning, eating totally unhealthy, just a terrible lifestyle that I never want to go back to. But I want to make things clear; I don’t regret any of it because I learned many life lessons through those years, and I met a lot of amazing people I can still call my dear Friends. Life is a journey, and you have to go through the ups and downs to become the amazing person you are meant to be. So, first things first.


So, in the months leading up to my move, I was busy selling and getting rid of things around my apartment. I sold nearly half of my closet and things around my apartment, trying to earn a little money. This is one thing I highly recommend, have money saved!! I ended up saving only 3,000 dollars! And that was not enough because I ended up not working for at least five months. My plan was to have a job after three months because American passports are valid for three months to live on without a visa from the country you are staying in. If the three-month plan doesn’t work out, it is possible to extend your temporary visa for another three months, just FYI. Anyway, when saving money, I highly recommend saving at least 8,000 to 10,000, because you never know how things will work out.


So, I was lucky since I had my best friend to stay with for the first few weeks. After a few weeks, she started helping me look for another place to live. I highly suggest searching for a WG, which is a shared-living apartment. It is easier to do this even if you don’t have a job yet. I got mine before I had my job. If you would like to have your own apartment, you would need a job to show the landlord you can pay your rent every month. With WG’s, it’s usually through young people, typically university students searching for temporary roommates, and you basically sub-lease a room from them. That is what I did, and it worked out perfectly well. If you don’t already know someone in the country you are moving to, it is probably a good idea to search for a WG, shared-living apartment before moving. 


So, my best friend, who lives and comes from Germany, tried to help me set up job interviews. She was able to set up one interview at Hollister co. as an Assistant Manager. I was so excited, thinking that everything was going to work out. But I highly recommend having more than one interview set up, of course. So, the moving day finally came, May 1, 2015, to be exact, and I have never been more scared in my life. I was jumping into unknown territory, but I was so excited at the same time. I had the job interview in the second week of living here. The interview went well, and they offered me the job on the spot. After a few days, I got a call from Hollister, and it was bad news. They said they legally couldn’t hire me because of the German labor market; I would be taking a job away from a German. I was freaking out!! I nearly had a panic attack because I didn’t know what I would do as far as jobs.

I ended up reaching out to a girlfriend of mine, who also moved to Germany from Texas, and asked her for some advice. Her advice was to teach English. Now I thought, how the hell am I going to teach English. I had never taught anything to anyone, let alone a language! So, I did my research, and you can get TEFL certified online within 3 to 4 months anywhere in the world through I 100% recommend this to anyone thinking of moving to a country where English is not the first language. Teaching English is the way to go. Language schools and companies are always searching for English teachers; that is a given.

I found an English teaching job through a language school and was sent to different corporate companies around the Cologne area to teach 1 to 4 groups at each company. It was so much fun! I had never been happier with a job. The groups I taught were the nicest people, and we always had fun learning together. I even made some of my closest friends through teaching. It was seriously a blessing to find this job. After four years of teaching with Stevens English, I was offered another job in a different industry. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but then I decided to take it because I am always up for new experiences and new challenges. In the end, that job didn’t work out, so they let me go. I mean, it wasn’t for me anyway; I missed teaching. But, they let me go right at the beginning of the covid pandemic. You guys, I have never been more stressed in my life! Anyway, that is a whole other experience within itself. So, now I am back teaching English as a freelancer. It’s a slow start because of covid, but it’s working out, and I know that I am on the right path. The journey of life always works out. The universe, your angels, and whatever God or non-God you believe in are always watching out for you.


So, I can only speak for Germany, but I am sure it is a similar process throughout Europe and other countries on different continents. There are different types of visas. I have a work visa, and for this visa, you obviously need to have a job. There are also freelance visas, but those are a bit harder to get because you would need enough contracts from each company to show that you will earn enough to support yourself every month. But going back to a work visa, so once you have a job and a signed contract, it is a pretty straightforward process, but it is also very bureaucratic. They need several documents from you. This includes:

  • Two fully completed application forms. Printed and signed at the end.
  • Two passport photographs.
  • Valid national passport.
  • Proof of residence. Your driver’s license and/or Utility bill in your name as proof of residence in the territory of the consulate where you plan to apply. (I had to Show my utility bill)
  • Health insurance. Compulsory certificate from German employer, valid from date of employment. (side note: once you get a Job you automatically get Health insurance because it is compulsory, but if you move here and don’t have a job, as I did at first, then it is a good idea to get some type of travelers insurance.)
  • An employment contract/binding job offer with details of gross salary and a detailed description of the employment in Germany.
  • CV or resume. Your updated resume, which indicates your academic qualifications and your job experience.
  • Proof of Qualification. Diplomas, certificates, mark-Sheets, etc., or anything similar that proves your qualifications.
  • Personal cover letter. Explaining the exact purpose and duration of your stay. (I didn’t do this)
  • Proof of Paid visa fee. The visa fee for a German long-stay is 75 euros. (I Paid 98)

You can find all of this information and more on This info is pretty accurate. I had to have all of this. Another tip, take someone with you who can speak Germanor whatever non-English speaking country you’re in. I had the experience that most governmental workers, especially at the immigration offices, don’t like to speak English, or they refuse to speak English, not all but some. Another tip, be nice to the government workers. Some can be pretty rude, but whatever you do, do not be rude back. They have the power to deny your visa.

You can also apply for a German visa (XX Country you’re moving to) at the local immigration office, the embassy or consulate, or even at the embassy/consulate in your country of residence.

(Update: I now have a freelance visa. I will explain how to get this in a later post.)


Oh, boy, this is something I’m still learning. GERMAN. IS. HARD!! But the people really appreciate it when foreigners take the time to learn and understand their language. It shows that they are willing to adapt to their culture and way of life. But the first year of living here, I honestly didn’t care to learn, nor did I have any money to take lessons. I was more interested in exploring different cities and eating local food. I started to learn a little the second year, more the third year, and a lot in my fourth year here, and I am still at a basic level, haha. I almost feel like learning a language is a skill. Some people are so good at learning languages, while others lack the ability to grasp it. I know it takes a lot of time, but I can be pretty impatient when I don’t understand something right away.


So, opening a bank account all depends on how long you plan on staying in the country. I knew I wanted to stay indefinitely, so opening an account was a smart thing to do. Without a bank account, I couldn’t get a cell phone, etc., and obviously, you need an account if you are going to work in the country. It is really easy to open up an account, pretty standard. Same procedure if you were to open one in your own country.

So, all in all, moving to another country is totally possible. I have to admit, it wasn’t super easy, but it wasn’t difficult either. As long as you have the patience, drive, and determination, anything is possible. And be willing to step out of your comfort zone. That is one big lesson that I have learned. Once you step out, the possibilities are endless.

I hope I have covered the basics. Feel free to contact me! I am happy to answer any questions that I may not have covered in my post.

„Do something uncomfortable today. By stepping out of your box, you don’t have to settle for what you are – you get to create who you want to be.“ – Howard Walstein