Do you want to move abroad but don’t know where? This post is for you! With so many options to choose from, it’s hard to determine what country you should move to. However, that doesn’t mean the process of figuring it out can’t be fun.
While every country has its own beauty and cultural value, we’ll be focusing on some good countries to move to if it’s your first time living abroad. These countries either offer a more streamlined visa-application process, easy social integration, or a work-life balance that can help offset the jitters of starting a new life abroad.
Below, you’ll find a list of countries expats often recommend. To make navigating and daydreaming easier, we’ve divided them into regions. That way, you can skip out on places that are too far or too close and go straight for the gold.
Middle East & APAC
Following the urban legend that nobody has been to the center of Australia, the truth of the matter is most people live around the coasts. This is because the country is immense in comparison to the amount of people living in it! That means more pure air to go around with plenty of space for flora and fauna to grow. That, coupled with a strong economy and a friendly society, make Australia a perfect place for starting over in a new country.
It takes a lot to move out of your home country, but Malaysia sure makes it look easy. The country’s bilingual status, with both English and Malay being widely spoken, offer more options for language learning. At the same time, the country is considerate when it comes to taxes for expats. They take into account that you might be paying taxes in your home country as well! And that’s all without mentioning the natural beauty of Malaysia, which, paired with the country’s exceptional climate, has contributed to the heavy emphasis on outdoor living that exists there.
Although a remote option for most, New Zealand’s natural landscape has still managed to lure many expats looking for a fresh start somewhere else. Today, New Zealand boasts of high socioeconomic stability and an enviable work-life balance. New Zealanders, or Kiwis, are known for their laid-back lifestyle and overall friendliness which are sure to make expats feel welcome.
Singapore is known for many things, including its cleanliness and skyrocketing economy. However, moving to Singapore also brings with it a high job security prospect, great education, and a mouthwatering cuisine. And if you’re into nature and fresh air, around 50% of Singapore is covered in parks, fields, and gardens.
If you’re a highly trained professional in fields such as IT and engineering looking for another country to live in, Turkey is a great place to build your career. If you’re coming along with kids, rest assured that Turkey is known for its good school system and friendly attitude towards newcomers.
United Arab Emirates
In recent years, Dubai has become a fan-favorite amongst tourists, but did you know the UAE is also a great place to live? For starters, only 11% of the population is Emirati. That means many expats have found success in this Middle Eastern country. The UAE offers many opportunities for young professionals as well as fast promotion rates, regardless of the field.
Vietnam is a beautiful country where historic and modern architecture come together. And also, other great things such as work-life balance, one of the strongest economies in Asia, and low cost of living. Vietnamese people are also very welcoming of newcomers and English is widely spoken. What more could you wish for?
Food, drink, culture, love. France is associated with many wonderful things for tourists, but it can be a great destination for expats as well. France has a robust healthcare system, a 35-hour work week, and five weeks of paid leave. Plus, French is a widely spoken language, so whether you already know how to speak it or are looking to learn, you’re in for a treat!
Germany, particularly Berlin, is a popular destination amongst expats. This is because there are high career advancement opportunities and salaries that still make room for a proper work-life balance. German residents also boast of a robust social security coverage, thus making it a great choice for many.
Everything about Portugal breathes harmony. From the weather to the people, Portugal is one of the easiest places to move to in Europe. Both its cities and its visa process are easy to navigate, and, once you’re in, you’ll be able to enjoy an affordable and relaxed way of life.
Idyllic weather meets relaxed way of life, with leisure work environments and an emphasis on wellness amongst residents, Spain is a great choice—if not the best—for people who value quality of life above all. Spain’s healthcare and educational systems are great for families. Although you’ll most likely need to know Spanish to get around, it’s one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Plus, Spain itself is pretty multicultural and biodiverse, so you can take your pick!
Oh, the land of chocolate and fondue! While the cost of living is quite steep, Switzerland makes up for it with high salaries and its beautiful landscapes. In fact, Switzerland is so beautiful all around you won’t even mind living outside of the major cities to lower some costs. Switzerland is not only home to chocolate and melted cheese pots, but also four official languages (German, Italian, French, and Romansh). This means there are even more options to choose from depending on the languages you speak or your language-learning interests.
If you don’t mind the cold, this beautiful North American country has a lot to offer. From a straight-forward residence and citizenship application process to a high quality of life, Canada is a perfect home for expats looking to relocate and start over. Canada is considered one of the most tolerant countries in the world as well as boasting of high socioeconomic stability. That means you’re likely to be pleased both with your income and your neighbors!
Aside from the climate and air quality, there are two major wins for Panama amongst expats. One is the Pensionado program, a retirement program open to expats, and the other is the large community of English-speakers currently living in the country. Panama has become a multicultural paradise, home to many nationalities and, of course, beaches.
Did you know Costa Rica hasn’t had an army for more than 70 years? This speaks to the country’s commitment to peace, one of the many perks of moving to Costa Rica. With affordable healthcare, straightforward paperwork for immigrants, and a plethora of microclimates to choose from, Costa Rica is becoming a popular destination amongst expats.
Between Cancún and tacos, you’re probably already half-convinced. But Mexico has a whole lot to offer beyond its beautiful beaches and mouthwatering gastronomy. Mexico is filled with natural wonders of all sorts and a fairly low cost of living in most of its territory. Mexicans are also known for their welcoming nature, making it easier to fit in as an expat.
Among the many great things Colombia has to offer, an affordable cost of living and a straight-forward visa process for migrant are two of its bestsellers. Colombia also has a consistent climate, which is not only enjoyable for its residents, but has also contributed to making it the second most biodiverse country in the world. That, paired with the friendliness of Colombians, is what many would call paradise.
Ecuador boasts of an active expat community, and for good reason. The country offers a variety of options, from country to city living, with the city of Cuenca being the most popular destination for expats. Ecuador’s temperate climate seals the deal, ensuring that it’s never too cold nor too hot in your new home.
And there you have it! We hope this list helps at least narrow down your options of what country you should move to. If you’re looking for more tips on starting a new life abroad, you can also check out our expat guide.