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Need advice on starting a fitness career in Europe.

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CB8
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Joined: April 24th, 2016, 9:32 pm

Need advice on starting a fitness career in Europe.

Post by CB8 » May 13th, 2019, 1:41 am

Hi all, I'm ready to take the plunge and move abroad. I hope you guys can give me some of your wise advice so I don't make a fool of myself.

I'm almost 30 and I live in America now. My passion is fitness and I'm planning on starting my own personal training business once I get more educated in the field.

The problem is I want to start a new life in Europe, preferably Germany, but Personal Trainers aren't highly in-demand so I can't expect to get hired overseas for a PT job. What are my options for getting a job overseas that would allow me to gain citizenship in my chosen country?

I've heard my best option is studying at a European university and trying to get a work visa sponsorship while there. That would be fine for me, because there are some european Sports and Exercise degrees that would help me be a better personal trainer. I've also gotten some education that didn't pay off but might be of some use: I have a Bachelor's in Psychology, an MBA in Finance, and a TEFL certificate. But at this point I haven't retained any of that knowledge due to working in unrelated fields for so long. What do you guys think is my best option for German (or just European) citizenship?

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Contrarian Expatriate
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Re: Need advice on starting a fitness career in Europe.

Post by Contrarian Expatriate » May 13th, 2019, 3:55 am

CB8 wrote:
May 13th, 2019, 1:41 am
What are my options for getting a job overseas that would allow me to gain citizenship in my chosen country?
Virtually none, unless you have some critically needed expertise like a PhD in STEM or World Cup level athletic skill. Citizenship via marriage or ancestry (if applicable) are your best options.
What do you guys think is my best option for German (or just European) citizenship?
Citizenship by marriage is the only option I see from what you describe.

gsjackson
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Re: Need advice on starting a fitness career in Europe.

Post by gsjackson » May 13th, 2019, 7:57 am

In the Czech Republic, right next to Germany, you can get a trade license (zivna, I believe it's called) that will allow you to free lance with English teaching, personal training, etc. These can be renewed to give continuous residency, but for citizenship you probably would have to marry a Czech.

Germany does have something similar to this trade license. You'll find online accounts of getting one, though you may have to present as an English teacher, and then do whatever you can/want to earn a living. The Netherlands also allows Americans, through a reciprocal agreement dating back several decades, to set up any kind of business they want.

As far as personal training in Europe goes, you won't find the morbid obesity or same interest in muscling up that you do in the U.S. Most Europeans stay in fairly good trim through walking, a less toxic food supply or whatever, and there's not the same level of interest in changing physically as in the U.S. Not to say you couldn't build a clientele eventually by immersing yourself in the fitness world there, just that you probably won't find a ready-made market.

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