Whether you’re a student, a professional or enjoying retirement, you might be facing the complex decision of picking the right country for you.The quiz below only covers a small fraction of the elements that might affect your decision, but it might just be the perfect starting point for this important life choice. Start by creating a list (30 or more) of countries that you liked in the past, have read about or have been dreaming of. Then, it’s time for stage 2: the 9 questions you need to ask before moving to a new country.
1. Where would you be happy?
Every year, tonnes of agencies and organisations release their rankings of the happiest and unhappiest expat countries in the world. Should you trust their research? Well, they are interesting to read and some of the elements taken into consideration are relevant, but we are all different: only you know where and what makes you happy. So, think about trips you took in the past, family holidays and long weekends away with friends and lovers. Have you ever thought, “I could live here” or, “I want to move here in the future” or, “Wow! I can see myself here.” Well, if the answer to any of these question is yes, try and remember why these places were so special and attractive to you and maybe start your long list of potential new countries exactly from there: your happy memories.
Will it be Paris?
2. What part of the world do you want to see?
Moving to a new country creates new opportunities to travel. Moving from the United States to Australia, or from South America to Asia, or even crossing the European border offers many new opportunities to satisfy your wanderlust. In most cases, travelling to neighbouring countries from your new base will be cheaper than from your home country – huzzah! So, are you dreaming of living in Madrid, Brussels, Milan or even Dubai?
3. Let it rain, shine or both?
Did you also diagnose yourself with acute meteoropathy disease? Is your mood deeply affected by grey skies and rain? Is the sun what you are looking for or you do hate blue skies?Depending on your preference, there’s a variety of options you can pick from around the world, with countries that proudly deliver year-round summers and others that only have a couple of hours of daylight in winter (we’re looking at you, London). Look at your list and cross off all the countries that don’t offer your ideal weather.
4. Yo hablo, je parle, io parlo, ich spreche…?
What’s your favourite and which one you want to learn? Do you want to polish your English or maybe pick Danish up? Moving abroad is clearly the best way to learn a new language by fully immersing yourself in it. There are 5 languages that are spoken by almost two-thirds of the world’s population. Are you looking to learn one of those or are you most interested in learning a less-common language? Or perhaps you wish to reconnect with your past and the language of your relatives?Once again, looking at the list you created, which country represents the language you wish to learn?
5. Friends and family & kids?
Depending on your personal situation, you might find it easy to go to the other side of the globe as an independent person, or you might be terrified to leave your parents and friends behind while relocating a mere 100km away. It’s really down to your personality and preferences. Of course, you might need to take into consideration childcare and your family if you are moving with young children. Make sure you do your research on your new country’s school systems and its costs.
6. Are you a museum habitué, a club goer, a foodie or an outdoorsy person?
It might sound fun at first to move to a big city, but if you are a mountaineer, maybe that isn’t a wise decision in terms of maintaining your work/study/life balance (walking up tall skyscrapers just isn’t as satisfying); same goes if you love the ocean and then move to Switzerland.Whatever you like doing in your spare time should be taken into consideration. Now you should have more countries to cross off from your list.
7. What job/study opportunities will the city offer?
Checking job opportunities and university courses could also be the 1st criteria for this exercise if work is your primary reason for relocating. If this is the case, start your long list by researching the best countries for your professional / academic field and then follow the other steps. If instead, work isn’t your main driving force, you might want to check which countries offer a good amount of jobs relevant to your skills. You can do this by researching on popular job websites and even by applying for jobs from home. If you have a partner, don’t forget to consider his or her job/study needs. If you are a couple or a family, you might want to play this game together and see if your end results match. Good luck.
8. Can I afford it?
You might be living like a maharaja right now, or perhaps you are struggling to get to the end of the month. In both cases, you should consider the cost of living in each of the countries you have left on your list. Are your skills unique and rare to find there? You can aim to earn an exceptional salary but it is important to be realistic about your chances. Online research and your international network of friends are 2 of the best ways to find out if you (and your family) can afford a decent lifestyle in your favourite countries.
9. How will I get there?
By now, you should have a clear idea of where you want to move to. Now it’s time to get practical and start thinking about where you can really move to. As you probably know, there are still many restrictions on the free circulation of people among countries and region. Depending on your nationality, you should be able to find out where and how you can obtain a Work/Study Visa. If you are between 18 and 30 (sometimes 35), there are plenty of opportunities to move abroad for an extended period (normally up to 2 years). If you are older and have solid professional experience, you might want to look into your chances of getting a sponsorship instead!
Moving To A New Country Answering to all the questions above and with the due research, you should now have an interesting shortlist of selected and potential countries for your new life. If your final choice sits in Europe and beyond, make sure to start your house-hunting right here! Made it to the end of our quiz? Congratulations! You’ve found where you belong! Sometimes the places we love the most are the ones that we find by chance, so be make to follow your instincts too (or your wanderlust bug). We can’t wait to hear about your new adventure!- - - - - -
…here are some other articles you might fancy…
- The Ultimate Guide To Berlin
- What Nobody Tells You About Being An Au Pair
- 10 Unique Experiences You Can Only Have in Barcelona
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