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Which Country Should I Move To?


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#1 Cornstalks   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6991

Posted 08 December 2011 - 06:19 PM

It seems like each week/month I'm more and more disappointed in my country's government (the US, that is). I'm young and in college, but I've been thinking about the possibility of moving out of the US after I get my degree and starting life somewhere that's not here. What country do you think is the best? Let me give a small list of things that I would consider important:
  • Sensible leaders and politics
  • Good education system
  • Good social opportunities for my future children (China and Japan sound cool and all, but there's too much pressure on school work there IMO; somewhere where a kid can be a kid, but still gain a good education)
  • Good standard of living for someone in the CS industry
  • Good work opportunities for someone in the CS industry (I haven't decided a particular area in CS yet)
  • Not over populated (I come from mountainous Utah, so I like a decent amount of space between two houses)
  • Safe (both protected by the government and from the government)
  • Speaks English, since that's all I know and the only languages I enjoy learning are programming languages
  • Anything else you might think is important
I've thought of somewhere in the EU maybe, but I'm not sure.
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#2 Moe   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1249

Posted 08 December 2011 - 06:50 PM

How about Canada?

#3 Luckless   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1885

Posted 08 December 2011 - 07:26 PM

I think you best be looking toward the stars if you really want to hit that first point.


But Canada isn't bad. Really, we're mostly friendly bunches up here. Just watch out for the French.
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#4 Palidine   Members   -  Reputation: 1281

Posted 08 December 2011 - 07:44 PM

Well, I don't know what the work visa rules are for other countries but that's going to be your biggest hurdle. For the US, foreigners cannot get a work visa to move here unless they have at least ~6 years prior professional experience in the field of the job to which they are being hired (I forget what the exact number is). It is likely that other countries have similar rules for granting work visas. So if you really want to move, your best plan might be:

- see who can hire you
- move there

Having English as a restriction would also be unnecessarily limiting your options. Countries that speak English at work would be: US, Canada, Britain, Australia, and those below :). That's it. And if you're moving to Quebec, Canada you probably want to learn French if you want to get along more easily with the locals.

Mostly your best bet of working internationally is to get a job with a multi-national company in the US and then transfer internally to a foreign office. Getting hired out of country, especially without work experience is extremely challenging.

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#5 froop   Members   -  Reputation: 636

Posted 08 December 2011 - 07:52 PM

  • Speaks English, since that's all I know and the only languages I enjoy learning are programming languages

Well there are only 6 countries where english is the defacto language. Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, New Zealand, United Kingdom, USA.




#6 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 31822

Posted 08 December 2011 - 08:00 PM

The EU definitely sounds like what you're looking for, except you'd probably want to learn a 2nd language for social reasons (many companies use English internally, instead of their native tongue), and population density might be higher than you're used to.

I can only comment on living in Australia:
* Politics - similar to the US, but on a much smaller scale and less extreme. To us, US presidential campaigns look like rock concert tours. Still quite conservative like the US. Still have two parties: far-right/conservative/"Republican"=="Liberal" vs centre-right/social/"Democrat"=="Labor".
* Education - Can't be hard to beat the US education system, right? Posted Image Public schools are decent and competitive with private schools. University is deregulated and not free, but you can get an interest-free loan from the government to cover your tuition costs (which is paid directly to the school, and you pay back via extra tax -- no work, no repayments).
* Living - A corporate CS graduate could expect ~$50k (-17% tax). Someone with experience could fetch ~$100k p/a (-24% tax).
The further you're willing to commute, the more space you can get (and the cheaper your rent will become, e.g. outer-suburbs house/yard for <$1k/mo vs inner-city apartment for $2k/mo).
Crime-wise, again, can't be hard to beat the US, right? Posted Image There's sure to be less guns, gangs, drugs and unemployment here on average.
* Opportunity - video-games wise, the industry here has shrunk by about half over the past 5 years, so it's not great to be looking for games jobs, but there's the usual Microsoft/Google/Oracle-type offices, and corporate finance/etc type places.
* English - we're as mono-language as the states, no need to speak foreign here Posted Image

#7 Sirisian   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1793

Posted 08 December 2011 - 08:07 PM

It seems like each week/month I'm more and more disappointed in my country's government (the US, that is). I'm young and in college [...]

:lol: Yeah none of what the federal government does directly effects most people. State are for more important for most people. If you stop watching the news for a while you'll soon realize that and stop caring.

Looking at your list, the US has those properties for most people unless you're on the extremes like the Tea Party.

If you're willing to learn another language then a lot of very peaceful countries exist. Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, etc that have decent job outlooks. (Then again you can also just move someplace else in the US).

I'd actually be interested to see what things in the federal government that you don't want to see in the country you'd move to.

#8 CodeDemon   Members   -  Reputation: 363

Posted 08 December 2011 - 08:10 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patagonia

I wouldn't trust Canada, if shit hits the fan, the authorities here won't have any qualms deporting you to America.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2011/12/06/weston-border-deal-exit.html

Also, EU is dangerously close (a matter of days) to breaking up which will lead to civil disorder and socio-economic breakdown.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16082755
http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-2071800/Tesco-plans-collapse-eurozone.html?ito=feeds-newsxml
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jameskirkup/100122774/eurozone-crisis-summit-what-david-cameron-will-say/
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/08/treaty-changes-on-eu-summit-agenda

#9 lrh9   Members   -  Reputation: 174

Posted 08 December 2011 - 08:32 PM

I'd love to try living in Norway, Sweden, Finland, or Switzerland. Never visited, but I hear good things.

#10 Cornstalks   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6991

Posted 08 December 2011 - 09:16 PM

  • Speaks English, since that's all I know and the only languages I enjoy learning are programming languages

Well there are only 6 countries where english is the defacto language. Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, New Zealand, United Kingdom, USA.

Surely you can't be serious? South Africa has 11 official languages, but English is most definitely the dominant language (most people speak it as their 2nd or 3rd language), as well as the de facto business language. You didn't list Canada either...


It seems like each week/month I'm more and more disappointed in my country's government (the US, that is). I'm young and in college [...]

:lol: Yeah none of what the federal government does directly effects most people. State are for more important for most people. If you stop watching the news for a while you'll soon realize that and stop caring.

I largely agree with you there. Utah has actually been really good to live in, and I have nothing against living in Utah, but I'm becoming less interested in living in the US.

If you're willing to learn another language then a lot of very peaceful countries exist. Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, etc that have decent job outlooks.

I've always thought about those countries, but learning another language is my biggest barrier. I know it's possible, but it would take a couple years to just get the language down to a point where I can feel more natural in expressing myself, which is a couple of years I'd rather spend not worrying about a language. I didn't like English classes, and I really didn't care for my Spanish class either, so judging by those experiences I'm going to assume it's best if I avoid the unnecessary stress (but I agree that it's a major limitation I'm putting on myself, unfortunately).

I'd actually be interested to see what things in the federal government that you don't want to see in the country you'd move to.

I'm really hoping to avoid a political debate in this thread, but just to give you an idea, seeing as I think it's relavent: a country that doesn't have HR1540 (please Obama, do the right thing), doesn't have the DMCA (drives me nuts I can't legally get around the DRM on my iTunes music), has a government that is more functional (i.e. that when they say "super committee," the word "super" actually means something where they accomplish at least one dang thing), etc. It's not that the US us the worstest place evar, it's just that I'm becoming more and more interested in trying another place out since I'm realizing I may like it more.

Canada and Australia sound interesting... Keep the input coming, it's awesome! Especially from the users who live(d) in other countries who can share what it's like.
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#11 Cornstalks   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6991

Posted 08 December 2011 - 09:24 PM

I wanted to edit my post but my GS2 sucks at letting me move my cursor to the end.

Anyway, I wonder if maybe a foreign exchange thing might help while I'm in college. I am not sure if it'd work out with my scholarship, but I'll have to look into it. Good idea on the possibility of working for a major international company and then transferring, Palidine.
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#12 mdwh   Members   -  Reputation: 901

Posted 08 December 2011 - 10:11 PM

Speaking for the UK - I don't think UK is an improvement politically, each country has pros and cons (though obviously it depends on exactly what you dislike about the US Government). But if you want to move anyway for whatever reason: I think the education system is reasonably good (higher education unfortunately getting expensive, though nowhere near what it is in the US), and reasonably good salary and opportunities for computer science. I wouldn't say it's overpopulated, but houses tend to be smaller and more expensive than in the US AFAICT. Things I like about the UK include the public healthcare, and the longer holidays that employees tend to get (25 + public holidays is common) compared to the US.

There's also the question of how you're going to get here, since both the main parties seem anti-immigration - immigration from outside the EU has got far harder in the last 10 years, and the borders are almost shut except for a few categories. I will be marrying my US partner, but we still have a large amount of expense, hoops and hassle to jump through just to live together! 10 years ago you could come here with a degree; now I believe your only hope is if you're employed for a skilled job where the company are unable to find anyone from within the EU to do it.
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#13 SimonForsman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6305

Posted 08 December 2011 - 10:45 PM

The EU definitely sounds like what you're looking for, except you'd probably want to learn a 2nd language for social reasons (many companies use English internally, instead of their native tongue), and population density might be higher than you're used to.


As a EU(Swedish) citizen i don't think EU is what he is looking for

  • Sensible leaders and politics (Hell no, They're retarded monkeys at best and evil geniouses at worst and our national politicians just blame all impopular decisions on the EU (Where we pretty much got noone to hold responsible(In reality it is the same parties though, dodging blame is a politicians game i guess)), allthough if you care enough about politics to actually make an informed vote i'd welcome you here, we need more sensible people voting)
  • Good education system (Ok, maybe, it depends)
  • Good social opportunities for my future children (China and Japan sound cool and all, but there's too much pressure on school work there IMO; somewhere where a kid can be a kid, but still gain a good education) (Yeah, ok this can be good or even awesome, but you could get that in the US aswell)
  • Good standard of living for someone in the CS industry (Check)
  • Good work opportunities for someone in the CS industry (I haven't decided a particular area in CS yet) (Ok, we got this covered)
  • Not over populated (I come from mountainous Utah, so I like a decent amount of space between two houses) (~10 mil citizens, shouldn't be a problem)
  • Safe (both protected by the government and from the government) (Well, by the government, maybe, they havn't had many chances to prove that in the last couple of hundred years, from the government i think is impossible to be safe these days but the police state isn't that far along yet)
  • Speaks English, since that's all I know and the only languages I enjoy learning are programming languages. (Almost everyone speaks english or will in 20 years time)
  • Anything else you might think is important




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#14 J-dog   Members   -  Reputation: 120

Posted 09 December 2011 - 12:36 AM

If you have to ask us... then I don't think you ought to move. I'm not saying it's an outright bad idea, but immigrating is a big deal - I was born in Slovakia and moved to South Africa when I was very young. At that age, it didn't really matter, but my parents did struggle a bit to adjust because of cultural and language barriers. They do OK though and things worked out well, but I know many other immigrants here (older generation) and some of them are very lonely people. Some people are just better at adjusting than others though, and if you're one of those people then you'll be OK.

A lot of people immigrate from South Africa too. I too am considering this. However, (and trust me, South Africa has a ton of problems), a fair amount of people do come back - from places such as Canada, England, the US and Australia. Most people want to run away from something rather than going there for something, and dammit man, every country has problems - you will never be 100% happy. A country that satisfies all your criteria doesn't exist, but even if it did, it still might not be a good place for you.

Travel a bit and try to experience other countries, see what you like... there is no utopia. Even if you found a perfect country but the people were just too difficult to get on with or too contrasting in culture (esp. a problem with EU), then you won't be happy. You need to find an environment that suits you personally, so nobody can answer that for you. "The grass is always greener on the other side" ... there is profound truth to this idiom.

PS. politics are and always will be shit. South African politics are laughable, it's actually depressing. Nevermind what's going on in Slovakia... oh and I've watched some of your US electoral candidate videos on youtube, that stuff is also shockingly bad. I have given up all hope.

#15 Cornstalks   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6991

Posted 09 December 2011 - 12:53 AM

and trust me, South Africa has a ton of problems

I know, I lived there for 2 years Posted Image Just got back in August.

Most people want to run away from something rather than going there for something, and dammit man, every country has problems - you will never be 100% happy. A country that satisfies all your criteria doesn't exist, but even if it did, it still might not be a good place for you.

I know I'm not going to find a utopia (if there was one, I think I'd know by now). And I'm ok with that.

Travel a bit and try to experience other countries, see what you like...

I agree, and that's more or less where I'm going with this. But I'm trying to have the focus of "where would be nice to live"' rather than "where would be nice to visit," just in case I perhaps do find somewhere that I would prefer.

PS. politics are and always will be shit.

I know, unfortunately. I'm just realizing more my own country's imperfections and am willing to look elsewhere since I have not done so yet. I'm not necessarily expecting anything a billion times better than here (I'll be honest, life here is pretty dang good), but while I'm young, I might as well take the opportunity to explore the world (should I get the opportunity).

South African politics are laughable, it's actually depressing.

Agreed, unfortunately. Thankfully Malema was finally found guilty of hate speech. But that's just one small, small piece of South Africa's puzzle. I love the place, but I'll never live there again, I don't think.
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#16 Krohm   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3249

Posted 09 December 2011 - 02:58 AM

I just want to point out EU's economical outlook is a question mark to be honest. If looking to improve quality of life, the (easy) choice is really between Germany, France or UK (and that's already a bit of a stretch).
I've been told Austria and Belgium are rather ok but I have only heard rumors. Austria has indeed excellent welfare. Switzerland appears to be well set.
Northern countries such as Sweden, Finland (and perhaps Norway) might eventually be what OP searches for: besides a good economical outlook welfare, fiscal pressure and social issues are relatively well managed.



Everything else will require OP considerable efforts in the medium to long term to maintain quality of life. Mediterrean regions have outrageous public debts which already erupted in big trouble (Portugal, Iceland, Italy, Greece, Spain), Italy alone is being a considerable headache for EU's economical stability.
Eastern countries start from very low quality of life and industry (Romania, Belarus as example and other ex-URSS contries), in some cases there's basically no "contry" in the common sense of the term. Those countries are often not part of political EU: get ready for some hassles. No chance you can just get there "to try".

Contrary to expectations, ex-Yugoslavia countries might have a better long-term outlook. They have relatively low labor costs and decent amount of resources. Again, their industry, especially regarding CS is a bit... late to say the best. No chance they talk much English. Sometimes you might still have to look out for mines.

Personally, if OP looks to improve quality of life, I'd stay out of EU (at least political Eurozone EU). With little industry, resources and political leadership, EU's outlook is grim. I've been told Australia, India and Brazil are currently pretty promising.

#17 Daft Code   Members   -  Reputation: 102

Posted 09 December 2011 - 03:05 AM

Have a look at switzerland, it covers all your points pretty well except language. Youd deff. would have to look into learning german.. its still a very multicultural country. Plus, switzerland is not part of the EU, so no real hassle with the barking dog neighbours. Check: http://www.bfm.admin.ch/bfm/en/home.html

#18 CodeDemon   Members   -  Reputation: 363

Posted 09 December 2011 - 04:50 AM

And for anyone who thought I was being over-dramatic, like clock-work, it's happening. The EU is finished.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/45609228

British Prime Minister David Cameron announces that Britain will never join the Euro, and will not sign a new European Union treaty. This is the beginning of the end.

#19 Katie   Members   -  Reputation: 1374

Posted 09 December 2011 - 07:14 AM

"Britain will never join the Euro, and will not sign a new European Union treaty. This is the beginning of the end."

I can't see that myself. Europe will do what it normally does after asking Britain for its opinion, which is deciding they don't like it much and then going and doing whatever the Germans and French wanted anyway.

#20 DarklyDreaming   Members   -  Reputation: 366

Posted 09 December 2011 - 07:20 AM

And for anyone who thought I was being over-dramatic, like clock-work, it's happening. The EU is finished.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/45609228

British Prime Minister David Cameron announces that Britain will never join the Euro, and will not sign a new European Union treaty. This is the beginning of the end.

Don't make this political.
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