How to Decide Where to Live Abroad

Leaving your home city and deciding to move abroad is one of the most difficult things you can do. Saying goodbye to everything that we are used to is difficult, but sometimes giving a twist to our lives is necessary and widening our connection network is the key. When the decision of moving abroad is taken, it’s crucial to consider all the opportunities every city has to offer, to pick the one that will satisfy our needs most.

How to decide where to live? 

  • Shortlist countries where you are allowed to work
  • Shortlist countries where you have good job opportunities
  • Shortlist the countries that would offer your ideal lifestyle

Where am I allowed to work?

Sounds pretty obvious, I know, but it’s always good to mention that not all countries allow us to work in them. This first point aims at excluding all the places where for some reason or another we wouldn’t be able to work in. No point to try to reach the unreachable, right?

Passport and Visa…. Where am I allowed to move to?

OK, let’s try to be more concrete here… EU citizens can work in all the EU countries, plus Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. For all the other countries a Visa may be required. All the main information can be found on the immigration website of the country of interest.

Moving to other countries like the United States, Canada and Australia might be more difficult on a permanent basis but most of them offer skilled migrant visas and work holiday visas for seasonal workers.

Countries with highest job opportunities

…language

When you know the countries, you could possibly work in, it is time to research and figure out what opportunities those countries offer to people with your skills and degree. Being able to rate our skills and attitudes helps when it comes to picking the right country. So, let’s be honest with ourselves… what languages can we speak fluently enough to be able to work in our field properly? Yes, I said properly!!!  Speaking more languages is always a plus, but make sure to speak the right ones for the country you’re thinking of moving to. Remember that English is a must everywhere, but sometimes is not enough. Being able to speak the local language helps not only during workhours, but also during private life, when we spend time with natives.

…job opportunities and economic situation

Make sure that the country you are going to pick is in good condition from an economic point of view. Rising economies always offer a vast amount of jobs! Don’t forget to check the percentage of employment in the country, keeping in mind that if locals can’t find a job there, why would you?

…Degree

So, have you checked if your degree is recognised in the country you’ve chosen? Don’t forget to do so, as unfortunately sometimes countries don’t accept some degrees obtained abroad. This is particularly important for regulated professions.

When we speak about regulated professions, we talk about those jobs where the access is restricted to those individuals that hold a recognized degree, according to local law. Examples of professions which are always regulated are medical doctors and nurses. Other jobs, like engineers, architects, lawyers and accountants are country dependent, which means that every country can decide if a recognized degree is required to practice a profession.

Generally speaking, all the degrees obtained within the European borders should be considered valid and equally valuable by all the EU countries.

Where should I live?

Great, now that you know exactly where you could work and the best countries for you to find a job, you’re in a good spot. But, don’t forget, you also have to live! Have you checked what kind of lifestyle is offered in different countries? 

There’s so much to say here, let’s start with work conditions. Are salaries good enough when you compare them to the cost of living? Don’t forget that the value of money changes from country to country and sometimes the same amount of money represents a fortune in some countries, but a modest balance in others.

Have you also considered the way companies organise their work? Hierarchies might be constituted in different ways, according to the cultural and traditional aspects of the country. So, companies can have a pyramidal structure that puts a few people in charge to control big departments, or a very flat one, with every employee representing the same value for reaching the final targets.

Going beyond the work aspects, there are so many other factors to consider, such as the political situation of the countries, the weather, the cost of flights to go back to your home country, and many, many more. 

Try to narrow down your choice, making pro and con lists for every country… Pro and con lists rule!

Once all of these elements above are sorted out, you’re probably ready to book your flight. Finding a job in the new country will be the next step… but you’re lucky, because we have tips for that too! You can find here the 5 Easy Steps to Find a Job Abroad! 

Good luck!