Some of Europe’s biggest cosmopolitan cities may be the most expensive cities to live in, but these vibrant metropolises continue to attract graduates from all over the world especially from the less developing countries.
The reasons are mainly two-fold: for graduate studies or to start what is hopefully a fulfilling career.
Though most European cities are well-developed and offer opportunities either for a good career or further education, young people prefer to re-locate to the bigger cosmopolitan cities like London, Paris, Frankfurt, Rome, Madrid, and Amsterdam.
This is because these cities are often more culturally diverse than others and offer a more welcoming environment to visitors. And there is the belief that there are more opportunities in the bigger cities.
So, while you are still mulling whether the next big step in your life after graduation is to head to the bright lights of big European cities, here are some things to ponder on.
Opportunities exist outside big cities
Perhaps, getting a job could be your motivation for relocating to a big European city. If that is the case, try to put everything in perspective first. How realistic is your ambition?
Look at it this way, though the big cities are called ‘big’ because of the variety of industries and firms there, it is also a fact that they have some of the highest unemployment rates in their respective countries especially among young people.
The fact is, millions of young graduates gravitate towards big cities with the mindset that jobs are like low-hanging fruits waiting to be plucked. That is a fallacy though.
It would be better to opt for smaller cities if you must go. For one, you can actually get good jobs with international firms especially tech conglomerates who have a habit of establishing their firms in the smaller cities. Of course, the competition for these jobs is far less in the small cities.
And if you have the mind to start a business in Europe, it would be cheaper in smaller cities due to related costs of services.
And in this era of digital communication, your startup doesn’t have to be in big cities to utilize the resources of big cities.
If you insist on moving without a job, then you must be prepared to do menial jobs like working in a restaurant, cafe, bookshop and so forth to be able to pay your bills until you get what you desire. That is if you ever get it.
Where to stay
Moving to a big city in Europe can be one of the most intimidating experiences especially if you are from a smaller town back home.
To help you settle down quickly, you need to have a pretty good idea where you intend to live, at least, for the first few months.
So having friends and family would be a great advantage as they would help you get familiar with city life.
For example, getting from point A to point B can be confusing for a newbie in Europe’s biggest cities. So apart from assuring you of a place to lay your head for the first few months, your friends or family would help you adjust to your new life with daily tips on what to do and how to do stuff.
Have enough money?
European cities, as a result of higher standards of living, are getting more expensive yearly. The situation is even worse in the big cities where the influx of millions of people is creating a demand pressure on goods and services. The result is rising cost of living.
People who have lived in these big cities always wish for the day they can move out to the suburbs or country-side because of the pressures of living in big cities.
So you must consider that living in a big city would really take a toll on the money you have. You would find it really hard to save money. Therefore, you should see living in the big city as a stepping stone to moving out later if your plan is to save money.
Though moving to a big city in Europe might be the only way to get a foothold in Europe, your personality might not be suitable for the big city life.
Make no mistake about it. If you are uncomfortable in loud, noisy places where night time doesn’t necessarily equate to peace, you won’t be happy.
Your best bet, in this case, is to explore your options as far as looking for decent-sized towns to emmigrate to. These would offer you the peace and the pace that fits your personality.
Okay, they are exciting!
So far, the big cities have received some serious bashing here. It is true they can be very expensive to live in, very confusing to a new comer, and can be very stressful and depressing; it is also a fact that you are most likely to have some of the most thrilling experiences of your life.
The unpredictable nature of the major cities in Europe means something new and exciting would happen at any moment. If you can stand the stress, and handle the living cost, you would be in for the ride of a lifetime.