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EUROPE - BLOG
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SUMMER 2019

STARTING UP IN EUROPE


by ROCKO KOWALSKI

Let me start off by saying: "Thanks for promoting my book" - although it is unfinished. I've been encouraged to publish it online on nativespeaker, and now it's beeing promoted. Sometimes good things come to those you wait. Now, I could give a saccharine thanks, but wouldn't want to upset Ol' Clint Eastwood... oops, too late.

BON VOYAGE

The America's was once a desired destination for many people looking to start a new life, a new adventure. In the 21st Century, however, more and more Americans seek to explore life abroad as well.

Both, the Far East, and the Middle East offer many cultural and economic opportunities and benefits for North Americans. In some countries taxes are taken care of, i.e. they are either paid by the company or there are no income tax requirements at all. Europe, although similar on the surface presents a unique challenge and opportunity as well.

Many countries, including the U.K. are part of the European Union, which offers its own set of restrictions and priviledges. Thanks to the internet, online services has allowed freelancers to travel the world while offering their services worldwide. Challenges however may arise when seeking long-term accomodations, as well as obtaining amenities such as a local mobile phone / internet provider (where local id required).

So what's a Canadian or a United Statian to do?

WELCOME TO CZESTOCHOWA

After leaving Canada (Go Raptors!) and living a few years in Cairo, China and Warsaw, I moved to a smaller town in southern Poland. It somewhat of a holy site, with million of pilgrims visiting the "BLACK MADONNA" at the Jasna Góra Monastery every year.

I was lucky enough to enlist the help of some distant relatives to get settled initially. However when it came to work, well... I had to rely on myself. Afterall, savings evaporate quickly. So, after a couple of months I decided to offer English classes. First things first... I got a geocentric and topical domain (*name drop / free exposure - feel free to visit for online language lessons in Polish or English*) angielski.czest.pl - but that only get's you so far (if you're lucky!).

Meeting people, networking by far is the most helpful, but then again in a new town, that might not be so easy from most of us. It is recommended thus that one gets out there, join a gym, language class, dance class, sports team, anything to 'get out and meet people'. Complementary, good old-fashioned business cards can come in handy then (I like'em).

Handing out flyers on the streetcorner isn't for everyone as well, however, after establishing some sort of relationship with a local cafe, shop, or something, perhaps you can arrange some sort of mutually beneficial relationship, whereby you may leave your cards/flyers displayed on the counters in exchange for some sort of gratuity?

Another consideration, (if reasonable), is to display some sort of banner in the window, balcony, on the fence in a well-trafficked area.

While begginings might be rough, I've found that with fair prices and excellent personal relationships, you might be handling more potential clients than expected. You might even feel like you've low-balled your prices... so do some research first! And price yourself accordingly to your skills education and experience.

Also, for legal reasons, consult with someone regarding business practices in that country.

Even if you have adequate savings to last you a while, I would recommend offering some lessons even one a week, just to stay sharp, and not get rusty. It's harder than you think later, i.e. getting back into the daily groove (trust me on the sunscreen).

I wish you all the best, wherever you go. Live long, and prosper.

Rocko Out.


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