The number of expats living and working in foreign countries is skyrocketing, touching the mark of nearly 56 million people worldwide. It’s almost an entire percentage of the world population, and the number is only expected to keep rising as we become increasingly connected.
It’s not to say the world is small, though, and if you’re considering to join the squad of expats, it’s a good idea to figure out which countries you should head off to right away – and which ones to steer clear off.
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Here is a list of the best countries to work in as an expat, making it a bit easier to find the kind of place that deserves to have your bright head showing up for work every morning.
Expats and work permits
No matter where you end up working, it’s important to have a job set up well in advance of your departure. It makes it a lot easier to locate decent condos for rent nearby your work, for example, as well as opening up for organizing a work permit before you leave. Keep in mind that a work permit may not be for you – even if you’re planning on living abroad to work.
You should absolutely consider a work visa when your current job has arranged the transfer, as you’ll be able to continue with your regular job in the foreign country. The downside to this kind of permit is that, when you simply apply for a random job in another country, the company will take responsibility for you and you’ll be bound to them.
You should, therefore, try to find a different kind of visa when you want a bit of independence while still being able to make a living. Have a look at this article, to begin with, and read up on your alternatives – keeping in mind that the regulations vary from country to country.
#1 Switzerland: Tourism, banking, and insurance
As an all-round option for a career abroad, Switzerland ranks at the top for the second year in a row. It is structurally similar to the US with regards to the government – as well as at a local level and offers a breathtaking scenery in addition to the comfortable working conditions.
You can expect around twenty days of paid salary and about thirty hours of work per week. They speak English throughout the country, by the way, as well as a variety of other languages in case you’re bilingual, such as French, Rumantsch, German, and Italian.
#2 Germany: Mechanical engineering and medicine
As an expat who would like to acquire new skills or build on their current ones, experience career progression and general work security, Germany is the country for you. According to a survey done by HSBC, more than 70 % of expats working in Germany says that their work security is better than what they had at home.
That means a lot when you’re looking for stable and predictable days at work; plus, there are more public holidays in Germany than in any other European country, which should be enough to win you over.
#3 Australia: Mining, steel, and industrial equipment
You won’t get bored while working in Australia, that’s for sure. With so much beautiful nature and its exceptionally large geographical diversity, you’ll be able to enjoy your life outside of work to the fullest. The country features more than 378 mammal species, 50 types of marine animals, and the exciting proximity of both the Indian and the Pacific oceans.
The healthcare is sponsored by their government, you can enjoy at least twenty days of holiday per year as well as about seven public holidays, and may expect a bit more than thirty hours of work per week.
#4 Norway: Petroleum and gas, shipping, and aquaculture
If you enjoy short hours of work per week, Norway is your dream come true. Enjoy the benefits of ending your day at around 4 PM, as well as a fantastic governmental system that provides both healthcare and parental leave at 80 % of your salary for 54 weeks – or 100 % of your salary for 44 weeks. When it comes to taking care of their citizens, Norway has it all covered.
It’s a wealthy country with the fourth highest per capita income in the world. You will get at least twenty-five days of holiday per year as well, and will not work more than about twenty-seven hours per week.
Where in the country you choose to work is up to you; just remember that the cities furthest up north will stay quite dark during the winter season and questionably bright during the summer. It’s a great experience, though, but remember to get yourself some blackout curtains for the summer as well as your vitamin D during the winter – or just live further south.
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#5 Netherlands: Agroindustries, metal and engineering products
As one of the most densely populated countries in Europe, you can expect a lot of great job opportunities here. The Netherlands is also known for being one the world’s leading exporter of flowers, particularly tulips, and you’ll be able to enjoy a rich cultural life when you’re not working.
Although they speak Dutch, 90 % of the population is proficient in English, so you won’t have any trouble with the communication.
Just like the workers in Norway enjoy short days of work, you can happily clock out at a decent hour in the Netherlands as well. Enjoy a week of work at about twenty-seven hours, at least twenty days of holiday per year as well sixteen weeks of 100 % paid parental leave.
Luckily, you don’t have to settle for lousy work arrangements in your home country when the world has so many great places to offer. Making the career leap isn’t as frightening when an amount of people have done it before you, found their dream job abroad, and are able to enjoy the benefits of waking up to work on their own terms.
Have a word with your boss about transfer opportunities or get in touch with an international recruitment company; they’ll be happy to help you with finding a job in the country of your dreams.