Make your Pick!!

3 Schengen Countries you would love to visit and even relocate to

It is no news that so many Nigerians travel out of the country for so many reasons, from visiting relatives, to studies, to business trips, to tourism and so many even relocate. According to Nigerian Immigration Statistics, the rate of immigration has been on the increase since 1995 and never declined.

Europe is one of the continents that spacks the interest of many Nigerians, whether you are visiting or going for business or relocating for greener pastures. The continent has beautiful sceneries and historical places of interest. But there is one particular reason why many people prefer to go to Europe.

Have you ever heard of the Schengen Area?

Schengen Area is a collection of European countries without internal borders, an area within which citizens of many non-European Union nationals, business men and women, and tourists can freely circulate without being subjected to border checks.

This means that as a visitor or resident of any of the counties that are within the Schengen Area, you can travel to other countries within the area like you are traveling from state to state. You can visit other countries without having to process separate Visas for these countries. Doesnt that sound exciting?

The countries within the Schengen Area are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.Most of the countries in the Schengen Area also speak English well so language should not be a barrier.

If this sparks your interest, let me tell you about 3 countries within the Schengen Area you should visit at least once in your lifetime, that is if you dont consider relocating there.

Sweden

Sweden is ranked as one of the best countries for immigrants along with Canada and Switzerland. It has a population of about 9.8million and about 10percent are foreigners.

Sweden is well known for a great health care system, quality education (with tuition free many universities and colleges) and wonderful job offers with good salaries. Although taxes are on the high side, people are often comfortable with it because they get enough rewards that actually shows their taxes at work. For example, you can get up to 35 days paid annual leave. Also there are so many holidays on the calendar as a result of many national celebrations. The country is very orderly as queuing is a very common sight in Sweden. The transportation is also very good as the country has functional rail systems and very good roads even in the countryside. Internet connectivity is never a problem in Sweden as they boost one of the best internet services in Europe. If you love alcohol, you may not enjoy yourself so much as alcohol sales are regulated by the government. However you can bond over cups of coffee as apparently there is a coffee bonding tradition in Sweden called Fika.

Sweden shares land borders with Norway and Finland while Denmark, Poland, Germany, Russia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia share maritime borders with the country. Some prominent cities in Sweden are Stockholm, Gothenburg and Uppsala.

 

Norway

Norway is known to be a very beautiful, peaceful and wealthy country. It has a population of about 5.4 million people. Norwegians are regarded as one of the most friendly and accommodating people in the world. The country has a rich Viking history that the people are very proud of. It is also one of the happiest countries to live in on the planet.

One lovely thing about Norway is that everyone has access to and is allowed to use public spaces (because of a law called Allemannsretten). So when hiking, you come upon a good spot with a mind blowing scenery, you can just pitch your tent and enjoy the view. While enjoying the great outdoors, you can catch a glimpse of the northern lights. However the weather can be unpredictable as temperatures are known to change as altitude rises.

There are great job opportunities. Currently, engineers are on demand in Norway (just saying…) and teachers are very well paid. Taxes are also high but they are fair enough compared to the salaries being paid. Medications are free and the healthcare system is often handled by the government. Can you believe that even fathers get up to 12 weeks paid paternity leave during the first three years after a child is born? Elder citizens are not left out as retirees are paid up to $1000 per month. Taxes are also high in Norway but the system in place makes paying high taxes worth it.

Internet speed is not an issue in Norway. There is a high level of education, very low crime rate, Electric cars are everywhere. There is an industrial boom in the country with a rise in the forestry, mining and fishing industries.

Norway shares borders with Sweden, Finland and Russia. Lovey cities to visit are Oslo (the capital of Norway), Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger and Kristiansand.

 

Finland

If you think Norway is great, Finland will leave you jaw dropped. According to the UN World Happiness Record, Finland has been named the happiest place in the world 3 times in a row. WHO also has it on record that Finland has the freshest and cleanest air to breath. The country is eco-friendly and devoid of pollution.

Citizens enjoy free education and health care from primary to university level and quite affordable for foreigners. Gender inequality is not an issue as the country is known to support women development. Fathers also get paid paternity leave up to 54 days and mothers get about 4 months paid maternity leave.

Are you looking for a perfect place to start up your business? Finland is a great place for startup businesses. The working environment is known to boost creativity and build resilience. As a foreigner, the international community is also very supportive. If you are an Architect, you would love to work in Finland as the country is famous for great architectural designs and prominent architects.

For fun and relaxation, you can hit the slopes to ski almost any time as the slopes are often covered in snow from November to May due to the long winter. There are over a million saunas for you to warm up in. You also get a great view of the Northern lights. Just like in Norway, there is freedom of movement. There is a concept called Everymans right (Jokamiehen Oikeus, meaning you can walk freely in nature, anywhere you want). There are so many lakes in Finland that you can just decide to take a dip. The food is fresh and tasty but the price of Alcohol is actually very high so they prefer coffee instead. Christmas celebration in Finland is on another level as almost everyone plays Santa. They also have very strange but interesting championships like wife carrying, mobile phone throwing, Air guitar and sports championships.

Finland is bordered by Sweden, Norway, Bothnia and Russia. Cities of interests are Helsinki (the capital), Turku, Lapland, Oulu, Savonlinna and Rovaniemi.

Have I tickled your interest in the Schengen Countries?

Contact Ibitees travels to make your travels worthwhile.

 

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