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The top 10 expat destinations
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Moving abroad to live and work is a huge decision. And choosing a country that ticks all the boxes in terms of what you’re looking for – whether it’s warm weather, interesting culture, good healthcare, or friendly locals – can cause quite a headache.

Here are the ten best expat destinations, according to InterNations’ Expat Insider survey 2017.

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1) Bahrain

Bahrain topped InterNations' survey in 2017, leaping up 18 places from the previous year. One American expat called it "a beautiful melting pot of many different cultures." It's no wonder expats from a variety of places find it easy to settle into the culture, as the country came first in the Language subcategory. One Kyrgyz respondent said: "Bahrainis are very friendly and welcoming. Everyone speaks English". What's more, almost a third of expats (32%) could see themselves staying in Bahrain for more than five years.

2) Costa Rica

The Central American paradise followed close behind Bahrain, making it into the top 10 for three out of five tropical indices: ease of settling in, family life, and quality of life. It ranked first in the Finding Friends subcategory, and seven in ten respondents were generally satisfied with their financial situation. One American respondent enjoyed the "freedom to live a peaceful, happy life, surrounded by peaceful, kind and happy people".

3) Mexico

A surprise to some given ongoing concerns about safety and security, Mexico took bronze in the survey. The survey found the country owes its success to a near-perfect climate, welcoming people, and an affordable cost of living. Mexico ranked in first position for personal happiness. And 74% of expats said they're generally satisfied with their financial situation, with 80% considering the cost of living a potential benefit before moving there.

4) Taiwan

The small island nation came fourth in the overall rankings, but it ranked first for health and wellbeing, which is an important consideration for all expats. What's more, well over eight in ten respondents (87%) said they couldn't be happier with the cost of healthcare. Taiwan also performed well in the Leisure Options subcategory, with almost three quarters of respondents expressing personal satisfaction with socialising.

5) Portugal

"A gem of a country hiding in plain sight" is how one respondent summed up Portugal, which came in fifth place. Not a single respondent had anything negative to say about its climate and weather, and it ranked second out of 65 countries in the Leisure Options subcategory. This certainly explains why Portugal came on top for quality of life.

6) New Zealand

The land of the long white cloud came in at sixth place. It also came in the top five for work-life balance, and ranked second for working abroad. In fact, the survey found that New Zealand offers a shorter working week and a healthy work-life balance.

7) Malta

The island country came seventh overall, and made it into the top five of the Feeling Welcome Abroad subcategory. It ranked as the second easiest country to settle down in, and the fifth best for finding friends.

8) Colombia

Colombia jumped 12 places in the overall rankings, rising from twentieth in 2016 to eight in 2017. It's listed as a country where expats find most of their friends to be locals. And it came third in the Cost of Living subcategory. In fact, the financial benefits of living in Colombia were an important motivating factor when relocating, with 36% of expats citing finances as one of their reasons for moving.

9) Singapore

As well as ranking in number one position in the travel and transport category, Singapore also ranked as one of the safest countries for expats, reaching the top three. The quality of education and availability of childcare and education were also winning factors for the sovereign city-state, as it came second place in both subcategories.

10) Spain

About nine in ten (89%) expats living in Spain said they were satisfied with life in general. The country also received top ratings for leisure options as well as health and wellbeing. And the Mediterranean climate is evidently a big appeal, as two-thirds (66%) couldn't be any happier with the weather.

Protect yourself with expat health insurance before you leave

Healthcare abroad varies from country to country. In some places the facilities can be superb, whereas in others the cost of a basic operation can be extortionate. That's where our Long-Term International Health Plan protects your health wherever you are. It's ideal for individuals or families going to live overseas for a year or more. What's more, the plan covers cancer and chronic medical conditions in full, and offers valuable complimentary extras such as:

  • Red24 – a crisis management assistance company that can help you minimise risks and support you in the event of a crisis.
  • Blood Care Foundation Membership – a charitable, not-for-profit organisation that can provide properly screened blood in an emergency.
  • Best Doctors Second Medical Opinion Service – provides you with access to the world's best medical experts who can review your diagnosis and get you the right answers about your condition and treatment.

So why not get peace of mind before you move by getting a quick online quote now. Or, alternatively, call us on 02034 180 470 to find out more.

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