I am looking to become an au pair somewhere in europe for a year, ive had offers from everywhere from helsinki, vienna, berlin and istanbul to florenze, madrid and milan.
what european city would you like to spend a year in if you could and why?
I love Florence, the people there are great, there is a huge student population so almost everyone can speak a little english, but its a bit expensive. Also its nice and central so going to any other italian city would be easy enough for a weekend or something. But Milan is nice as well, alot cleaner. But those are the only two cities Ive been to on your list. If I had to spend a year somewhere itll probably be Florence, actually if I got an offer to work there Ill do it in a heart beat.
How did you find so many offers, just out of being nosy? I would love to do something like that but have no idea where to start.
Well then, nomadicpenguin, have you decided??? let us know!
yeah....... im heading to Helsinki!!!!!!! (finland)!
i know it sounds remote, and probably wouldnt be many peoples first choice......but its actually a really cool looking city, the architecture is a cross between russian and scandanavian, they have a church hewn out of solid rock and it's 4 hours by train to St Petersburg (the venice of the north).
but mainly im going there because i new from the beginning i wanted to go somewhere unusual and completely out of the ordinary, and where better than the frozen north?
Sounds great! Hope you will keep a travelblog of your adventures in the far (frozen) north...!
Id say if your going to EU, the best place to live in is probably Vienna.
Ive been in Alicante, Spain for the last seven months and I have loved it. Its not the biggest city, but Valencia is nearby and its 4 hours to madrid and barcelona. And oh yeah weather is great and the beach is always fantastic ...
I have been to Helsinki 2x, last summer was the last time. While there you can take the overnight ferry to Stockholm, or just fly there it's quick and cheap. From Helsinki you can also do Copenhagen, the capital of Scandinavia and where my Father is from, thus I have been to CPH many many times. It is a great city, very modern very friendly people. Finnish people are very abrupt and the tones of their emails and when they talk to you will come across very rude at first but just get used to it, that is how most are. BTW Helsinki is not Frozen!? It is beautiful in the summer and gets warm too, in the winter make sure to visit a Reindeer farm up north! Kittos!
Decisions, decisions, decisions
I have travelled to Europe many times in the last few years. I have also written a number of online reviews for the cities I know best. As others have stated, being in a country as a tourist is very different to actually living there. I would recommend the following very different cities, dependent on how ambitious your travel plans are.
For a fairly easy transition, I recommend Nice. 'review here'
For a slightly different cultural experience try Amsterdam. 'review here'
For a complete change try living in Riga, a real up and coming city. 'review here'
Hope that helps,
For me it'd be between Florence and Milan...I fell in love with Florence when I went there on vacation...I was there for 3 days but it wasn't enough for me...that would be a city that I'd like to live in. Florence is just amazing, I don't know how to describe it. I haven't been to Milan but I love Italy in general and fell in love with the country while I was there, so yeah I'd go for one of those two. Those are in regards to what you have to choose from. Where would I personally want to live in regards to all the places I've traveled to thus far? That's a hard one: I actually lived in France for a year: lived 6 months in Dijon and 4 in Aix en Provence and I liked it there.....and yes it is different living in a country than actually being a tourist big time....everywhere I've been I could easliy live there...I guess I'd have to say Parma, Italy...it's just beautiful, charming and small. I guess Brussels, Belgium too...I just love Brussels and I guess Besancon, France....Those are my personal picks. oh, also Williamsburg Virginia....love that city.
Out of the cities you have listed I would choose Madrid . It is a lovely, vibrant city with friendly people. I spend most of my time in Italy and love the country a lot but I don't like Milan at all and wouldn't recommend it. Florence is nice and would be my second choice after Madrid. I spent some time in the city learning Italian there just before I moved to Italy permanently ten years ago and enjoyed it.
Istanbul is fantastic but I think even a month there would be too long for me.
My vote is Florence - I loved my Summer there!
I can completely reccomend Prague! I was only supposed to be here for a month (I did a TEFL Certificate program www.teflworldwideprague.com) and go back to the states. NOw...? I have been here almost a year! I cannot seem to leave this beautiful city.
It is super cheap, super fun and so beautiful! Definately take a trip here if you can!
Hi nomadicpenguin - all the best!! You'll have an amazing experience wherever you go. Was going to say make the most of every opportunity, but you sound pretty adventurous minded - don't forget to keep us all updated!
Although not technically in Europe, you could consider Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, Canary Islands. Very mediterrenean European lifestyle.
Prague has not gone to the Euro yet, so it is still cheap to visit. Your money will go much longer there than anywhere in Western Europe. And it is beautiful too.
FLORENCE! ..and then Paris... :-)
Hope you'll have a great time! Helsinki is beautiful.