Relocating overseas can be an exhilarating experience.
But to make the most of your move, you need to have confidence that you're going somewhere that will give you the lifestyle you want. It can be difficult enough reversing a decision to move house if you don't like living in the next town a short drive away, let alone if you relocate to the other side of the world!
Whether you’re assessing your retirement options, looking at relocation opportunities at work, or considering studying overseas, here are the best countries for expats based on InterNations' most recent Expat Insider survey results.
Mexico might not be the first country that would immediately spring to mind as being an expat’s paradise, but those who move to live there seem to love it!
The country ranked first in InterNations’ survey in several categories, including:
- Ease of settling in
- Local friendliness
- Finding friends
- Culture & welcome
With culture shock a significant concern and barrier for many people moving abroad, knowing Mexico is such a welcoming place may give you added confidence before a move there. The country also ranks well among expats for its natural environment and its variety of culinary and dining options. Just remember our tips for eating healthy when you move overseas!
Expats moving to Mexico also found it a budget-friendly location, with the cost of living such that they could live a comfortable lifestyle. At the same time, the country also ranked as one of the top 20 locations for working overseas.
Next on the list of much-loved expat destinations is Indonesia, which ranked just behind Mexico for ease of settling in and for budget-friendliness. The relatively affordable cost of living extends across the entire country, with housing and the cost of living affordable even in the sprawling capital city of Jakarta.
Speaking of housing, Indonesia ranks second globally among expats for ease of finding a property there. Expats also find it easy to settle down in Indonesia thanks to the language. 50% of expats who move to the country say they can get by solely with English, while nearly three-quarters report that the most widely spoken Indonesian language is relatively easy to learn.
Like Mexico, Indonesia also appealed to expats for its culinary and dining options, culture, and work-life balance.
One downside expats reported about Indonesia was the quality of its healthcare system. Learn more about how you could benefit from private health insurance if you move to Indonesia.
Taiwan ranked as the second-best destination among expats for quality of life. A key driver of this was the affordability and accessibility of healthcare in the country. Every expat living in Taiwan told InterNations they found healthcare affordable, and 98% were satisfied with its availability and accessibility.
The country was also one of the global locations where nearly all expats said they felt safe living there. Taiwan also fared well among expats for the ease of setting into life in the country and for the cost of living.
While Taiwan ranked highly on lifestyle factors, many expats found the working culture and style challenging.
Portugal has many characteristics that attract expats to go and live there, not least its warm climate, relaxed lifestyle and relatively low cost of living.
In addition, Portugal has no restrictions on expats buying property from the moment they move to the country. At the same time, those who can afford to buy more expensive properties may also be able to attain permanent residency and citizenship quicker if they decide to settle there permanently. 45% of expats told InterNations they intended to stay in Portugal for “a very long time.”
Expats also reported it was easy to settle in Portugal and that they were happy with their social lives.
Of potential downsides, the low cost of living was mirrored by relatively low salaries for expats, except among those in executive roles.
According to expats, Spain is the world's leading destination for quality of life and its availability of leisure options. No doubt the weather plays a huge part, too! In addition to its warm climate, Spain offers a diverse landscape, with city beaches, several mountain ranges, sprawling countryside and even ancient forests!
Expats also report finding it easy to settle in Spain and adapt to the local culture, and while it may be possible for English speakers to get by without learning Spanish, this will generally depend on the location. Spain does, however, have sizeable expat communities around the country, so choosing to live in or near these is an excellent option for anyone with language concerns.
While nearly a quarter of expats in Spain are retired, those who do move to Spain to work tend to work four hours a week fewer than the global average.
The UAE is a hugely popular destination for career-minded expats, with nearly 80% of those who move to the country reporting that relocation boosted their career prospects. A similar number also said that obtaining a visa to live in the country was easy, while a vibrant nightlife, beautiful restaurants and incredible shopping malls are hugely appealing to those who wish to live there.
While expats often face high international schooling fees if they relocate with their family, those who move to the country for work will find their medical insurance covered by their employer.
Learn more about additional private health insurance options when moving to the UAE.
Wherever you move, Now Health International has you covered!
Here at Now Health International, our private health plans can ensure you have medical coverage worldwide or in a specific country or region.
Learn more about the countries we cover and get the private health insurance you need as you embark on the next exciting phase of your life!