8 Best Places to Live Abroad in 2021

Posted Country Guides / September 17, 2021
Kate Holland

A true grunge and rock music fan born in Seattle, Kate has moved across the country and started writing about her experience.

Dreaming about leaving your known surroundings and venturing overseas is not at all uncommon. If the past year has taught us anything, it is that staying in one place for too long can cause anxiety. But what are the best places to live abroad, and to which country should you direct the sails?

The U.S. Department of State estimated that in 2020 about 9 million US citizens were residing overseas. It shows that wishing to settle somewhere far away from home connects many people. But what are the criteria by which you should choose the destination? Whether you are relocating across the world for a job or you’re moving internationally to one of the best places for living overseas with family, we decide WHERE based on several things.

The Key Factors for Choosing the Best Places to Live Abroad as an American

Among those 9 million Americans, the Department of State said are residing outside the US soil are people with different goals in their lives. We all have various things that make us happy and complete. For some, it’s an environment that allows them to thrive, and others feel whole after moving to another country for love. Some simply want a change of scenery and an opportunity to look at things from a different perspective. But most look at the same factors when seeking the best places for Americans to live abroad:

  • Work opportunities are probably the most decisive factor when we pick out the country we want to call home. We may wish to find industry-specific employment or be a bit bolder and dive into something new and learn a new set of skills along the way. No matter what career path we choose, knowing that we can easily land a job position will give us financial and emotional stability.
  • The cost of living is an equally vital factor as the job market. Future expats usually look at these two factors side by side when looking for the greatest places for living overseas because a thriving economy and satisfactory salaries may balance a high cost of living.
  • Even if the previous two factors are more than exceptional, if a country has complicated Visa requirements, it can prove to be an obstacle. Although it’s an essential component that will affect our decision, you can overcome it by putting in a little extra effort to gather all the documents needed to travel overseas.
  • The healthcare system is not only important when it comes to retirement plans. It should always be an essential factor for residing in another country, especially if you are moving abroad with your family.
  • Having kids makes the education system in the desired destination by and large a vital factor. When researching foreign schools, mind the public ones, but also the private and international ones and their rankings.
  • The overall quality of life in a country encompasses the previous factors and adds a few key things. Besides the nation’s economy, we may also value the weather and the culture as well.
  • Safety is last but not least important. However alluring a destination may seem by our standards, it’s not wise to move there if it’s unsafe.

Besides these vital components to our future, we may find some others that are important to us. Suppose we’re moving overseas with cats or perhaps with dogs, finding a pet-friendly location is a must. So, before we contact an international moving company and invest in international moving services, we need to thoroughly research the area. Also, we should check the laws regarding pets in the desired destination. The work-life balance and the opportunities to spend quality time outside of the workplace can be the top priorities for some, too.

Where Are the Easiest and Best Places for Americans to Live Abroad? Canada Is the Nearest Destination for US Citizens

When we think about leaving the borders of our homeland and settling somewhere else, many of us look to our neighboring country. But moving to Canada isn’t convenient simply because of its proximity to the US. Immigrating to Canada brings many benefits in terms of life quality and overall satisfaction.

Every Expat Is Interested in the Quality of Life

So, what does our neighboring country offer? Besides a high degree of safety and low pollution, it’s a progressive society in every term. It’s welcoming to foreigners who fill the need for skill shortages and thus help the country grow economically by taking jobs in Canada. From wherever you hail from, it will be easy to blend in because of the multicultural environment.

Guaranteed prices for International Moving. No hidden fees or surprises! Gt a Quote

The Healthcare System and Education

All permanent residents have a right to free universal healthcare, which is of high quality. Above all, Canadians have a higher life expectancy than US citizens.

When it comes to schools, this country has free public secondary education and is one of the top countries worldwide with their schooling system. On top of that, you may consider Quebec and Ontario among the greatest places to be living in Canada because children residing there will receive an education both in French and English.

What to Expect When It Comes to Average Salary and the Costs

Although housing may be one of the bigger obstacles of settling in, because of the high prices, an expected average salary for an expat is around $111,000. Many foreigners choose to reside in a rental at first until they decide to stay in one place for several years. When it comes to the national average cost of living in Canada for a family of 4, the amount is around $5,150.

Switzerland, the Alpine Gem Welcomes Newcomers

We can start off naming the advantages by stating that Switzerland has the 4th highest GDP in the world. It’s one of the greatest European countries to reside in regarding hefty salaries, but many things drive expats to stay there for longer.

The top-notch luxury resorts and fresh alpine air are among the attractions of this country, but also reputable public transport and a high degree of social and political stability.

If you are still not convinced that it is the right decision to relocate to Switzerland, check out the video below, showing all the pros of living in the largest city – Zurich.

Germany Offers Both Fun and Work Opportunities

Germany offers so much more than pretzels, beer, and a gateway to the Alps. With a thriving job market, especially at the multinational companies, and low living expenses, the whole country is an alluring destination for expats. Above all, the diverse city of Berlin ranks as one of the greatest cities to reside in Europe in 2021.

Whether you are among the tech people and thus looking for a great startup culture or simply a free-spirited nomad that’s interested in the vibrant nightlife, relocating to Germany may be the perfect solution for you. The downside is that future German citizens will go through streams of documentation and struggle to find a place to stay. But in the end, all these obstacles will pay off.

Get a Self-Employment Visa and Enjoy Spain

España or Spain is a land of sunshine and endless pristine beaches and knowing that you can easily decide what to pack when moving overseas. If you enjoy sun-filled days, consider relocating to Spain. You may want to settle there because of its famous cheap yet fine wine or laid-back culture, perfect for escapists. But above all that, this place is among the most affordable ones in Europe.

For example, while utilities in the US cost on average $165 per month, in Spain you’ll need $130 to cover them. Also, renting a one-bedroom apartment in the States will knock $1,080 out of your pocket every month, while as an expat in Spain, you’ll need $590 for the same footage.

On top of that, Spain offers a self-employment Visa, suitable for digital nomads who may choose between dreamy coastal cities or expat communities in tech hubs such as Barcelona.

Moving Overseas for a Job? Work for a Year in New Zealand

Some of you may wonder – what is the safest foreign country to live in? Ranking high on the list of countries you’ll feel safe residing in, New Zealand offers so much more, even for those moving overseas alone.

In terms of nature, this nation has it all – you can go skiing down the Treble Cone or swim in the idyllic Whale Bay, gaze upon glaciers, and walk through the ancient forests on the South Island. The North Island has the famous tour of the Lord of the Rings set and waterfalls and volcanoes.

Such scenery makes investing in auto transport service and preparing for shipping a car overseas worthwhile because of the views you can enjoy while traveling across the land. Above all, getting a Working Holiday Visa is no hassle at all, and it will allow you to stay for a year to work there.

There’s More to Australia Than Sydney

If you’re looking to move overseas to a place that is affordable and among the world’s most diverse, both geographically and culturally, Australia is the right spot for you. Considering the fact that more than 90% of Australians live within 60 miles of the coast, you’ll more likely than not settle in one of many coastal locations.

Many expats find that Sidney is the most appealing, with breathtaking beaches, ideal for surfers and anyone who enjoys the oceanside. However, Brisbane is the right destination for those looking for an affordable city with cheaper rents and a thriving job market. On top of that, the city has warm weather throughout the year.

All these factors make the Australian continent not only captivating to travel to and explore as a visitor but to call home, too.

Singapore’s Public Transport Reigns Supreme

While many consider getting a packing service and investing in storage service when moving abroad as the things they should focus the most on, others spend more time picking out the most suitable destinations to their liking. And the city-state of Singapore is a place that has so much to offer, even to the pickiest expats.

It isn’t a coincidence that it rates among the top destinations both for travel and to reside and work there. It provides stable job opportunities, a high-quality educational system, and probably the most efficient public transport, globally speaking. The food scene here is incredible, and the botanical gardens can easily be called the greatest of Southeast Asia.

Vietnam May Be Considered a Paradise for Expats

Perhaps you’re wondering what country is the cheapest and safest place to live, and is there such a destination awaiting on the world map? Southeast Asia has a hidden gem when it comes to the quality of life, and it’s Vietnam.

Currently, it has one of the fastest-growing economies in that region, with the cost of living so low, an average American can reside there for almost half of the expenses in the US. Not to mention that the crime rates are low, and the middle class is on the rise. Above all, it can be considered among the friendliest countries in the world because of its open and welcoming culture.

Where Is the Best Place to Live Abroad? Let An Overseas Moving Company Take You There

Our world is full of dreamy nations which offer different things the heart desires. But what we are looking for varies based on our preferences. We may look for an affordable country with a high-quality internet connection, convenient for working and keeping in touch with friends. Or a country rich with job opportunities and high salaries. But no matter where the road takes us, we’ll be richer for the experiences and the connections we’ve made.

Once you’ve decided on the best destination for your preferences, call an overseas shipping company like Sunset to speed up the process of relocating and ensure you move efficiently. Besides professional relocation services, we offer various packing options for all types of items, free storage for a month, car shipping, and relocation insurance. The world is your oyster when you travel with Sunset.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Places to Live Abroad

What Are Some of the Best Countries to Live Abroad?

Some of the best countries to live abroad vary based on individual preferences, but some commonly mentioned options include Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and Singapore. These countries offer a high quality of life, good healthcare, safety, and diverse cultural experiences.

What Factors Should I Consider When Deciding Where to Live Abroad?

When deciding where to live abroad, some important factors to consider include the cost of living, job opportunities, local culture and language, safety, healthcare, climate, and access to transportation. It’s also important to consider any legal requirements for living and working in a foreign country, such as visas or work permits. Ultimately, the decision should be based on individual priorities and preferences.

What Are the Best Cities to Live In Abroad?

The best cities to live in abroad vary based on individual preferences, but some commonly mentioned options include Tokyo, Singapore, Vienna, Berlin, and Melbourne. These cities offer a high quality of life, excellent infrastructure, diverse cultural experiences, and good job opportunities.

What Are the Cost of Living Differences Between Living Abroad and Living in My Home Country?

The cost of living differences between living abroad and living in your home country can vary widely depending on the country and city you are considering. In general, some countries may have a lower cost of living than your home country, while others may have a higher cost of living.

Factors that may affect the cost of living include housing, food, transportation, healthcare, taxes, and local currency exchange rates. It’s important to research and compare the cost of living in the country and city you are considering to make an informed decision.

How Do I Find a Job in a Foreign Country?

To find a job in a foreign country, you can start by researching the job market, applying for jobs online, networking with professionals in your field, and considering working with recruitment agencies or job placement services. It’s also important to research visa and work permit requirements and ensure that you meet the qualifications for the job you’re applying for.

What Are the Visa Requirements for Living Abroad?

Visa requirements for living abroad vary by country and depend on the purpose and length of your stay. In general, you will need a visa or residency permit to live in a foreign country for an extended period of time. This may require meeting certain qualifications, such as having a job offer, being a student, or having sufficient financial means. It’s important to research the specific visa requirements for the country you plan to live in and to apply for a visa or residency permit well in advance of your planned departure.

How Do I Find Housing Abroad?

To find housing abroad, you can start by researching the local rental market, searching online classifieds and real estate websites, and working with a local real estate agent. It’s important to consider your budget, location preferences, and any language or cultural barriers that may impact your search. You should also be aware of the local rental laws and customs, and take steps to protect yourself from rental scams or other risks.

What Are the Best Ways to Learn a New Language When Living Abroad?

The best ways to learn a new language when living abroad include practicing speaking with locals, taking formal language classes, immersing yourself in the local culture, and using language-learning resources such as books, apps, and podcasts. It’s important to be patient and persistent in your efforts and to embrace opportunities to use and practice the language in real-life situations. Additionally, making an effort to socialize with locals and build friendships can provide valuable opportunities to practice and improve your language skills.

How Do I Prepare for Cultural Differences When Living Abroad?

To prepare for cultural differences when living abroad, you can start by researching the local culture and customs, learning some basic language skills, and being open-minded and respectful towards different ways of life. It’s also important to approach new experiences with a positive and curious attitude and to be willing to adapt and adjust your own behavior as needed. Additionally, building relationships with locals and seeking out opportunities to participate in cultural events or activities can help you better understand and appreciate the local culture.

What Resources Are Available to Help Me With the Transition of Living Abroad?

There are several resources available to help with the transition of living abroad, including expat groups and online communities, local government and embassy resources, and international relocation services. These resources can provide information and support for a range of needs, including finding housing, navigating local laws and customs, managing finances, and adjusting to cultural differences. It’s important to do your research and take advantage of available resources to make the transition as smooth and successful as possible.

Get a Quote

    Download Moving Abroad Checklist
    Get a Free Estimate 855-443-4200