Can Ireland offer better life than America?

Hi Everyone

Living outside the States in a different culture has been a long time goal and now here we are finally in the deciding stages of picking where best to set up home. I've narrowed down my choices to three countries, and of them it's my opinion that Ireland is the best place for several reasons. I considered France and the UK but Ireland's culture from what other people have told me has the more easy going society which might make assimilation less stressful.

I'm sure France and the UK offer a great way of life and both with a stimulating cultural experience. But with France the transition would be complicated by a different language, and the UK based on my friend's opinion would be amazing but the society is substantially more conservative compared to that in America.  Assimilation might be more of a issue. And Ireland sounds like a fun place with a bunch of positive people.  And it doesn't hurt that my family have some Irish blood.

So my questions are these:

How accepting are the Irish of Americans immigrants?
We love the Irish in America but as a country we have made our share of international blunders which have hurt our standing in the world.
Is there a stigma about American immigrants in Europe?
As a African American would I encounter any substantial bias living in the large cities in Ireland? Places like Cork, Belfast, Dublin.
Americans are sometimes viewed as being part and parcel identified as the same as American foreign policy and that can make life difficult for those of us that travel internationally. And despite whether we agree with our current government or not. And for safety reasons it's important to do a bit du diligence when moving to a completely different country.

Just want to thank all for taking the time to read my posting.

Easily. especially with America becoming a shithole under Trump, unless you are raich, white and a jesus freak. However, it is very hard to immigrate to Ireland unless you are relatively rich unless you can get a work sponsor.

I am perhaps not qualified to answer as I am an Aussie living in Australia, but I have worked in both the USA and Ireland.  But I do have a few thoughts and observations.  'Looking different' may actually be an advantage.  As I look Irish (my ancestors came from Ireland and my name is O'Reilly), I actually had a slightly more confusing time in Ireland as people just assumed that I was Irish so I had to explain 'who' I was regularly.   So I would try to use this to your advantage.  And just make sure that you explain to people that you are NOT just a tourist and you are living there.  It isn't so much that tourists are badly treated, but it is that people will treat you as if they will probably never see you again, which may not be the case.  All the best!  It should be exciting!

Hi and welcome to the Forum.

If degrees of Conservatism is the judgement mark, then perhaps whoever told you that Ireland is more or less than the UK/France has perhaps a different understanding of the word; it certainly wasn't my experience

I've lived/worked in all 3 countries; to try and answer your questions:

How accepting?  If you go with the flow and understand that being "Black-Irish" in Ireland probably doesn't mean what you think it does, Ireland has some historical and religious issues, but all in all, it's a great place.

We love the Irish .....  Is there a stigma about American immigrants in Europe?  Fare comment in some places, I'm a US citizen living in the UK, I've never encountered any issues, but that's probably because I'm white and speak with a Cockney accent, but speak 3 of their languages.

As an African American would I encounter any substantial bias?  There are xenophobes everywhere, some of them are racist as well, just like in the US.  If this is your reason for leaving the US, then you are likely to be disappointed.

There are people around who actively dislike Americans, they are a tiny minority but you are likely to attract them if you are routinely loud with a "howdy ya'll".

In general, you will need to get a work permit in order to live in Ireland, getting them is not simple unless you have some unique skill-set; this link will take you to the Irish Government website where you can start your journey.

Hope this helps.

Cynic
Expat Team

I want to thank all of you for taking the time In responding to my post. Some enlightening thoughts about how an American might be received in Ireland. I've been reassured by my employers that living in Ireland, social acceptance wise would not be any different than living in the States. But those sentiments are coming from sources that (A), have been trying to convince me to take an assignment for over several years now, in one of our overseas locations, and (B), don't have the same ethnicity safety concerns as a person of color.

I have no doubt they would rally around me if any issues were to occur but I just want to make sure by doing my homework that this move is not something that looks better on paper than in reality. It's very easy to romantisize life in a far off country. And let's be honest we have not done ourselves any favor by electing political leaders that the rest of the world hate with a passion. The last thing I want to do is take a butt whipping for Donald Trump's actions. That is where I draw the line and will be forced to announce that yes, I'm Canadian. Yes, the old I'm Canadian get out of jail card move!

Got to love our neighbors to the North for being kind people with a sense of humor. And hopefully receptive and understanding to the emergency need when nationality appropiation happens as a last resort.  But all jokes aside. To avoid sounding and appearing anything but what I am, homework will be done.

I have to say one of the reasons why the UK felt like the wrong choice is due to a strong element of anti-Americanism. And that is based on what my friends and some of my co-workers say.  Not including Scotland, from what their experiences have shown.

On a lighter note how would you say the nightlife stacks up in the cities in Ireland not including Dublin?
Thank you

I would say the biggest issue you will have to cope with if you move, is the climate.
It is very wet, although not as bad as Cornwall in SW of the UK, and the sunny days are much much fewer than pretty much anywhere in the USA. I would do a serious weather check and think if you could cope with it before deciding on Ireland.
It’s a wonderful country and lovely people but be warned, don’t believe anything you are told when buying a property, check everything out.
Good luck.

I'm hoping the weather will not prove to be a huge obstacle in Europe. Atlanta has the best winters with just enough cold in the air but not overwhelming. The winters last here for only three months and the sun shines most days in winter. I know it will be the opposite in Ireland but the addition of a new interesting culture should make up for a challenging winter. I will learn to appreciate doing more activities indoors. Should be fun, at least I hope it will.

Hi again.

Winters over here are nothing like Atlanta, but as you say, the interesting culture, like developing webbed feet will be part of the challenge. :)

Indoor activities outside of the few cities are the pub, shortly followed by the pub, oh, and did I mention the pub.  I haven't been there for a few years now, but most of the pubs were closed all day on a Sunday, bizarrely, hotel bars were open - perhaps that's changed?

I just Googled trying to find if anybody has done a blog of their experiences; seems to be a lot of bucket lists of things to do before you die, which kind of tells you there must be at least 25 things to do when you get there.  You could always become a workaholic and get your bosses job, then when you go back to the US you can fire his ass for sending you to such a god-forsaken dump.

Hope this helps.

Cynic
Expat Team

It has been mentioned that I am a workaholic but I like to party equally as much. If Ireland is to be my destination of choice it will need to offer more than just pub life to keep me excited long term because I'm not the biggest bar person. But I've been told that pubs in Europe are more than just a place to have a few drinks, that it's a dinner meetup social setting as well. So I'm hoping there are great parks, amazing sporting events and maybe a few theme amusement parks to spend time. Looking for a well rounded place to call my new home. Ireland might not be all that and a bag of chips. Maybe a summer visit will tell the story. I would hate to move there without first doing research and find out that there really is not much to do but a handful of options. Especially after my management keep telling me how great Ireland is long term. I would want to fire them all. That is the reason Scotland is also on my list of places to consider.

If you could pick any country in Europe which two countries would you select for a well rounded place to call home including nightlife? I keep hearing Germany and Belgium but I'm not familiar. To be honest the language difference is concerning.

Hi again.

Pubs in Ireland/UK tended to be a place where people meet up and many have social activities (maybe a Sunday soccer/cricket team, or a Darts league).  The problem with pubs nowadays is that many of the good sites in the towns/cities have been bought out by big business and turned into bar/restaurants) and they all follow the good business adage of 30% or closure; end result of which is that many old pubs/bars have now closed.

We currently live in a village in North Yorkshire; when we first moved there it had 5 pubs, now it has 1, although another is in the process of being refurbished, but it will be a bar/restaurant when done; the rest have been converted into housing.  Pubs in many areas across the country have to compete with what is known as "working men's clubs", many of these are members only and some are still in the stone age with segregation of men from anybody else who might disturb their domino game, but a place with an open to all club is certainly worth considering.  We have 2 in our village, ones a coal-miners club, the other a veterans association (Legion), both have good activities for all and the veterans club allowing some of us older guys to pull up a sandbag and tell our war stories with our peers and make fun of the ex-sailors/marines (who are legitimate targets after all).

To answer your question, Holland (where most of my family are from and where I am sat at the moment) or Germany would be my choice of places to go.  Belgium should be avoided at all costs, it is full of people who talk funny (at least to those of us who speak proper Dutch); seriously though, why not, apart from the horrendous traffic, it does have nice beer and fries.  Languages can be learnt; if you have a high school diploma, there is absolutely no reason why you can't learn another language and is a lot of fun if you like self-castigation and continual embarrassing situations where, for example, you walk into a post office for a postage stamp, but walk out with a lottery ticket - yes, I did that; I have the ticket framed in our downstairs bathroom at home.

If you work for a multi, then it's almost certain that their overseas offices have English speaking staff, it shouldn't be a problem for a manager who already knows the business to adapt/integrate and what better way to meet people than when they have to listen to you. :)

Hope this helps.

Cynic
Expat Team

Do you love living in Holland?

I feel learning a different language is possible and doing so might be very enjoyable but it would be a slow process. I'm certainly open to the idea. Just have to hire a talented agency that is willing to teach a older dog a new trick. I hear so many fun facts about Germany but the language issue does concern me. Sound like you speak several languages.

I'll try to include a visit to Germany before the deadline to finalize my decision. I was thinking that Germans are more formal people than the Irish or Scots. But maybe that is just a myth. Your information is very helpful. So kind of you.

Hi again,

Holland is a great country.

Learning languages is a confidence thing, not wanting people to laugh at your mistakes.  To be honest, if you're only going to live in a country for a short time, you'll get by just by learning the basics (hello, goodbye, order a drink/meal, ask for directions to the train station).  Through living and working in places for some considerable time, I speak 3 languages, 2 fluently, another not so well through lack of recent practice and forgetting some of the vocabulary; but I still have my moments where I don't have a clue what I'm going to say next, then it comes rushing back; I sometimes forget English words for things.  Sit really is a confidence thing, not caring that we all make mistakes.  Thinking about it, you'll have issues talking to Irish and Scots people until you pick up the dialects and accents they use - it's the same thing.  Number one tip when speaking another language - don't forget to breath.

Hope this helps.

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