Expat Life: 5 Things To Consider When Choosing Where To Live Abroad

By Leah Freeman-Haskin


With more and more people deciding to pack up their familiar lives in the States and move abroad, it’s important to consider all of the factors that come with such a huge life decision. If you are considering making the move yourself, here are some things to think about before buying that one-way flight.

RELATED: Expat Life: 7 Reasons Why Black Families Move Abroad

Language Barriers

F.J. Jiménez | Getty Images

It’s a common misconception that people speak English just about everywhere around the world. Do your research. When deciding where to move, it’s a good idea to factor in your level of understanding of the local language or your willingness to learn it beforehand.

Cost Of Living

Photo by Raden Prasetya on Unsplash

Sometimes information online can be deceiving when it comes to the actual costs of living in a city. The online numbers may be outdated or don’t factor in your unique lifestyle and needs. Are you traveling with children who will need schooling? Are you looking for a simple or luxurious lifestyle? Speaking with other expats to find out the actual cost of living is important, and it will help you greatly in deciding where to move. Based on your income, you can then make an educated decision that won’t put a strain on finances.

Friends & Family

Photo by Nqobile Vundla on Unsplash

If it’s important that friends and family can visit, you should factor this into your decision. The cost of flights and the distance of travel will heavily deter your friends and family back home from coming to visit. If this is important, look for places where travel is affordable and easy.

Finding Work

Photo by Adeolu Eletu on Unsplash

If you are going to be looking for work when you arrive, it’s import to factor in local Visa requirements in the country where you will be moving. Some countries are stricter than others. You should also consider how much you can earn based on your industry, experience and if that will support your lifestyle abroad.

RELATED: Are You Moving Abroad For The Right Reasons? (4 Questions To Ask Yourself)

Moving With Children

Photo by Sai De Silva on Unsplash

If you will be moving with children, you have to factor in a few more details when doing your research. Schools, medical systems, and safety are all things to consider and can make one place more desirable than another. Be sure to talk to other expats and see how their experiences have been for the entire family.

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