As travel becomes cheaper and more accessible, more Aussies than ever are trying out expat living for a better lifestyle, career development or to embrace a new culture.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade claims one million of us have settled abroad – so where are the hotspots and where should you avoid when moving your life overseas?
The hot spots
Singapore: The total expat package
HSBC’s Expat Explorer Survey 2018 ranked 31 countries across the world based on a number of factors grouped under three categories: economic opportunities, personal experience and family life. After the dust had settled, Singapore collected the mantle of the best expat destination in the world for the second year in a row.
With career development opportunities in the banking and business sectors, a high quality of living and very low rates of crime, Singapore has it all.
Singapore offers a total expat experience, blending high quality of life with good economic opportunities.
New Zealand: A relaxed pace of life
Migration to New Zealand is at a high, with the ‘Antipodean exchange’ of workers and families easy for Aussies thanks to relaxed visa laws between the two countries.
New Zealand is ranked number one in the world for the expat experience, according to HSBC. Sixty per cent of those moving overseas chose the Land of the Long White Cloud based on its reputation for a relaxed lifestyle and clean, green environment.
New Zealand offers a quality of life like no other expat destination.
South East Asia: An affordable cultural experience
One of the emerging trends identified in HSBC’s survey is Australian expats’ preference to experience a new culture. The Far East was the destination of choice for one in three relocating abroad (HSBC’s Australian Expats Profile), with countries like the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand popular destinations for Australians who want to experience a new way of living.
For those nearing retirement, South East Asia offers a more affordable and relaxed lifestyle. Warm weather and regular flight connections to Australia also contribute to the region’s popularity.
South East Asia promises vibrant new cultural exposure.
The US: Politics and healthcare inhibiting a once-popular spot
Slipping three places in HSBC’s survey from its 2017 ranking, political uncertainty and worries over healthcare affordability means the US, while still a prime relocation destination, is losing its lustre.
Healthcare costs in the US are putting expats off a move.
Brazil: Concerns over safety despite high chance of integration
The largest economy in South America once again came in last place in HSBC’s survey, with the country ranking low for potential earnings, safety and quality of schooling.
The Latin American nation did, however, rank very highly for integration into local culture and communities – so if you wanted a unique experience, it could be ideal for your move!
Brazil, despite concerns around safety, has high rates of expat integration.
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