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An expatriate is someone who leaves their native country to live elsewhere. There aren’t that many of us who have the guts to do that, but those who do get the opportunity to live in a new land that’s rich unfamiliar culture. A daydream for most, it can be a frightening leap to head to a different country for a vacation, let alone to live for potentially the rest of your life. If you’re daydreaming about leaving the country to settle somewhere foreign, think about taking the next step and making your dream a reality. Here are some of the best places in Europe to live if you’re ready to take the plunge.
Our number one pick, The Netherlands are the perfect place if you’re looking for a new career, especially in the tech industry, great healthcare, and incredible schools for your children. While the housing market isn’t amazing, the Dutch make up for it with clean, vibrant cities that have low crime rates. English is spoken by nearly everyone, particularly in business, so you should be able to easily integrate into your work life. Overall quality of life here is high and the Dutch are incredibly friendly, especially to those of other cultures. All around, The Netherlands are one of your best picks when it comes to your first time living abroad.
Number two on our list, Portugal has a few more drawbacks than The Netherlands, being a less stable economy, but it makes up for that with an insanely low cost of living. It is also incredibly easy to gain residency due to their Golden Visa Program, which allows you a residency permit if you’re willing to invest in property. The Portuguese are welcoming to outsiders, have delicious cuisine, and a warm, enjoyable climate. What’s not to like?
Germany has the biggest economy in all of Europe, making it an ideal place to do business and purchase property. The Germans also have access to inexpensive or free schooling, which can be a bonus for you and your family. There are tons of job opportunities here, especially if you’re looking to start your own company or jump into one of their growing fields, like the tech industry. Stick to the larger cities if you’re worried about learning another language than English. The only major drawback of picking up and moving to Germany is that it might be a little more difficult to gain residency.
There are many other places in Europe worth moving to, such as Greece and France, which may be more difficult to acclimate to but incredibly beautiful and satisfying once settled. When you’ve found the right location for your move, ask yourself questions like, “What’s my home worth?” or “What type of job market am I looking for?” to better understand your guidelines and limitations when you’re ready to convert to life in Europe as an expat.