Choosing a Country to Live in Abroad

When planning a move abroad, there are many things to consider before packing your bags, the first of which is choosing a country to live in. This may seem like an easy step that doesn’t require more than just placing your finger on a map and buying a plane ticket, but it isn’t. There are things you should consider when choosing a country to live in for your move abroad. This guide will detail the things you should be considering when choosing which country to move to.

Goals and Expectations

Before listing countries to move to, think about what your goals and expectations are for while you’re living there.

  • Are you interested in finding a job or retiring?
  • Do you plan on attending school while you’re there?
  • Do you plan on traveling more extensively once you’re there?
  • Do you plan on opening your own business?
  • Do you want to learn another language?

These are things you should consider when trying to choose a country to live in overseas. Each country has its own guidelines, rules and regulations for different aspects of life.

If an overseas job is your objective, research your job skills and where you’d likely be able to find a job once you’ve moved. Figure out where your specific skills are most in demand and then begin to research the process of procuring a work visa if you haven’t done so already.

If you’re a student who wishes to continue furthering your education, find out which programs are already sponsored by your college or universities. If your school doesn’t offer any study abroad options, look into reputable student exchange programs.

Your main consideration when choosing what country to move to should be to match your destination with your personal interests and/or your professional and educational goals.

Economic Factors and Cost of Living

When choosing which country to move to, the economic factors should also play a role in your decision. The economic conditions in your destination country are important considerations when choosing a country to live in. The economic conditions could lessen your buying power depending on exchange rates.

However, currency exchange rates won’t always affect your buying power. Also take into consideration if you transfer overseas for your employer, your income may not be as high as in your home country.

One of the many concerns when moving and choosing a country to live is the cost of living. You’ll need to consider rent, groceries, utilities and any other recurring living expenses you may have. Will you have enough money saved before your move? Will your new job provide you with enough of a salary for your preferred quality of life?


Another important factor to consider when choosing a country to move to is what kind of access you’ll have to healthcare services. If you would prefer to keep the same kind of access that you have currently then you’ll need to research the healthcare systems of the other countries you’re interested in and what kind of qualities interest you the most.

If you have a permanent health condition that you take medication for regularly, will you have access to the same medications and prescriptions that you have at home or will you need to make special arrangements for them? While it might not be a big issue for you now, being in a foreign country for an extended period of time it’s likely that at some point you may need to visit a doctor.

Exotic or Familiar?

Lastly, do you want to immerse yourself in an entirely new culture or do you want to live somewhere similar to your native country? What kind of amenities are you looking for when you move? If you’re looking to live in a place that has all the comforts of home and speaks your language then look for countries that meet those needs.

Even if you prefer a place that is unknown and exotic to you, there still may be expat groups or neighborhoods that you may want to visit. Get to know some of them ahead of time and begin to build a network of friends before you move to make the transition easier on yourself.

Get Quotes

For free international moving quotes, fill out a free quote form and let International Sea & Air Shipping handle your international move.

Researching the Culture of your New Country

How to Find a Roommate Overseas

How to Find Schools Abroad for Your Child

Glossary of Terms for International Shipping