Not a tough Decision to leave....

I was sent to Belgium just over 2 weeks ago for a short term project which I am still currently on...however, I was offered an opportunity a few days ago for a staff position with the company I am currently working for along with a financial package which is an offer I can't Vietnamese wife and 5 month old Daughter are home in Saigon and my wife is leaping with joy of the prospect of moving to its not a tough decision to make and I am looking forward to leaving Vietnam and heading back to Europe, I won't say living in Vietnam was great because it does have it's downside, however, I won't discourage people from moving to Vietnam for whatever reason because there are elements which I enjoyed about living in VN, but one thing I will say it as a long way to go to make life for an expat more farewell fellow expats I will be signing off in August  :)

Very true, but it seems that a mentality among some expats is you are not allowed to criticise VN. The things here that are the biggest problem can be fixed, but alas it won't happen whilst you have a system where money buys everything. The traffic, officials, visa laws and the lack of responsibilty among the locals won't change due to the mindset of the people in administration. As the saying goes, "you must take the good with the bad".

Having lived in VN for over twelve years and now in Australia with my VN wife and our VN born daughter, I was rather surprised how well we all just fitted back into life here. Our daughter is learning English and doing well at school.  I hope all goes well with your move to Belgium, too.  Enjoy Belgium and best wishes to you and you family.

Greetings Ralph,

Nice to hear about your resettlement and thank you for your kind words...our daughter is only 5 months old so she will get a good start in education and picking up the language here when she is old enough to start...its a great opportunity for my wife also apart from Singapore and KL she hasn't been outside SEA so she is very excited about the whole move..thanks again mate!

I checked online and it appears that as citizen (or should I say subject) of an EU country you have a right to bring your wife apparently without an overwhelming amount of paperwork.   In addition your wife seems to be entitled to work while you are there.  We had a neighbor in HCMC who was a retired Belgian university professor and went with his wife to Belgium each summer but I always assumed she went on a tourist visa.  I do know that if you were a US citizen it would be a 1-2 year ordeal and a tourist visa is precluded after you are married.  You are fortunate in that regard.  EU rules seem a lot more humane. 

Not that it will impact your immediate plans, but what happens if the so-called Brexit wins  the referendum?

Deepsix :

...our daughter is only 5 months old so she will get a good start in education and picking up the language here when she is old enough to start...

Don't hold off on having your wife speak to your daughter in Vietnamese.  There is plenty of evidence that very young children can easily handle learning two languages at once and that it actually helps with brain development.  The cutoff age for native fluency is 5-7 years old but no reason not to work on bilingualism now.

I did notice that the teenage stepdaughter of the Belgian I mentioned earlier spoke English as well as he did as that was the common language between him and her mother.  A Linguistics professor once told me that your native language is what you speak at the dinner table.  I expect your dinner table will be in English, so by all means encourage your wife to speak Vietnamese to your daughter even if you are in Europe.

Absolutely THIGV,

My wife speaks to my daughter in Vietnamese I speak to her in English and of course now with this long term placement in Belgium I am hoping both my wife and daughter will learn Dutch, I already speak Dutch and its one of the official languages in Belgium so that would be really nice.

Cheers for the message mate and have a good day!

In regards to bringing over my family, not too much drama involved, I have a works contract, I will have an home address, I need to apply for a visa for both my wife and daughter and being an EU member at the moment its pretty straight forward, once they arrive I need to register them at the local community office within 8 days so they will be issued with an ID card and I also need to register at the same office which I will do before I return to VN to prepare our family move. If the UK does exit the EU then I assume I will have to apply for a works visa to remain legal which I am sure the company will assist in.

Deepsix :

If the UK does exit the EU then I assume I will have to apply for a works visa to remain legal which I am sure the company will assist in.

I thought you were going to be working in Belgium, how is it related to Britain? Anyhow, good luck with your move!

EDIT: Never mind, I just realized you were English. For all it's worth, I really doubt Brexit will happen, but it will be an interesting referendum for sure!

I suggest that your wife speak to your daughter in Vietnamese, you speak in English, and then your daughter will also pick up Flemish on the street and at school. Do Flemish schools also teach French, the other language of Belgium? 

It is possible for children to learn multiple languages. An example of this is the multi-lingual family of a long distance cycling couple who visited my family in VN: the husband spoke only in Basque to the children, the wife spoke only in Flemish, and the children picked up Spanish and French at school and on the street. The husband spoke four languages and and wife spoke five languages, both including English.

Oy Vey, Sorry, I meant Troi Oi! Deepsix and I was looking forward to meeting up for a beer when you came back. I expect you'll be too busy. Never mind good luck with the new job!


I will be back at the end of June and will be in Saigon until August so we will have that cold one mate and I haven't forgotten you home brew list of items you need!!!!

See you soon mate...have a good weekend

Now that Britain shocked everyone with the vote, I hope you will keep us posted on how things turn out for you.  The Guardian today said that Boris Johnson claimed that Britain would have a points based system to restrict immigration while Brits would have unimpeded access to live, work and buy homes on the continent.  Of course the people in Brussels said rubbish. 

I would hope and expect that your company will make it work for you either way, but it certainly is a lesson not to take things for granted.  Free trade has its winners and losers but certainly people who are inclined to an expat lifestyle will not benefit from the recent trends in the West against internationalism.

Good luck to you.

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