Random Belgium Questions.

A foreward.
I'm moving to Belgium in Jan/Feb(?) with my lady friend.

I have no offer of employment, but work in management level supply chain.

I Will be there for 90 days, at least so if things don't work I can pimp myself to all other supply chain/shipping companies in the country to beg for work and a Visa.

Any advice? I can't get a visa prior, and it doesnt really matter since i'm a US citizen.. so I guess I'm going to stay until either me or her finds work, and figure out a visa.

What happens if we cant get work? Can we get a student Visa's and pay for school insted?? How much is College in Belgium, and do I need to be a citizen?
Is it like America? Illegals get a free ride.. lol .. j/k - but not really.

I will be bringing a fair amount of money for us to live on - any thoughts?

One welcome address:

Marie-Louise Demeesterplein #3 suite 2
Beglium 8800 Roeselare

email: stefaan.meeuws[at]gmail.com
msn: rsdev[at]live.com
Skype: stefaan.meeuws
cell: 0487 251 813

I'm a dual citizen (Belgian / American) but my U.S. paperwork some of it was destroyed, so I can't go back right away. And keep your cash close to your chest. I don't need it. Note: I live in a small studio, the size of a match box. But I do have 2 silicon mattresses, and we can sleep in separate areas in my studio. Two persons is pushing it, if you bring your family (grandma, her dog, and the kitchen sink), they would have to stay in the hallway.

I do have connections, but you can count those on the fingers of one hand.

You will be sharing my studio with about 10 gold fish, several guppies, and three Indonesian mud crawlers (a kind of snake-fish). They sub-rent a couple aquariums. There's a flat screen, a couple computers, internet connection, and as I'm a ninjutsu-master, a number of lethal weapons, explosives excluded, by my own hand, all of which are inaccessbile but me. There's a kitchenette, a bathroom with shower and a door that can be locked, and three windows looking out on a square with on the other side a giant church. During the day it's noisy, they're restoring the church, and at night it's noisy also, my next door girl being a prostitute, another neighbor being a heroin dealer, and yet another one right out of prison for international drug smuggling. So, the hallways may appear cleaner than those in a hospital, safety is another matter. Entrance to my studio is with a code-lock, and over the past 13 years my neighbor's attitude is to knock on my door only when then are in extreme distress. Conclusively, being a Zen Buddhist, people in a wide circle around me, treat me as the keeper of peace and quiet, not afraid to face certain death by visitors of my neighbors (I nearly did get murdered 3 years ago), and - I'm not at all boasting - in the city center of Roeselare, not 99% but 100% of people whose path I cross, have shared amongst them the smarts of not approaching me within arm's length. This includes, perhaps surprisingly, police officers of all grades, people in high places the likes of politicians, school kids, and even stray dogs. The safest place for anyone to be around here, is to walk beside me, shoulder to shoulder.

I wish I could turn back time, when people still talked to one another on the street, when shoulder pats and hugs and hand-shakes and friendly faces were the norm. But, this is Belgium 2010, where child rape is no longer frowned upon, and soon it will be Belgium 2011, by the spring of which, the travel advisory for Americans in Belgium will sound like "avoid, avoid, avoid at all cost".

So get your butt over here, we'll work something out. For the sake of your wallet, trust only people which your intuition pre-approves. I may be destitute, not by choice, still since I find sufficient funding to source my hobby as a rc helicopter pilot, money is not my desire. Don't read into this that i'm a moron, cos for instance i will accept (to jog your mind) a flight ticket, a selection of items on my wish list on ebay to service my helicopters, a free meal, and (to over-stretch your mind) the filing fee for my n-595, which is $380, the US embassy said. But money in and out of itself? That's a simple and polite "no, thanks" from me.

Having established I'm not a financial idiot, it is time to stress that my invitation to share my place does not imply my expectation of your contrubution. Again, it can be anything, but not money. If it's nothing, that would be okay for me, because it changes not one thing for me.

Next I wait for your reply. Then I'd like to send you pictures of the inside of my studio. The train station is a 20 minute walk away, and Brussels Airport is less than 1 hour by train.

Being surrounded by remarkable people who often confront the law by breaking it, I stress that I am trouble-free. You need help from police at some point? Even before you replace the horn on the phone, I guarantee you that two humoungous police officers will stand beside you, the kind that has to tilt their head a little to pass through the doorway. Day or night, they appear not to run, but to race to my aid. I already told that at one time, they were no more than 15 seconds late to save my life. The prostitute's customer managed to trip me and push me down 12 stairs of granite steps. By the time this guy had nearly done breaking my face, with the back of my head to the ground, the officers entered and jailed that customer. This is the worst that ever happened to me here, and you may rightfully conclude there is not a chance anything like this can happen to you. If you keep your hands to your side, and stay in control of your body laguage. And talk to no one in this building.

In town I have contacts that open gates to for instance "au pair support", where you should be able to connect with fellow Americans other than me. We are very few, and we need to stick toghether.

The city of Roeselare is a visual beauty, and it is a lot less messy than say Ghent, or Bruges, or Brussels. And thanks to the presence of the train station, there is always a quick way out.

My flat at this moment is 50% personal space, and 50% work shop. In The work shop I manufacture rc helicopters and rc airplances and other things rc. If you're at home in these areas (and this will sound coo-coo), then I'm willing to pay you commensurate experience to comment on my work.

I go on and on, don't i? Ypres, with its war graves, is about 30 minutes away by bus. The sea side is also about 1 hour away by train. I say "sea", and I mean "North Sea", which is, to those in-the-know, a sewer for Belgium, France, The Netherlands, and England. One way to get a free skin-peeling is to swim in it. You're better off using one of my yachts, if that strikes your fancy. My helicopter pilot license is not recognized in Belgium, which explains why I continue to train my skills with scale models. Scale models are not, as I'm sure you realize, not to be underestimated at all. Think "intelligence gathering". Think "militairy applications". Thinks "costs a hell of a lot of money". Do not think "Pfft, just toys." Once you comprehend that I design and prototype the models I pilot, you are able to categorize me as the Technical Engineer I was trained to be.

Let me send you some pics of the inside of my studio. As it is. Changes will need to be made so you can enjoy it, also. This is not a problem, instead, I find this motivation.

My contact details:

Stefaan Meeuws
Marie-Louise Demeesterplein nr 3 suite 2
Belgium 8800 Roeselare

cell: 0487 251 813
email: stefaan.meeuws[at]gmail.com
skype: stefaan.meeuws
msn: rsdev[at]live.com

WorldExpat, that is very very FALSE information. You have to leave Schengen for 90 days before returning again. You absolutely cannot "reset" your stay by simply crossing the border and returning, please do not spread this false info!!

Ups, sorry. Melby, thank you for correcting me! I was extrapolating from what is valid for the ME... my fault.

No problem, it's fairly common for people to think that; I have no idea how it got started, but I try to make sure I stop it in its tracks whenever I see it!! Don't want people ending up being forbidden to enter countries or whatnot due to hearing rumors and doing the wrong thing! lol

I knew the 90 days was a limit per 6 months in any of the Schengen Visa member countries, but thank you for that Melby.

Stefaan, wow guy. You are an intersting character, sorry .. ninja.. :D  I will have to decline your apt offer, Immoweb has TONS of furnished apts available for us when we arrive. I don't know if I can handle your guns and explosives, I'm an American Republican, I have enough of my own ;)

How about trade schools in Belgium? Anyone have experience with that type of information they could share? Plumbing, Pipe fitting, Electricians? I'd like to get there, and enroll ASAP, cash up front, just wondering the costs? 3-5,000 EU I would imagine?

I don't want to get there and have to come home because I have the money, but no work :( that would be sad for my lady friend and I.. and her dog.. haha.

Plenty of cash, but no idea how to stay without a visa, and I'm not a college guy - so no B visa for me. She isn't either.

You wouldn't be able to work without being an EU citizen/resident. And the trade stuff can be rather hard to get into, from what I hear. But regardless, without residency stating you can work... You'll need to look up on the embassy websites and whatnot, if it's possible for you to get any kind of visa. But you won't be able to get a job as an American citizen with no sponsorship from a Belgian company - and they cannot provide that unless they have proven that no Belgian citizen, and then no EU citizen, is able to do that job. Which is rather difficult to have happen.

I'm moving to Belgium sometime in the near future to be with my fiance and since we are not planning on getting married for a few years I have the same issue.
I called the consulate for Belgium in my area (I think its in DC even from up here in NY) and the women told me the best bet was to go there and find a job and then return and get the visa. You could try getting an English teaching job to start yourself off.
As far as school is concerned, I don't think it's very expensive compared to US schools. University, I was told at least, for a non-resident is around $5,000. With a student visa however, I don't think you can work.

You can't just go anywhere and teach English. Not in Europe. In Western Europe degrees are required to teach English, and most people who live in the countries speak English. It's not like going to Asia or Africa etc where there is a high demand for English teachers and little qualification is needed. You need at least a BA, and teaching certifications. Also, I'm kind of surprised they told you that... your fiancé is an EU citizen? If so, you are able to move here to be with them without very much trouble, you only need to prove you have enough money to sustain yourself. Plus, like I already mentioned, you can only get a job in the EU as a foreigner if they can prove that no one in the country, and then no one in the EU, is qualified to do this job. It's not like you come and just see if random jobs are available and then fill out a form saying you found one, or something. They have to prove to the government that no EU citizen is able to do this job, and provide sponsorship to you. This is a very complex procedure and most businesses are not willing to deal with the hassle of it.

Teaching jobs are harder to come by in Western Europe but not impossible with out a teaching degree. I have a friend who was given two offers in Italy and I met some Americans who were just out of college (not for education) who were teaching English in Spain.
The visa to go stay with him because he is my finace is really complicated and involves not being able to leave the country for up to 15 months. Plus, I can't financially sustain myself until I'm there long enough to get residency anyway. I'm a photographer, which being an art is very specific to the individual. I obviously wouldn't just look for a random no-skill job. It could be possible to find a job within your field, especially in Brussels where there are many foreign workers and companies. Actually, many of the Europeans I know said it is easier for an American to get a job in Europe right now then EU citizens.

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