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The best services to use when moving to Belgium

Hello everyone,

What were the biggest hurdles you faced when moving to Belgium? Were there any services available that helped?

Which services helped you most upon your arrival in Belgium? Were there any that helped you adapt and integrate in your new home?

Are there any services that you wished were available when you moved to Belgium?

Did you find the price of the different services available reasonable? Were there any that were overpriced, to your mind?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

Not sure if I can recommend services per se, but there are a few things I wish I'd known better before making the move:
1. The immigration process is very time-consuming. It might be worth inquiring online into which town halls work most efficiently. This certainly wasn't on my list of reasons to choose a place to live, but if I could do it over again, it would be (hint: Schaerbeek isn't one of those places).
2. If you like to do things in the evening, get on Google Maps and try to find shops that are open after work (by which I mean after 6 or 7 pm). It's hard in Belgium in general... in my case, I like to swim, but late-night pools are hard to come by. Had I known, I might have moved closer to a pool that's open when I leave the office.
3. Same goes for grocery stores. If you already know where you'll be working, have a look at what's in the area. If there isn't much, be prepared to move close to a shop, or prepare not to be able to do much shopping. Things close extremely early here (think of small-town schedules elsewhere, even if you're in Brussels).
4. If you happen to know anyone in Belgium already, it might be worth moving close to them, if only to have someone to assist with errands like picking up packages at the post office. I moved here sight unseen with no contacts and I'm struggling to take care of my day-to-day errands because I don't work close to home, and by the time I leave work everything is shut. It seems the locals rely on friends, family, roommates etc. to fill the gaps when they're at work.
5. An immigration service like PwC may be of help, if you can spare the cash or get it reimbursed by your company. They haven't been able to handle everything for me, but they smoothed the transition somewhat.

Moving to Brussels was a really exciting experience.
I must say that one of the best things was the German classes that I had with some other people. It was really great to meet people from all over the world and at the same time learn one of the three languages of the country :D
I really recommend it! It was awesome!
learn-german-online.eu/ Let me know if you ever want to join me there :)

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