In pictures: The best destinations to live, work, and play
IT IS NEVER EASY to uproot and leave home to start over in a foreign place, especially if you’re expected to work in a new environment, make new friends, adjust to culture shock, pick up a new language/dialect, and speaking in a local accent.
All while struggling to feel at home.
No matter how many times you have visited the place prior, actually living there is a different ball game.
According to the InterNations Expat Insider 2019 survey, Taiwan is one of the most attractive cities in the world for expats. It studied more than 20,000 survey respondents, who shared their insights into expat life in 64 destinations around the world.
This is not the first time that Taiwan has come out on top. In 2017, Taiwan was ranked in the top ten of a leading index of the best places to live for expatriates in the world, along with destinations like Spain, Mexico, and New Zealand.
Here are the best destinations to live and work, according to InterNations’ Expats Insider 2019 survey:
Coming first out of 64 countries and territories in the Expat Insider 2019 survey, Taiwan stands out for its great quality of life (3rd place). Taiwan is rated best in the world for the affordability of healthcare, with almost nine in 10 respondents (89 percent) satisfied with this factor (vs. 55 percent globally). Expats in Taiwan are also happy with the quality of medical care (92 percent vs. 65 percent globally) and their personal safety (96 percent vs. 81 percent globally).
After ranking 14th out of 68 destinations in 2018, Vietnam is voted the second-best country for expats in 2019. Expats there are particularly happy with their career prospects (68% satisfied vs. 55 percent globally) and their jobs in general (74 percent satisfied vs. 64 percent globally). However, Vietnam is not only the highest-ranking country when it comes to working abroad, it is also the best destination for personal finance (1st out of 64). In fact, 81 percent of expats are happy with their financial situation (vs. 64 percent worldwide), and 75 percent state that their disposable household income is more than they need to cover daily costs (vs. 49 percent globally).
According to the Expat Insider 2019 survey, Portugal offers an excellent quality of life (1st worldwide) and a “relaxed lifestyle”, as a British expat highlights. It is one of the world’s best countries for leisure options (2nd): more than four in five expats (83 percent) are happy with the socializing and leisure activities available to them (vs. 65% globally), and almost every expat (95 percent) rates the climate and weather positively (vs. 61 percent globally). Moreover, Portugal ranks among the top 5 expat destinations where it is easy to settle in for the third year in a row (4th in 2019).
Mexico is the world’s easiest country to settle in as an expat, and more than four in five expats (84 percent) feel at home in the local culture (vs. 60 percent globally). Expats do not only consider Mexicans to be very friendly (92 percent vs. 68 percent globally), they also find it easy to make friends with them (80 percent vs. 42 percent globally). Mexico also ranks first in the world for socializing and leisure activities (84 percent positive ratings vs. 65 percent globally).
In the Expat Insider 2019 survey, Spain secures its spot among the best countries for quality of life (2nd place out of 64). Two of Spain’s best features are its climate and weather as well as the availability of leisure options (1st and 2nd, respectively). Spain also performs well when it comes to health and well-being (3rd): more than four in five respondents (82 percent) find healthcare in Spain affordable (vs. 55 percent globally), and 86 percent are satisfied with the quality of medical care (vs. 65 percent globally).
Expats in Singapore continue to be very happy with their quality of life, ranking the city-state fourth in this index for the third year in a row. Almost every expat in Singapore (95 percent) finds it easy to get high-speed internet access at home (vs. 75 percent globally), ranking the city-state first in the world for this factor. Expats living in Singapore also feel well connected through transportation (98 percent satisfied vs. 68 percent globally) and are happy with the opportunity to travel (96 percent vs. 82 percent globally).
After a first place in the Expat Insider survey in 2018 and 2017, Bahrain loses six places in 2019 (7th out of 64). These results may be affected by its sudden drop of 17 places in the Working Abroad Index (from 1st to 18th). While Bahrain is still in the top 10 countries for career prospects and job satisfaction (10th), expats seem to be less satisfied with their working hours (3rd in 2018 to 27th in 2019) and their job security (5th to 19th).
Expats in Ecuador are the happiest in the world: nearly nine in ten (86 percent) are generally happy with their life (vs. 74 percent globally). “Life is just simpler and more enjoyable,” explains an expat from the USA. Finding friends seems to particularly please expats living in Ecuador (3rd), with 73 percent agreeing that it is easy (vs. 54 percent globally). Ecuador also comes third in terms of cost of living, with 85 percent of respondents being satisfied with this factor (vs. 47 percent globally).
Affording a good life in Malaysia does not seem to be hard for expats: the country comes in 7th place out of 64 countries in the Cost of Living Index, with 82 percent of expats rating costs positively (vs. 47 percent globally). As a British expat highlights, there are “earning opportunities compared to very reasonable cost of living”. In fact, Malaysia scores another seventh place when it comes to personal finance and 62 percent report that their household income is more than enough to cover daily costs (vs. 49 percent globally).
Czechia ranks second in the world in the Working Abroad Index, only beaten by Vietnam. Its best results can be found in the Career Prospects & Satisfaction (2nd) and Economy & Job Security (3rd) subcategories, though it ranks in the top 10 for all factors of this index. More than four in five expats (84 percent) rate, for instance, the state of the economy positively (vs. 63 percent globally). Czechia is also a great destination for families (4th): 90 percent of expat parents are satisfied with their family life in general (vs. 79 percent globally), and 93 percent are particularly happy with the leisure activities available for their children (vs. 75 percent globally).