Best places to live abroad with family: the guide

conditions-expatriation

Summary

To know the best places to live abroad with family, you must take into account facts that are different from those of a solo expatriation. The choice of destination is a decision that should not be taken lightly, because moving abroad with a family is an enriching and exciting experience, but also full of obstacles.

Moving abroad with a family, a collective adventure

A way to strengthen the parent-child bond

Moving abroad with a family is an experience with great moments of joy but also some hardships. To face these difficulties and obstacles, nothing beats a family that pulls together.

Thanks to these shared moments, as well as the many memories they build up on the spot, the expat family generally comes out of their stay abroad even more united than before.

Moving abroad with a family also facilitates the integration of parents: having children makes it easier to make contact with other adults, both at school and in the neighborhood.

It is a good way to quickly create new relationships.

The advantages of expatriation for children

A family expat is a great opportunity for the children. When moving abroad and growing in a different country, they develop :

  • Their ability to adapt
  • Their sociability, since they have to make new friends and get out of their cultural habits.

It is also a way to nourish their curiosity and open-mindedness through excursions and discoveries on site.

If the expatriation takes place in a non-French speaking country, it allows them to learn a new language, to immerse themselves in it and to acquire automatisms and an almost irreproachable accent, all the more so since children learn faster than adults.

This is a real bonus for the future.

How to move abroad with a family: Avoid improvisation 

Moving to a new country with your family is something you can’t improvise. We must not neglect the psychological aspect of this upheaval:

  • Separation from friends and family
  • New lifestyle
  • New language
  • New landmarks to build.

An expatriation with a family is also prepared on the material level. Among the most important points to anticipate: schooling and health coverage for children.

It is important to find out early on about schools that can accommodate young expatriates and provide them with a satisfactory education: waiting lists are sometimes long.

As for health coverage, it is important to make sure that all family members will be well covered as soon as they arrive:

  • Vaccinations
  • Routine visits
  • Long-term treatment
  • Contingencies

The local health insurance plan may not always be enough, so consider purchasing international health insurance before departure. To get a clearer picture and make the right choice, it is recommended to use an online comparator.

Best places to live abroad with family. How to find the right destination?

Facts to take into account

You don’t always choose your destination, but when you can, you have to take into account the issue of work-life balance when deciding where to move as a family: it would be a shame not to have time to devote to your children because of extended schedules.

The cost of living as well as the availability of leisure time should also be taken into account: a country with high salaries does not always guarantee that you will be able to do many activities with your family if they cost too much.

On the other hand, a country where life is cheap can be disappointing in terms of activities for children.

Finally, the health system and health or climatic risks should not be overlooked when considering where to move as a family.

A selection of the best countries for expat families

To be sure that the family will find a daily environment and a satisfactory leisure offer, it is rather advisable to stay close to the big cities.

Unsurprisingly, northern European countries are the best countries for expat families to move to:

Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark

Learning the language can be complicated, so at the very least you will need to be proficient in English. But these countries offer many advantages that make them perfect destinations for families:

  • Family policies
  • The volume of vacations
  • Safety and security
  • Access to nature
  • The education system
  • Healthcare
  • The living environment
  • The cultural offer.

Switzerland

Partly French-speaking, it is always present in the rankings of best places to live abroad with family. It is appreciated by expatriates for :

  • Its security
  • Its quality of life
  • Its educational system
  • Its natural spaces
  • Its cultural offer.

Basel was even ranked the world’s most child-friendly city by UNICEF in 2013.

Germany

Its modern and safe cities with a wide range of leisure activities and large green spaces satisfy expatriate families.

Canada

Partly French-speaking, it is less advantageous than the Nordic countries in terms of working hours and vacations, but still offers a healthy environment and a quality of life recognized by many expat families.

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What countries should I move to? The best countries to move to are not the same for everyone! Finding the ideal destination depends first of all on what is expected on a personal level.

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