Moving Advice

The Best Places to Live Abroad

If you’ve made the exciting decision to move overseas, the world is your oyster. While factors such as work and family will have a strong influence on individual choices, there are some destinations that remain popular with expats due the opportunities and lifestyle they offer. Here are just of few of the best places to live abroad.

New Zealand
New Zealand’s breathtaking landscape has long graced cinema screens and coffee table books across the world. Thousands of expats make the journey down under every year to see the beautiful green hills and endless coastline for themselves. For many, New Zealand’s natural beauty and high standard of living prove too tempting a prospect. Tens of thousands of migrants settle here every year to enjoy the laid back, outdoors lifestyle.

The country is also actively recruiting overseas workers to fill the skills gap, particularly in the Christchurch area. Visas and tempting salary packages are possible for anyone who can work in one the shortage areas outlined in the list of Skills in Demand. New Zealand’s low crime rate and excellent school system also make it an appealing prospect for families. HSBC even named it the best place in the world to bring up confident, well-rounded children.

China is both culturally vibrant and economically dynamic making it an ideal destination for ambitious, adventurous expats. Its economy is growing rapidly and it is predicted to be the largest in the world by the end of the decade. This financial strength has created several rewarding job opportunities for career-minded expats. In the recent HSBC Expat Explorer survey, 90% of those surveyed said they can save as much or even more than at home and most report having more disposable income.

Shanghai and Beijing are the most popular cities due to the cosmopolitan lifestyle and high standard of living they offer. There are amazing employment opportunities for anyone wanting to fast-track their career and pick up some new skills. While most expats travel to China independently, those who do chose to move as a family find there are great international schools and excellent hospitals and rate it as one of the best places to live abroad.

The USA’s shared culture and language make it a popular choice for British expats looking for a new life overseas. The country’s hard working, entrepreneurial spirit makes it a fantastic place to pursue a high-flying career. Big cities such as New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco are the most popular destinations and, while the cost of living can be high in such areas, the financial rewards and career progression can easily offset this.

World-class healthcare and education also make it a particularly desirable destination for expats with families. During your hard earned vacation time, the USA’s size and diversity offer endless opportunities for travel and adventure. Ski the Rocky Mountains, take a dip in one of America’s vast lakes, surf and sip your way along the Californian coast or take a drive through the beautiful scenery of New England, there’s so much to see.

Switzerland’s spectacular mountains and lakes attract thousands of holidaymakers every year, but it is the strong economy and rewarding career opportunities that are so appealing to expats. As the financial heart of Europe, there are great job prospects for high flying expats. The finance and financial services sector in particular attract professionals from all over the world. The economic incentives are also clear with around a third of expats earning over $200,000 a year, particularly in thriving cities such as Geneva and Zurich.

With four official languages, Switzerland is a truly international nation blending French, German, Italian and Romansh culture. English is widely spoken and there are world renowned healthcare and educational facilities making it an excellent and stress free choice for expats moving with their family. If you enjoy the great outdoors, Switzerland is the perfect destination for you. There are lakes to sail and swim and mountains to ski and hike and so many beautiful towns and villages to explore.

Australia’s winning combination of sunshine, sumptuous beaches and great quality of life make it one the best places to live abroad. Settling into a new job and making friends is exceptionally easy due to the shared language and familiar culture. You’ll feel at home in no time.

Australia’s low population density and beautiful landscape make it the perfect destination for active families who enjoy the great outdoors. Australia’s vast expanses of incredible coastline are ideal for swimming, sailing and surfing. The many beaches and parks are also great spots simply to relax and enjoy time with friends over a sunny picnic or barbeque. If you’re moving overseas with children, Australia’s healthcare and education systems are world class. Both state and private schools offer a high standard of education with no language barrier. Sydney, Melbourne and Perth are the most popular cities for expats and all offer great employment opportunities as well as all the bars, restaurants and shops you’d expect of a large modern city.

If you’re a career minded expat with a taste for the exotic, Singapore is the ideal destination for you. There are plenty of great employment opportunities for hard working professionals who are happy to put the hours in for financial reward. Over 65% of expats find they have more disposable income after working in Singapore.

Widely viewed as one of the cleanest, safest cities in the world, Singapore offers an extremely high standard of living. This city-state boasts a well-funded infrastructure with transport, education and healthcare among the best in the world. Singapore’s international schools are second to none and it ranks as one of the best destinations to raise children.

The UAE is fast becoming one of the most popular destinations for young, enterprising expats looking to work hard and play hard in the sunshine. There are excellent employment opportunities, particularly in finance, tourism, construction and the oil industry.

Of course, the attraction of a tax free salary in Dubai or Abu Dhabi is a key draw, but it is the lifestyle and social scene that make it so appealing. Well-funded transport and healthcare systems and the extremely high quality of education offered at the many international schools also attract many professional families. With some of the best restaurants, shops and tourist attractions in the world, you’ll never be short of leisure options in the UAE.

Germany’s strong economy and well-respected healthcare and education systems draw expats from across Europe and beyond. There are lucrative and rewarding career opportunities, particularly in finance, education and business. Language isn’t necessarily a barrier as English is widely spoken and often an advantage in particular sectors. Germany also treats its workers extremely well with generous holiday allowances, protected maternity and paternity rights and redundancy pay.

Germany also has a vast, diverse landscape to tempt you away from your desk. From the Bavarian Alps and Black Forest to its unique coastline and North Sea islands, the country is perfect for hikers, cyclists or anyone who enjoys the great outdoors. Most expats find Germany an extremely easy place to settle due to the tolerant, well-travelled population and safe, stable environment.

Of course, these are just a few of the best places to live abroad. There are many, many more incredible expat hotspots across the world. To discover a few more potential new homes, check out our destination guides. Once you’ve decided where to make your new life, we can help you get there quickly and easily.

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