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April 20, 2012 at 5:43 am #1428
Hi there – I’m moving permanently from Texas to Vienna on June 1 – woohoo! I’ve been gathering quotes from ocean freight forwarders for my move. I’ve seen a few recommendations here for international moving companies, but my shipment will be small (less than a container), and there is no employer paying for this move. 🙂 I’d really appreciate any recommendations or warnings about any ocean freight forwarders — I’ve read more horror stories than good reviews.
I understand that there is no customs charge for shipping personal belongings. I’ve seen recommendations about securing a letter from the local consulate to use as proof that I am moving to Vienna, to present when I pick up my shipment. However, I am coming into the country (with my new Austrian husband) on a 90-day tourist visa, so my residency permit application will still be in progress when my belongings arrive. Anyone have experience with this? Do you recommend using a customs broker?
I’ve been giving away/selling so many of my beloved possessions to both lower the cost of shipping, and accommodate a smaller living space. I’m hoping to find a reasonably-priced shipper, or I will be tearing my 30 boxes open to pare down AGAIN. I’ve already narrowed down my collections of music, books, photographs, art, family mementos, and mid-century collectables — not to mention clothes and household things that are hard to find in Vienna. I can leave a few things with friends and relatives, but I don’t want to burden them with much. As I prioritize my possessions, I’d love to know whether there are things you wish you’d taken, or what might have been a waste to bring along. I know I can scan photos, for example, but when I get homesick, will those scans ever be as nice as holding the real ones in my hand?
Thanks for your advice!June 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm #2040SilviaMember
Did you make the move?June 25, 2012 at 8:05 am #2043
Yes, I am in Vienna now. I expect my things to arrive in the next week or so. I’ve got my e-card, residency application is in, and I’ve had my first frustrating visit to a doctor 😉
The Expat Center prepared us so well for the residency application — the officials there very impressed, and even seemed a bit shocked, with how complete and well organized we were with my paperwork.
My next big challenge is finding a job. I am hoping to find administrative work at the UN. I passed my A-1 exam, but it looks like I need at least the A-2 to work for most English-speaking firms — so I have my work cut out for me!
Aside from my new family, I don’t know anyone in Vienna, so I’ll be looking to participate in a “meet up” soon.
Thanks Silvia!June 25, 2012 at 12:34 pm #2044SilviaMember
Welcome to Vienna, Colleen.Glad things are going smoothly and I wish you much luck with the job search.
As far as meeting people it is as simple as saying I am going for a coffee at such and such a place at such and such a time and you will be surprised how fast you can meet people.October 28, 2012 at 2:50 pm #2304ennyrakMember
I am actually gearing up for a move away from Vienna, unfortunately, and am looking for a reputable moving company. Colleen, can you offer any advice on this front? How did you decide on a company?
How was your experience with the company you chose? I’ll be moving to Louisiana, so I imagine they would provide similar services going in that direction as they did coming this way?
Cheers and welcome to Vienna! How are you liking it so far?November 21, 2012 at 11:26 am #2367
I am so sorry to be so late in replying! My shipment went out with 4 Seas International Shipping from Houston, and was delivered to Cargo-Partner GmbH in Vienna. I only sent around 40 boxes, which were palletized, so everything arrived intact and the shipment arrived on time. Cargo-Partner was kind enough to send a delivery person who knew a bit of English. 4-Seas is licensed by the Federal Maritime Commission. I’d gotten quite a few quotes from forwarders with spotty reputations, before learning that I should look for the FMC license.
I am loving being in Vienna, but it will be much better after I find a job, learn German, and make a few friends – haha.
Good luck with your move! I miss my family’s Louisiana cooking…especially for Thanksgiving!
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