posted by in Belgium forum
Yes, life's better with family and friends closer-by but I don't miss other aspects of the UK.
Neither the UK or Belgium are necessarily well-known for their cuisine - depends how you cook for yourself I supose.
Belgian cuisine is slightly better because "Boulet et Frites" is awesome (Liege specialty I think)
The weather in Belgium is better than the UK (colder winters but drier in general, and better summer) - but then I can't tell a
Greek that the weather in Belgium is "good" either:-) (When I went to Greece it was 44 degrees and that is like
an oven for me).
And I can still do all my passtimes in Belgium the same as the UK.
And if you asked me I would say I prefer the people in Belgium than the UK - but thats a heavy generalisation ofcourse.
With the job, it did take a couple of months, and yes I did apply to a lot of places - but I was prepared for that and thankful for the first job offer I got.
It's an international company (which is no surprise in Belgium) and its using a totally new programing language for me and its a lot less stressful than the Banking Sector which I was in before. I think you're much more likely to find a job in a commercial bank than an investment bank in Belgium.
My cost of living has dropped after moving to Belgium even though the food is more expensive here (assuming £0.8 = 1Euro). We get almost 14 months pay per year depending on company/personal results which seems to be normal here, as well as meal vouchers, travel paid for.
I think the Netherlands is also a good choice. We like crossing the border and noticing the differences - it's true, people there ride bikes around a lot, and we haven't met someone who didn't speak any English - seems a nice life-style - quite cultured and easy going.
My wife speaks three languages fluently so she also finds Dutch easy-ish to understand since she knows English and German. I find it difficult and can't understand why I can learn a programming language in an hour and it takes me so long to pick-up a second spoken language.
We also considered France and Switzerland. Theres a lot of opportunities in Sophia-Antipolis near Nice for IT people, and with Switzerland I think generally the standard of living is very high. It seems to be a slightly harder country to "get into" - is that what you've found? I guess it depends mostly on whether you have a job secured before you go. Also the Swiss economy is extremely strong now.
I think Salaries in Luxembourg are higher than Brussels - don't know how they compare with The Netherlands.
I think the difference with two weeks holiday for you is that you can stay at home right? - I mean swimming in the Med is surely better than swimming in the English Channel / Manche / North Sea?