A Guide for Young Professionals Relocating to Belgium
Thanks to its central location, Belgium is the ideal place for expats across Europe whether you’re currently in Spain, Poland, Germany, Netherlands or France. You may be a young professional looking to broaden your work experience or wanting to enjoy a different culture. Either way, Belgium could be the answer. It may be small, but this European country has great potential with plenty of job opportunities for young Tax professional living in neighbouring countries.
Why is Belgium ideal for young Tax professionals?
Did you know that more than 8 out of 10 young expats key decision-making factor in moving to Belgium was the opportunity to develop their career? And that 95% of expats who choose to work in this country have great life satisfaction? It’s therefore no surprise that Belgium is a highly attractive place to relocate to when thinking about your future prospects. Many young professionals developing a career in Belgium also believe that their personal finances have increased as well as their social life, making it evident that there is no compromise involved with this highly recommended move for expats. As well as an abundance of professional opportunities, Belgium also has a high standard of living and is proudly known as one of the top 10 in the OECD's Better Life Index (http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/topics/life-satisfaction/)
The ‘Average Salary Survey’ has also calculated that the average salary offered in this region is approximately €61,357 a year, based on a 38-40-hour week. Furthermore, the pay equality is also approximately 50% better compared to the EU average and Belgium also boasts one of the highest minimum wage rates throughout Europe. (https://www.expatica.com/be/about/basics/an-introduction-to-living-in-belgium-469849/)
If you are an EU National, you will not require a work permit or Visa to start working in Belgium. Belgium is bordered by 4 neighbouring western countries including France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Being close to these counties also eliminates the chances of language barriers thanks to Belgium's three key language districts, comprising of French, Dutch and German. Having one of these languages is very important, due to 90% of Tax job listings in Belgium requiring two of the three to be spoken. (https://www.expatfocus.com/belgium/moving/how-to-move-to-belgium)
What is the standard cost of living?
Belgium is ranked as one of the top ten in the world with regards to standard of living. Whether you are moving from Spain, Poland, Germany or any other neighbouring European country, you will be pleased to know that the general cost of living is much lower in Brussels despite its high living standards.
The bustling city of Brussels offers plenty of accommodation options if you are looking for an affordable apartment near the city centre. Although buying a property may suit you better for a long-term move, young expats usually opt for renting. With generous salaries within the Tax industry, finding a suitable place to live is certainly feasible. We would recommend doing your research, sourcing a few residences that suit and then potentially finding a few people to share with. In this situation, you are probably looking at around €500 - €700 per month. Alternatively, if you would prefer your own space there are always plenty of single occupancy rental opportunities that still remain in an attractive cost bracket.
Like most cities, Brussels adopts a convenient and efficient transport system boasting inexpensive prices. Unified ticketing is just one of the key advantages of using transport in and around Brussels, offering a generic ticket suitable for many different forms of transport. A MOBIB card would be a great purchase if you are planning to regularly use public transport. This allows you to buy cheaper tickets at €5, with a return priced at €4.
Grabbing a quick bite to eat whilst enjoying a busy day in the city could not be easier in Brussels, with numerous handy vendors offering tasty snacks for just a couple of euros. To buy groceries, if you prefer home cooked meals, you are generally looking at around €35-€50 per week. Overall, expect a great variety of food for a decent price which is easily accessed all over the city.
What can you do in your spare time?
Whether you're into history and culture or nightlife and concerts, Brussels boasts an abundance of attractions for young professionals and if you plan to relocate there, you'll have all the time in the world to explore its impressive offerings. If you've never been to the country, we would recommend visiting the main attractions such as the Atomium; one of the most remarkable architectural structures in Belgium. Furthermore, the Grand Place is one not to miss and you can easily spend more than one day in this tranquil central square, offering idyllic boutiques, beer bars and so much more. There are also plenty of interesting museums to soak up the Belgian culture and learn more about its impressive history.
Belgians are known to host some of the world's greatest music festivals, especially throughout the Spring and Summer months. Due to the many festivals comes many genre's, meaning there is something for everyone. A great past time enjoyed in Belgium is keeping active and participating in the country's most popular sports, with football and hockey being the most played. If you are looking to join a team sport, there are plenty of options for expats to take part in amateur teams and we're sure you'll find something near you. Cycling is also a key sport within the Belgian community, especially when there are so many scenic paths right on your doorstep.
If you prefer a relaxing day out with friends, Belgium boasts some fantastic beaches with a stunning 65km coastline, whilst still offering the opportunity to take part in various sporting activities and visit pleasant restaurants. It's fair to say you will never be short of exploring the country's wonderful attractions, joining new clubs and visiting its famous cultural events.
So, if you are pondering the idea of exploring a neighbouring country look no further than Belgium. This country is perfect for young professionals looking to enhance their career opportunities without constraints. With the many possibilities, generous salaries and great standards of living, Belgium has many attractive factors for those looking for a close home from home.