Posted Sun Dec 04, 2011 03:55 AM
Posted Sun Dec 04, 2011 02:47 PM
for health care, it depends where you go. In Belgium, the system is that you pay a little every month (I don't even know how it is, because it goes off my account automatically, but I think it is something like 50-70 euros/year). When you go to the doctor, you pay a part of it and this system pays the rest. Like a cooperative system.
Some things aren't covered at all. Medicines are covered (some) for a part.
Overall, I don't have to worry at all about it. I'm having major surgery in January and I didn't even bother to ask how much is gonna cost me. I don't have the slightest idea, but I'm guessing it'll cost me 1000-2000 euros. It is a wild guess based on surgeries I've had before.
About jobs, there is a huge crisis here. Huge. All over the country. A friend of mine (well, he's more like the love of my life...) has moved to Germany now and he found work in about a week (he was still here). He's better paid there and he's enjoying the environment.
I never run out of work either, because I've got several degrees. But I have a friend who's been looking for work for a long time. He's a technician (electronics, graduaat).
One problem to consider is the language. The more you speak, the easier it is to find a job. Here, for the best jobs, we have to be bilingual (Dutch and French). English is also important, depending on what you do.
The terms of employment are becoming worse, so, contracts can be temporary (a contract of a few months, then another one, etc).
There is a lot of racism and xenophoby (sorry for the spelling), so, depending on how you look like and what your mother tongue is, you'll have a very hard time looking for a job. I'm an immigrant myself and what I can say is that if you've got lots of degrees and if you speak several languages, you'll be spoiled for choice, even if they hate you (they hate everybody, including each other, like here, Flemishes hate Walonians and vice-versa). Prejudice is also hard up North and in Germany, as well as in the South. Everywhere.
Cost of living in Belgium is incredibly high. I pay about 2000 euros/year to keep the house warm and for electricity (gaz and electricity). I own my house, but if you don't it'll be really hard to buy one now, as there are so many taxes (you pay about 15% over the purchase price of a house in fees/taxes, and with our new government - one we're getting now, after over 500 days after elections, it'll be worse).
Feel free to ask, should you have questions.
edit: traveling between the countries for work is easy, but don't forget they speak different languages. If you only speak English and French, you'll be limited in the works you can get.
This post has been edited by alien2: Sun Dec 04, 2011 03:00 PM
Posted Sun Dec 04, 2011 03:03 PM
Xenophobia and right-wing craziness is getting worse in Eastern Europe, too. I was put in the hospital by a few guys for being non-Hungarian and obviously left-leaning.
Depending on where you want to go teaching English (or French if you're fluent, since your a Canadian), can keep you in beer, bread, and fruit.
I should emphasize that Belgium and Hungary (and Italy and Germany, etc.) are different places regardless of the EU and circumstances will always differ. Travel is easy--I go all over Europe with no one but airport ticket counter folks looking at my passport. Haven't been on a train lately. But, like I said, work may be a very different story.
Just my experience and I might not be best informed.
Posted Sun Dec 04, 2011 08:49 PM
Posted Sun Dec 04, 2011 11:02 PM
Posted Tue Jan 10, 2012 04:55 AM