Cyprus Expat Forum - relocation queries

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magsmcc
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From: Ireland
12/29/2006 21:05    
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Hi,
It's nearing the end of another year and here i am - still dreaming of a new life in the sun! Plan for 2007 - to stop daydreaming and start doing something about it! Plan is to take a 3 month career break from April to June and come to Cyprus to check things out. I believe southern cyprus is getting more expensive with the cost of living going up all the time. Is this true? Want a quiet pace of life, with a low cost of living, so considering Northern Cyprus. But advice on any area would be welcome.

I am a registered general nurse and wonder if anyone can help me find out more about nursing in Cyprus. Are there many job opportunities? Would i need to speak the lingo? What would the salary be like in comparrison to the cost of living. Any advice on nursing in Cyprus would be helpful.

My husband is unskilled but not work shy. Would it be difficult for him to find employment?

We have a 4 year old son, so naturally we're looking for a nice environment for him to grow up in. I've been looking up on Sunny Lane School in Northern Cyprus. Does anyone know of it? Is it near any hospitals? Commuting is not my favourite pastime so hence this seemingly daft question. Any info on childminding facilities would be helpful too.

If anyone out there has any advice or information that may be useful, it would be much appreciated. This daydreaming has to stop!!

Gracie06
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From: England
1/2/2007 07:27    
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Hello magsmcc! Nursing isn't my forte and I can't advise you on such but if you are looking for a quieter pace of life and depending on your viewpoint, why don't you consider setting up your own childminding service in Southern Cyprus because I would have thought that nursing, though rewarding as a profession, would be stressful anywhere! In my opinion, from the research I've done both on the internet and from talking with friends in Cyprus, you only get paid a better salary if you have a degree. Having said that it will be nowhere near what you are getting in the UK. If you can get up to CY £1000 per month in Cyprus then you are rich but European workers tend to be paid less than Cypriots even though we are all in the same boat. However, at present you can earn up to CY £10k without having to pay tax. A friend of mine runs an information office for a property developer in Paphos and earns CY £640 a month tax free and she runs a 3 bed villa (without a pool) on this. Its a high standard of living from a low income and a lower cost of living than the UK. There's a low crime rate, 340 days of sunshine (no tumble dryer required), rain fall (other than storms) are generally for 2 months of the year (Dec thru Jan/Feb), swimming is free (no more cumbersome trips to the public swimming pool), public transport is cheap, local fruit and veg is incredibly cheap compared to UK, most of the shops sell all the leading products that you can in England. There is an M&S, a Debenhams, Next, Body Shop, and other well known high street shops. They drive on the left, the legal system is based on the UK's as is the tax system, but cheaper!!

As for Northern Cyprus, yes it's beautiful, yes it's incredibly cheap, but wages are incredibly low (lower than southern cyprus) and unless you are 1000% sure that your title deeds are PRE 1974 then ALL exchange title deeds are subject to the dodgy factor. You should read the Place in The Sun Magazine November 2006, the case of the ORAM's in the European Court. Although they won their appeal to enable them to keep their dream house in Northern Cyprus obtained on an exchange title deed (the first ruling had declared that they must demolish their house and pay compensation to the Greek Cypriot owner, which would have seen them losing their UK house also), purchasing anything in Northern Cyprus is a no-no. Even our Foreign Office advises against doing this. Northern Cyprus is under military occupation since 1974. It is not recognised as a separate state other than by Turkey and at some point when the borders are relaxed, thousands of displaced and refugeed Greek Cypriots/Turkish Cypriots are going to want to reclaim their lands and their belongings which they are entitled to do so under UN legislation and vice-versa. Do you really want to be in Northern Cyprus when this happens because I wouldn't want to be. My boss has had a house built so far up the Penninsular in Northern Cyprus that he can "wave" at the Turks on the mainland as he puts it and his title deeds are pre 1974 but a friend I work with has built a bungalow for investment purposes in Kyrenia and has an exchange title deed and following the ORAM report is now wondering whether the Turkish barrister has told him the truth!! Sunny Lane School looks fantastic, set up by 2 brits for the expat community and Turkish Cypriot kids also. Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot people are extremely friendly for sure and whilst southern cyprus has blossomed, northern cyprus has stayed very much the same as it was before the invasion. Investment has taken place in the areas around Kyrenia but you have to remember that Turkey controls this area. Turkey is not in the EU and you have no UN safeguards in Northern Cyprus. If your son goes to school in Northern Cyprus he will have his lessons conducted in English but will learn Turkish as a compulsory lesson. English children in southern cyprus learn Greek as a compulsory lesson. Northern Cyprus is a beautiful area but marred by so much saddness. Nice to visit but I wouldn't want to live there. Please remember these are my personal opions, others may disagree with me. I hope some of this helps. Gracie06

magsmcc
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From: Ireland
1/2/2007 19:14    
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Hello Gracie06! Thanks for the reply. You are a wealth of information. Been reading through lots of your info on the site, all very useful stuff! I understand fully what you are saying about Northern Cyprus, have done a bit of reading and it gets scarier by the minute! Not sure I could cope with the thought of 1000s of refugees charging through my garden to reclaim my dream home! My sensible head (which doesn't surface often), tells me 'don't go there'. Perhaps I should listen to it for once!

Anyway I am still no further forward on the nursing opportunities there. Are there any British nurses out there who can offer advice?
Given the choice however, I would happily give up nursing. The last few years have seen a steady decline in job satisfaction. And as you say, I fear conditions and stress levels will be the same wherever you go. Even if the sun is shining! Childminding would be an option, my experience as a nurse and mother would go a long way there!! But, if it is anything like here, that would not be enough and I would need a mountain of certificates to prove my capabilities! Would there be a demand in Cyprus for childminding facilities?
Some more queries for you (sorry to burden you with all this). As I said we are coming to Cyprus in April for 3 months. I have been in touch with various estate agents enquiring about accomodation. Lots of availablility, some expensive enough, especially in the Pathos area. Can you recommend a good area to be based that is reasonably priced. Don't need to be in the centre of things as we will be hiring a car. Prefer village life anyway, so long as there are a few local restaurants, shops etc. Obviously need to have accomodation arranged before setting off. Landing in an airport with a tired 4 year old and no bed does not appeal! Just hate the thought of booking something on the net and discovering it would be half the price if you'd booked it locally (past-experiences haunt me still) Same for car-hire. Would we be better to get a car locally on arrival? Petrified at the thought of pre-booking a' luxury villa'for 3 months and arriving in faulty towers with chitty chitty bang bang parked outside! Do you have any contacts that could help?

As for schooling. Must have a positive attitude and look ahead! I know there are good private schools. But as my son is only beginning how do you think he would cope starting out his schooling in a Greek language state school. I am a great believer that children of that age are very adaptable and can cope with anything! And to be fluent in other language would be a great benefit in later life. What do you think. Would I be a cruel mother to even contemplate such a thing??

Anyway, enough about my dilemmas.

How about you. Did you move in to your dream home? Are you living in Cyprus now? Does the reality match the dream?
Look forward to hearing from you.

magsmcc.
A HEALTHY AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL

Gracie06
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From: England
2/6/2007 22:23    
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Dear Magsmcc
Not ignoring you, just lots happening and not much time for the net! To answer some of your questions from your last reply - here goes. You know me, it won't be short!!

NURSING/CHILDMINDING - Have you thought about the Nursing Times, classsified section advertising jobs abroad and various upper crust papers. There's an agency in London called GREYCOAT PLACEMENTS (on the net) - (not bad for a girl from the frozen north!!). Typically they find "staff" for folks in the UK and abroad. All very la-di-da BUT a great source of info. The point of my mentioning this is that maybe they might have a client in Cyprus who needs your help in the nursing/
childminding role. It might be worth a look-see. Next time you reply tell me what kind of nursing you do - your speciality, your Grade and registration level (SEN, RGN, Degree in Nursing or Occ Health, Nurse Practitioner etc) so I can do some digging on your behalf.

PAPHOS - an area to live in - Why do you want to move to Cyprus and why Paphos? The only reason I ask is that I personally believe that Paphos and surrounding areas has the best scenery but the highest house prices. What you will pay for a 2/3 bed house in Paphos will get you a 4 bed in the Larnaca area with much more thrown in as standard.

SCHOOLING - I would agree with you that a young child of 4 years will cope with the greek schooling route and maybe you might want to consider getting him into a nursery for some of the time he is with you in April so that he can interact with other children and pick up a bit of the language.

ACCOMMODATION - Go to www.paphosfinders.com and look at their renting section. Then speak to Lisa, George or Chris and get them to send details. Very helpful. If they want to know who sent you, just tell them the folks who were interested in the big old house with the fruit trees in Giolou (Yol-oo). Their office is based in Tala and Tala is a lovely village with the atmosphere you are looking for. Mesogi (Mess-ogg-ee) (5 mins from the ISoP) is another lovely place. Giolou, Stroumpi (Strump-ee), Filou, Drymou all heading out of Paphos going towards Polis may look far out but are only 30 mins max away from Paphos (will be quicker when the new motorway extension goes in in approx 2008/9). Giolou is a lovely place (nearly bought a house there) AND has its own local school. Polemi which is another lovely place. Much bigger but still retaining its charm but offering more in the way of shops etc than the villages. Polemi has the "secondary" school for the villages. Other places between the airport and paphos to consider are Kissonerga
(g, as in green), Mandria, Timi (Tim-ee), Anarita.

NICK TOURNAVITIS, another pal, runs his own house finding agency called Locationwisecyprus.com and maybe able to help you. Tell him his ex Pafilia client sent you!!

CHRISTINA at CHRISTINA'S GALLERY, PISSOURI - (piss-oo-ree) (great place to live if you get drunk coz of its name!!!) is actually an area to die for, is half way between Paphos and Limassol (about 30 mins by car), Type in Pissouri and then Christina's Gallery and up should come a lady called Christina who with her English husband runs an art gallery/estate agency. They can find you accommodation to rent. I believe that it you rent through them, they will also pick up from the airport and arrange useful things like a box of essentials for those arriving late. I will live in that village one day! Beautiful, truly beautiful! Small intimate village with a good mix of locals and us brits. The village is on the top of the hill and the newer bit halfway down. Right at the bottom on the beach is a 5 star hotel with a nice price tag to boot. There is also a fantastic on the beach fish restaurant. The real Pissouri is intimate but hilly (good lungs required) but is oh so beautiful. It has many tavernas, shops, a great community spirit and friendliness I have never experienced anywhere in my entire life. The whole village gets together every wednesday throughout the summer season for a village night of food and wine and music and the streets of Pissouri are paved with tables and chairs for the locals and tourists alike. Where do you find that spirit here? Go mooch on the net.

HIRING CARS - My personal opion - yep it's cheaper to strike a deal in Cyprus than booking one in advance. You need to be brave and do a bit of bargaining. In April, they are only starting off their tourist season so haggle like mad for a great price. You will need your paper driving licence but most of the places we used accept a photocard driving id. Driving standards in Cyprus are generally poor by UK standards but very little car crime. We went with our friend Nick T. to a restaurant for a drink and he left his car running outside, unlocked so as to keep the car cool and it was still there when we had finished 30 minutes later. I was like a nervous wreck. Apart from the CO2 emissions, you sure as eggs are eggs, could not have done than in the UK!

Hope this epic in some way helps. Reply when you can.

Best wishes Gracie06

Gracie06
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From: England
2/6/2007 22:38    
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It's not over until the fat lady sings and I'm not! - knew there was something I'd forgotton to say.

Not in Cyprus yet, husband out there for a few days on his own to sort out a few things face to face with our lawyer out there.

One thing stops us going at the moment and that is the sale of our house.

Don't suppose you know anyone who wants to buy a 5 bed large executive type house set in its own plot of 1/3 acre of garden, in the North East with loads of fantastic transport links close to the sea and the North York moors, do you?

Gracie06 x

FPE
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From: Cyprus
2/7/2007 09:53    
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Hi Gracie,
Just saw your reply on the board. I know a couple in Cyprus that are looking to move back to the Thornaby area when he retires. The house might be too big for them but if you can give me a bit more detail I will pass it on.
you can email me directly on vivian@financialplanningforexpats.com

maggiem2
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From: Cyprus
2/27/2007 18:13    
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Hi
We are moving out to Cyprus hopefully next May(2008). I am a nurse & may be looking for work. My husband is a builder but he is going to be busy for the first couple of years doing our own project. I have tried making contact via e-mail, to make enquiries about work for me, but the Cypriots appear to be reluctant to use e-mail.

On another note, what is it like to live out there? The cost of living seems comparable to the UK but are there any downside to Cyprus. Is there anything that we should avoid or be aware about?

maggiem2
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From: Cyprus
2/27/2007 18:22    
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Hi

I am a nurse as well and would like to work part-time out there. I hope to eventually do some B&B or self catering for the tourist.

We have noted that there is very little self catering away from the coast.
We will be living in a village at the towards the mountains. So plenty of walking & stuff but little accomadation. We are coming over again in June and had to do a lot of searching to find holiday lets inland.

Are there any common pitfalls to moving to Cyprus?

Regards Maggie

mdrewett
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From: Cyprus
4/1/2007 20:38    
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In the current issue of 'The Cyprus Lion' which is the weekly paper for the British Bases here, there are recruiting adverts for Nurses (grade E) to work at the medical centres at each of the main bases, Dhekehlia, Epsikopi and Akrotiri. The rates are about C£10 per hour. Note these adverts are for UK Dependentants only i.e. soldiers/airmens wives, but I'm fairly sure they have other vacancies for the general community. This sort of job would present no language difficulties.

Having said that, My wife recently gave birth in a local private clinic - many of the foreign staff did not speak a word of English (but then again we are in Cyprus - they probably spoke Greek). I suppose what this amounts to is that the requirement to speak Greek may not be so demanding within the Medical system.

Schooling. If you live near a British Base it is generally possible for a child to go to the School on the base, as a matter of opinion (having a new baby), I would choose to send my child to a Greek School to ensure integration and future language difficulties, if an English School is wanted there are several in this area (Larnaca). Of course the Bases may not always be there.....

I have lived here for 18 months, I would hate to go back, and have no intention of doing so. Cyprus is not Utopia and is becoming increasingly expensive (expecting a 10% rise in cost of living when the conversion to Euros takes place in January). We whinging Brits have three major dislikes, the Beurocracy, the driving, and the treatment of animals (my dog was intentionally killed - poisoned last year). But these complaints pale into into insignificance if you live in England and anticipate getting your house burgled twice a year. Other than the weather, I view the ability to walk around without fealing theatened to be a major benefit.

One final cynical comment - it easier to find someone to who speaks English here, than in England!!

Regards

catwoman
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10/9/2009 06:02    
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dear gracie, I ma trying to get hold of Nick Tournavitis, do you have his email or cyprus mobile number?

Thanks

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