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The question is simple enough right?
Well it depends…..
Moving across town is daunting enough, but moving to another country (yikes!!) is on a completely different level!
Before you move though, you have to decide which country will become your new home. Here are 7 things to consider (in no particular order) when making your decision.
1. Cost of Living
How much money do you need to live comfortably? Check the average cost for rent, food, utilities, health insurance, etc. Expect the costs to be higher the closer you are to major cities.
What kind of weather do you like? Singing in the rain in the UK, or getting 300 days of sunshine in Portugal? Weather may not be a deal breaker for you but if you have health issues affected by certain temperatures, then definitely do your research. This site gives you weather and climate information for nearly every country in the world.
If you want to live close to where the action is then you’ll probably use public transportation to get around. So look at countries with extensive transportation options such as trams, buses, trains, uber, etc.
If you prefer to live in a rural area then having your own vehicle is a must. Some people ship their vehicles overseas rather than purchase a new one so shop around for shipping providers to see if that may be an option for you.
This section is geared towards families with school age children. Every parent wants the best educational experience for his/her child, especially in a foreign environment so research is crucial. Should your child attend a local (public=free) or international (expensive) school? Is there a foreign language proficiency required or will classes be taught in English? Do the schools provide extra curricula activities such as sports, art, music?
Most schools have websites but some are difficult to navigate so don’t be afraid to contact the schools directly with your questions/concerns. Email is best if you don’t speak the local language (yay Google translate!).
Do you speak another language? Moving to a foreign country that speaks a language you already know will certainly make relocation easier. If you don’t then there are tons of apps and YouTube videos available to help you learn. Even if your accent and sentence structure are terrible, the local community will appreciate your attempts at communication!
Fluency will come over time so don’t worry about making mistakes. We expect foreigners to speak English in our country so return the favor. 🙂
6. Employment Opportunities
Getting a job as a foreigner in countries like Germany and France is very difficult but possible. One option is to work for a U.S. based company that offers international travel. Or find an international company that will sponsor your work visa/permit and have a skill set that’s in high demand. If you’re a college student, you can work part-time while studying and look for full-time work after you graduate.
7. Political Climate/Safety
When you move to a new environment, whether that’s a job, apartment, house, city, etc., you hope for things to be better. The same sentiment applies when moving to another country. You want to feel safe and not worry if the country is on the brink of civil war or has high crime rates. Is the country foreigner-friendly?
One way to find out about the political climate of a country you’re considering is to tune in to their local news stories for current issues. Learn about past political figures and historical events. Or look at the Global Peace Index for a ranking of the world’s most peaceful countries.
If possible, visit the country on a scouting trip and talk to the local residents to get their perspective.
The links mentioned in this post are provided as a courtesy. I am not affiliated with any of the websites mentioned nor receiving any compensation.