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In our careers, we’ve helped over 150 people move internationally to 20 different countries. There are a variety of reasons that Americans and Canadians choose to move abroad, but some are more common than others.
Common Reasons Americans and Canadians Choose to Move Abroad
No two moves are the same. We pride ourselves on really getting to know our clients, and tailoring the solutions for them, so that we can properly address their needs, concerns, and goals. This list is by no means exhaustive, but a few of the more common reasons our clients are choosing to move abroad are:
Adventure and Exploration – Some Americans and Canadians simply crave adventure and want to experience living in a foreign culture. They may want to immerse themselves in a new language, explore new foods and customs, and see the world from a different perspective. This is true of all types of aspiring expats, from retirees, to digital nomads, to solo professionals, as well as young families.
Retirement – A growing number of American and Canadian retirees are choosing to live abroad, often in search of a more affordable or comfortable retirement lifestyle. Countries with lower costs of living, access to affordable healthcare, and better weather are often popular choices.
Access to Education – More and more young families are choosing to live abroad in order to expose their children to different cultures and languages. Access to more affordable, high-quality education than might be available to them otherwise is also a big draw.
Political Climate – In some cases, Americans and Canadians may choose to leave due to political or social reasons. The news cycle, or the policies at home, can feel restrictive, and many individuals are seeking a fresh perspective.
Health and Wellness – Some expats decide to move abroad to take advantage of better healthcare options or to live in a more natural and healthy environment.
Seven Things You Should Keep in Mind if You’re Considering a Move Abroad
Aspiring expats need to remember that moving to a different country can be wonderful, but it isn’t necessarily a silver bullet. Many of our American and Canadian clients that choose to make an international move report that the experience can be challenging, rewarding, and even life-changing.
Here are seven key things that we recommend our clients keep in mind as they consider taking the leap:
1. Visa and Immigration Requirements
Before moving to a foreign country, Americans and Canadians must navigate the visa and immigration requirements. This can be a complex and time-consuming process, so it’s important to start early and do thorough research, or work with a professional who can navigate the process for you.
2. Language and Culture
People who move abroad should be prepared to face language and cultural barriers. It’s important to learn as much as possible about the local language and customs, and be open to adapting to new ways of living.
3. Cost of Living
The cost of living can vary greatly from country to country, and aspiring expats should carefully consider the financial implications of moving abroad. Factors such as housing, food, healthcare, and taxes can all affect the overall cost of living.
Access to quality healthcare can be a major concern for Americans and Canadians living abroad. It’s important to research the local healthcare system and make sure that adequate insurance coverage is in place.
5. Safety and Security
Those considering an international move should also consider the safety and security of the country they plan to move to. Factors such as crime rates, political stability, and natural disasters can all affect safety.
6. Job Opportunities and Work Restrictions
For Americans and Canadians who plan to work abroad, job opportunities and career prospects are important considerations. Many countries restrict the types of jobs foreigners can hold before becoming permanent residents, which is often its own long, complex process. There are also likely to be cultural differences in terms of attitudes towards work that you’ll need to be patient and flexible to adapt to.
7. Social Support
Moving to a foreign country can be a lonely experience, so it’s important to consider social support networks. This may include finding expat communities, making local friends, and maintaining connections with family and friends back home.
Moving abroad can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it requires careful planning and consideration. Even thinking about where to start can be overwhelming and stressful. But it doesn’t need to be.
Your Dream International Move. Made Simple.
StartAbroad is a full-service relocation company that has solutions for every step of the move process. We make two promises to our clients: 1) we’ll save you considerable time, money, and stress during the move, and 2) we’ll be in your corner, every step of the way.