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You in Europe

Countries of the EU

The European Union is made up of 28 member states. The list of member states can be found on Europa.eu. The European Economic Area (EEA) is made up of the EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Switzerland is not part of the EU or EEA, but has a similar agreement with the EU, and so sometimes policies or programmes that apply to EU/EEA citizens will also apply to Switzerland.

Visa Requirements

As an Irish citizen, you are also an EU citizen and so you have the right to live and work in any of the EU member countries without a visa. You will be required to have a valid form of ID.

From the Citizens Information website:
"If you are unemployed, you have the right to live in another EU country for a "reasonable period" of time in order to look for a job. In the absence of a definition of "reasonable period", most EU countries are now operating a 6-month period."
"Members of your family, whatever their nationality, have the right to accompany you or to join you in your country of employment."
"You and your family members have the right to the same social benefits as the nationals of the host member state. This includes the right to education access and benefits."


 

Citizens Information resource

 

Right of movement & citizenship

 

From the European Commission website:
"European citizens can enter, live and stay in any EU country simply by presenting their passport at the border, if requested to do so. There are no questions to answer or special formalities to comply with. If the stay is longer than three months it might be necessary to register the residency, but this is usually just a formality if you're working, studying or have health insurance and enough funds so as not to become a financial burden on the host nation."
"European citizens and members of their families living continuously in another EU country for five years or more are now entitled to permanent residency, which means they then legally have virtually complete equality of treatment with nationals of the host nation.

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A valid full Irish driving licence legally allows you to drive in any EU country. You can also move money around, open bank accounts, buy property and goods, and invest in shares anywhere in the EU.

European Commission site

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Finding Accommodation

Worldwide

  • Green Acres - offering accommodation listings from many countries
  • EasyRoomMate - Search online for your nearest version of this site
  • BugEurope - Offers details of hostels by country and city

Europe

United Kingdom

Gumtree
Housepals
Accommodation For Students


 

France

PAP [FR][EN]
Mapiaule [FR]

Germany

WG-Gesucht [DE]
Immobilo [DE]
Wohngemeinschaft [DE]
 

 

Couchsurfing is an alternative to paid accommodation, where you arrange to stay with someone in your destination country. All around the world, people have signed up to have their couches available for travellers to sleep on temporarily. As with all accommodation, safety may be an issue, and we suggest that you look at their guidelines on this.

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Your Rights

The European Commission has provided detailed guides on your rights as an EU citizen when living in another EU country (plus the EEA countries). It gives details on pensions, unemployment, healthcare and family benefits. Click on the country of your choice, and select your language of preference.

If you live in another EU country, you have the right to vote and to stand as a candidate in municipal and European elections held in that country. The conditions are the same for you as for nationals.

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Ready for Work

When working and living in a country, you may need to register your residence (generally after 3 months), and register for tax purposes. EURES (The European Job Mobility Portal) gives an overview of living and working conditions for each EU country, with some specifying tax rates. EURES also gives a very handy brief overview of each countries economic status. Your Europe Advice also provides a country-by-country break down of working, taxes and unemployment benefits.

Getting recognition of your qualifications can be very important in getting a job in another country; EURES also gives information on doing so, when you select your destination country - under Working Conditions - Recognition of Diplomas and qualifications. Also see our links to help you with this process.

Looking for jobs? Try our list of links to great jobs sites.

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Health Care

When travelling in Europe, it is important to have your healthcare looked after in case something happens. The European Health Insurance Card is "A free card that gives you access to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in any of the 27 EU countries, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland." You can find more information on the European Commission site. This card is not an alternative to travel insurance. It means you can receive treatment under the same conditions and at the same cost as people insured in that country (free in some countries). You can also view details of your destination country's health care system on the European Commission site.

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Handy Resources

Customs & Cultures in EU countries

Written from an American perspective, this article makes recommendations on customs to follow when in Europe.

EU Hub - informaiton on European Union, EU citizens' right, European Parliament and important EU topics on Spunout website.

Cost of living

Check out our guide to the cost of living in Europe, for comparing important figures on rents, groceries and travel.

Learning the language

It can be useful or indeed essential to learn the local language, depending on how long your stay is. Check out our language links here.

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