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Which Country Should I Move To?


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#21 samoth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4684

Posted 09 December 2011 - 08:42 AM

Canada may be one option, Sweden (especially Kista) another. I really hate cold winters, so neither of them is for me, but otherwise they're both good on all acconts.

In fact, Kista may be the perfect compromise for what you want: kind of a "small Silicon Valley", under an hour in the car to "big city", 30 mins to airport, and 30 mins to "totally desolate countryside". Be sure to bring warm clothes for winter, last time I visited, it was -10, you could see about 30 meters and there were 2 meters of snow in the street... which doesn't prevent the average Swede from driving 70-80 km/h.

Not over populated


Rules out China, Japan, and the entire EU with the exception of northern Sweden (outside The City), some now totally desolate parts of former East Germany, some rural areas in France and Spain, or other places in a land far, far away where you have no perspective whatsoever of finding a job, especially not in IT, and not well-paid either.

Sensible leaders and politics


That rules out planet Earth. On a more serious note, good governements don't exist. Human does not go with power.

France has a government that (from a German's perspective) does not look bad at all, though all French people I know seem to hate Sarkozy and disapprove of anything he does (no idea why, I've only seen him do things that are more good than evil in summary).
Germany maintains a dog and pony show run by clowns rather than a government. This circus comes with one half-baked new idea every two weeks (usually the opposite of two weeks ago). Plus, we do any Nazi idea that the USA come up with, but we do it first, and we do it right. Worried about SOPA? You must be kidding. Eavesdropping telephones and internet? Biometric surveillance? Hey, get down, we practically invented that stuff. It's for our safety and freedom.
Italy's government used to be somewhere in between Germany's pony show, Mussolini, and Mafia, but now that Berlusconi is finally gone, maybe things will get better. One can hope.
Now Belgium of course tops every other country in terms of government, having had no government at all for nearly 2 years because they could not agree on the election outcome. And guess what... the music played on.

Safe (both protected by the government and from the government)


Definitively not Germany. The police is good at criminalizing normal people, but if someone breaks into your house or your car, you never see police. If you're robbed or if there is a brawl, police takes 1-2 hours, because hey, getting into a brawl is dangerous. Better do some important park tickets first.
I do feel quite safe in France on both accounts, though I've heard much different from other people (admittedly, I stay far away from Paris, which is a different world). Rural France is where you leave your front door open and where cars stop when you cross the street.

Speaks English, since that's all I know


This will be a serious problem in most European countries (other than Ireland, UK, or Sweden... maybe 1-2 others). You might possibly find a job in a company that uses English internally as Hodgman said, but these companies are rare, and all in all it remains very problematic. In most EU countries, everybody hates the "stupid American who expects us to talk English". Seriously.
Forget about pulling that in Germany, France, Italy, or Spain (forget twice in France). Don't expect someone in the city hall or in an administrative office being able (or rather willing!) to talk English, and don't expect to get what you need. There is of course always the chance of being lucky and finding someone exceptionally kind and helpful, but I would not rely on these odds.
In Sweden, surprisingly, everybody in the street and in the shops speaks English and has no issues whatsoever with doing that and being just "normal" about it.

Also, EU is dangerously close (a matter of days) to breaking up which will lead to civil disorder and socio-economic breakdown.
[...]
it's happening. The EU is finished.

This, Sir, is so disqualifyingly wrong on all accounts that I can hardly find words to express.

There sure are non-deniable problems in 3-4 countries, and serious problems in one particular country. However, these problems are mostly home-made (with the help of two notable US companies) and have existed and been well-known for three decades, and the music played on. Kohl and Mitterand wanted the union at any price back then, and although everybody knew that Greece (and Italy, and some others) had forged their balance, this was silently accepted, because we wanted the union, end of story. Of course this has cost the union dearly, and it still does, but that's not something that was unforeseeable.

Also, it's not like Greece is really out of money. A few people get richer as money disappears, and a lot of people get a bit poorer, both in Greece and the rest of the EU. But again, that's not something sensational, new, or specific to Europe. The common people will have to work a bit harder, and they will be a bit less happy, but the music will play on.
The annoying thing about it is that as long as the union keeps doing everything to rescue a member country from collapse, at any cost (and it still looks like they will not back off any time soon) there is little incentive for anyone in the government to change anything substantially, other than maybe pro forma. An actual hard collapse would possibly be better both for the people in the country and the entire union.

As far as the UK go, they did not intend to be part of the EU or the Euro for the last 30 years, so that is not big news either. Who cares.

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#22 FLeBlanc   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3101

Posted 09 December 2011 - 09:35 AM

Here's a few ineffable words of wisdom from the glorious Cracked.com team on why this probably won't work. To sum up:

1) Nobody else wants you. There's a strong anti-American sentiment in even countries such as UK who have traditionally been rather friendly and tolerant. You're an American. In a lot of peoples' eyes, that makes you the bad guy.

2) Their government doesn't want you. Immigration floods aren't simply a problem for the USA. Plenty of other governments enact measures far harsher than the USA to curb immigration, legal or otherwise.

3) If you think life sucks here, just wait until you see it somewhere else.

4) That thing you hate, that makes it impossible to tolerate living here? Yeah, it's probably the same wherever you are thinking you will move to. Welcome to earth. It's populated by humans.

5) Adapting to other cultures is difficult. You are probably going to screw up, make a rude gesture, say a rude phrase, and get your ass kicked in the bar without knowing why. Different cultures are different. My brother has lived in China for 15 years now, and even still he sometimes runs into problems and misunderstandings.

6) Even if you do ex-patriate, you're still probably going to hang out with other Americans and do American-ish things. It's the group/herd mentality at work. You might think you object to a whole bunch of things about America, but once you are alone in an alien culture, I promise you, you will gravitate toward people with a similar background as you. You will start thinking that, in comparison to the weird shit going on around you, maybe Americans aren't so bad.


Now, it's Cracked, so take it as you will. But I have traveled extensively, with long stays in various parts of Europe, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, etc... Moving to another country is simply not as easy as just packing your shit and heading out.

Also, what kind of coward just turns tail and runs when things get difficult? When life sucks wherever you end up, are you going to just run again? When does the running stop? When you reach utopia? Just where is that?

#23 Antheus   Members   -  Reputation: 2397

Posted 09 December 2011 - 10:18 AM

Posted Image
Mine is greener.

#24 sythe   Members   -  Reputation: 126

Posted 09 December 2011 - 11:19 AM

Antarctica. Sure, it's cold, but it's also classified as international territory. Provided that a game company allows remote workers, it'd actually be a pretty reasonable place to live.

  • Sensible leaders and politics (More or less)
  • Good education system (Extremely hands-on learning)
  • 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) (Probably)
  • Good standard of living for someone in the CS industry (Probably)
  • Good work opportunities for someone in the CS industry (I haven't decided a particular area in CS yet) (Probably, working remotely would cover this)
  • Not over populated (I come from mountainous Utah, so I like a decent amount of space between two houses) (Definitely, in fact, it's one of the most sparsely populated places on Earth)
  • Safe (both protected by the government and from the government) (Quite, actually. Who would attack Antarctica?)
  • Speaks English, since that's all I know and the only languages I enjoy learning are programming languages (The majority of the population speaks English)
  • Anything else you might think is important (Internet access, unspoiled natural beauty, fresh air, hot springs on Deception Island...
  • Oh, and the satisfaction of picking "Antarctica" as your country when creating accounts for web services.)


The only caveat is that you have to join a research team/group attached to a country/organization.



#25 ChurchSkiz   Members   -  Reputation: 444

Posted 09 December 2011 - 02:54 PM

If I could move to another country, where learning a language would be a problem, I'd pick New Zealand. Island cultures are the best. Have you ever met a Samoan, Tongan, Maori that was an asshole? I actually looked into moving when I was bored one day, the biggest problem is that getting a visa and work there seemed to be difficult.

Canada is not like moving. If you notice a difference in your day to day life living in Canada vs the US, then you have an odd life. Toronto reminds me of any large US city. Calgary reminds me of Denver. Vancouver reminds me of Seattle. Montreal has the french thing going, but you wouldn't move there anyway.

UK could be an option. They have that european feel but speak english. Never been there, but it seems to have decent opportunities for educated people.

I like sprawl so I think I'll stick to my suburban house. A rarity outside of our continent.

#26 mdwh   Members   -  Reputation: 854

Posted 09 December 2011 - 05:06 PM

The Tories are a euro-skeptic party, who have always opposed joining the Euro, and disliked the EU. We can hardly make conclusions about the EU's economic outlook, based on a statement from David Cameron, which is the same view he's always had.
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#27 Prefect   Members   -  Reputation: 373

Posted 09 December 2011 - 06:12 PM

Let me give a small list of things that I would consider important:

  • Sensible leaders and politics


Frankly, if you really care about that, what you should do is face the problem in the place where you can actually do something to help fix things yourself. Going to another country isn't going to make you happy with respect to these issues (well, perhaps Iceland might be an exception, seems they're small enough for reasonable things to happen there, but I'm probably wrong about that, too).
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#28 Bregma   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5008

Posted 09 December 2011 - 07:24 PM

I'd say it sounds like you want to move here to Canada. Not the urban one mentioned elsewhere in this thread. The bit with the rocks and trees. That's where I live: the politicians are mostly irrelevant and would be driven of your land with a shotgun if they came calling, you can go for days without seeing anyone if you want (you have to drive your truck just to get to the nearest Timmy's) and once you're used to the local accent and level of literacy the only language you'll hear outside of the schools is English.

In short, God's own country.

And, as a plus, there's a whole culture of expectation where people like you would rather not get off their ever-spreading butts and try to fix what's wrong and just whine that someone else isn't doing the job to their satisfaction.
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#29 AIbot   Members   -  Reputation: 126

Posted 09 December 2011 - 07:27 PM

new zeland is the most transparent contry in the world google about it good luck bro

#30 Ravyne   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 7120

Posted 09 December 2011 - 09:16 PM

Honestly, no place in the world, at least that I'm aware of, is free of political stupidity. Europe used to be the panacia of high-minded, wannabe expats, but you really have to look no further than the UKs pervasive survielance, France's would-be internet censorship, Germany's insane media classifications, or this whole greece/euro thing to have that bubble burst.

Canada is not a terrible choice. taxes are high, but at least their government got actual universal healthcare in return...

Alaska wouldn't be a bad choice either. It's still part of the states, of course, but it seems relatively insulated from the minor retardations of the lower 48, Sarah Palin notwithstanding.

Other than that, perhaps the most free you can be is to take enough money to get on good terms with the despot of your choice. Ironically, freedom can usually be purchased in places where it is most absent.

#31 Prune   Members   -  Reputation: 218

Posted 10 December 2011 - 02:38 AM

But Canada isn't bad. Really, we're mostly friendly bunches up here. Just watch out for the French.

Relative to the US? Hardly.
I've lived in Ontario from 1993 to 1998, Florida from 1998 to 2002, BC from 2002 to 2011, and now I'm in California. I've also been to about 10 other states.
The US is undoubtedly friendlier than Canada. San Francisco is probably the friendliest city I've been in, and Vancouver the least (well, Paris is a close second).
Smaller towns in Canada are more friendly (Victoria, BC is not bad) but will bore one to death.
Moreover, after the so-called "centrist" Liberal party was (deservedly) decimated in the last election, politics in Canada has become polarized in a way very similar to the US. Canadians are just catching up.
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#32 Prune   Members   -  Reputation: 218

Posted 10 December 2011 - 02:43 AM

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.

Certainly no one that even on occasion checks slashdot stories would consider moving to the surveillance state that the UK is quickly becoming.
Sure, the US isn't that far behind in that respect, but at least they still have freedom of speech. But anti-hate speech laws in the UK, rest of Europe, and Canada severely dilute that right in those nations (not to mention that such laws are absolutely ineffective in curtailing hate--hate should be exposed and publicly addressed with rational arguments, not left to foment in hiding).
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#33 Prune   Members   -  Reputation: 218

Posted 10 December 2011 - 02:52 AM

Canada is not a terrible choice. taxes are high

What's that about taxes?

Top personal income tax bracket in Canada: 29% (over $128,800); comparable tax bracket in US: 28% (between $83,600 and $174,400)
So it seems a whole whopping 1% percent higher than the US, right? Now hold on a second... what about above $174,400 for the US?
33%--up to $379,150. And then, 35%. Canada at those levels? Still 29%.

But perchance you were referring to corporate tax rates?
Canada: 16.5% until January 1, 2012, then 15%. US: top bracket is 35%. Ouch!

So: fuck you for spreading disinformation.

~~~~~

The reason Canada is not a good choice is because multiculturalism is the worst possible approach, and you see it in socially failed cities such as Toronto and Vancouver. US-style melting pot is much better. For those that complain about immigrants not always integrating well in the US--you better stay out of Canada where it's 10x worse! Don't like ghettos? Toronto is turning into one, and Vancouver's downtown eastside is one of the worst slums in North America, with more junkies per square meter than anywhere I have ever seen.
"But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?" --Mark Twain

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#34 Prune   Members   -  Reputation: 218

Posted 10 December 2011 - 02:59 AM

I'd say it sounds like you want to move here to Canada. Not the urban one mentioned elsewhere in this thread. The bit with the rocks and trees. That's where I live: the politicians are mostly irrelevant and would be driven of your land with a shotgun if they came calling, you can go for days without seeing anyone if you want (you have to drive your truck just to get to the nearest Timmy's) and once you're used to the local accent and level of literacy the only language you'll hear outside of the schools is English.

In short, God's own country.

And, as a plus, there's a whole culture of expectation where people like you would rather not get off their ever-spreading butts and try to fix what's wrong and just whine that someone else isn't doing the job to their satisfaction.

The problem with living in the bush is that there's not enough variety of things like women, for example. If you're married and/or retired, or a hermit, or you only live in the virtual behind your keyboard, then the great wilderness of the Canadian north is fantastic (I'll probably end up there when I'm old, and I love the BC mountains, so I'm not knocking it, it is great). But for the rest of us, urban life has a lot of value.
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Looking for a high-performance, easy to use, and lightweight math library? http://www.cmldev.net/ (note: I'm not associated with that project; just a user)

#35 Prune   Members   -  Reputation: 218

Posted 10 December 2011 - 03:08 AM

The Tories are a euro-skeptic party, who have always opposed joining the Euro, and disliked the EU. We can hardly make conclusions about the EU's economic outlook, based on a statement from David Cameron, which is the same view he's always had.

The Euro makes no sense for as heterogenous a collection of economies as the eurozone is--unless there's full fiscal and economic integration. This is quite obvious and has been pointed out numerous times by people with understanding of Modern Monetary Theory. Why would a country give up its most powerful tool of economic policy--being the monopoly issuer of its own currency?
The Euro, in combination with Germany's mercantilist policies of huge trade surplus combined with wage suppression are the real cause of the current European crisis. The Euro chains down other eurozone members and they cannot fight back. With such a trade imbalance the expected thing has happened: Germany beggaring its neighbors. Even if the weaker states fall out of the eurozone, then the damage will simply be shifted onto others. It's just not sustainable, and the only alternative outcome to the eurozone breaking apart is significant further integration, including politically difficult to swallow pills such as common bonds for eurozone countries and so on. Or maybe the Bundesbank will give up on being guided by dated neoliberalist economic ideas and embrace the lessons of neochartalism (probably not... plus, I've no doubt some of our German friends are realizing that after two failed attempts at taking over Europe militarily, they might now be able to subjugate it economically).
"But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?" --Mark Twain

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#36 Bladelock   Members   -  Reputation: 123

Posted 10 December 2011 - 07:12 AM

* Living -
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.


In my country, we haven't heard of anything grave happening there (terrorism, genocide, massacre, etc).

During my childhood, I remember the place being very peaceful and pleasant and that probably the most violent thing that can happen there is 2 incensed koalas fighting over a eucalyptus tree. Posted Image




#37 Katie   Members   -  Reputation: 1313

Posted 10 December 2011 - 07:27 AM

"UK could be an option. They have that european feel but speak english. Never been there, but it seems to have decent opportunities for educated people."

The problem with moving here from a non-EU country is that it's amazingly difficult for UK companies to hire you. The work visas for experienced people are strictly rationed. It's a bit of a pain to be honest; most tech companies I know have empty seats, are hiring, can't find enough Brits or Europeans... and simply can't get through the paperwork hiring anyone else.

It's causing companies to start leaving the UK and opening offices in other countries and so on.

#38 Tachikoma   Members   -  Reputation: 552

Posted 10 December 2011 - 07:42 AM

Come down to Australia. If we ever cross paths, I'll buy you a beer.
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#39 Wan   Members   -  Reputation: 1366

Posted 10 December 2011 - 08:47 AM

Perhaps as a (future) engineer it might make sense to make a list of requirements and pick the candiate with the highest aggregate score, but in my experience that's not how life works. At least it's not how most people choose their girl/boy friends or what they'll have for dinner. You'll find that no place is perfect; either accept it or actively try to make a change where you live now.

Having said that, I would definitely recommend visiting (and possibly living in) other countries when you have the opportunity. Being young and having (almost) finished a higher education in a technical field I think you're in an ideal situation to do that. I'm an IT expat myself, and in my experience it shouldn't be hard to find a job abroad if you're fluent in English.

  • Sensible leaders and politics

    You probably feel most comfortable in a democratic system. As you may have found out, this doesn't mean that every political decision is 'sensible' in your view. This isn't going to be any different anywhere else in the world.
  • Good education system

    For whom? You, your future offspring, or are you refering to the level of education of the general population?

    And what makes it good? Having world class institutes, but which may only be accessible to the brightest or wealthiest, or having a perhaps more modest level of education but available to everyone?

    And of course, education isn't everything. What about highly trained professionals that are stuck in low level jobs abroad, because there wasn't any work available for them in their own country?
  • 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)

    I think it's going to be tough, if not impossible to find a place that provides ideal circumstances for you and your current or future wife/husband's professional career, and your yet non-existant children with unknown social, educational or even medical needs for the next twenty years or so. Your life will change a lot, and you'll be forced to make the choices along the way, don't expect to get everything right the first time.
  • Good standard of living for someone in the CS industry

    Fortunately, even in the current worldwide economic situation, it's still one of the better fields to be working in internationally, although I'm not sure about the outlook for fresh college graduates. Salary and standard of living surveys can be easily found online.
  • Good work opportunities for someone in the CS industry (I haven't decided a particular area in CS yet)

    Usually, most people find a job first, and then move.
  • Not over populated (I come from mountainous Utah, so I like a decent amount of space between two houses)

    I think you can find relatively remote areas everywhere in the world, although they might be difficult to find in places like Western Europe (at least if you compare it to rural Utah). However it will make finding a job and schools a little more difficult. And keep in mind that, unless you plan to live like a hermite, moving to a new place requires interacting a lot with people and making new friendships, so I wouldn't choose to live in the absolute middle of nowhere.
  • Safe (both protected by the government and from the government)

    I would think large parts of the world are relatively safe in that sense for a US citizen, but of course it often depends more on the particular area within that country you live in. For instance as an EU citizen I feel safe in the US in general, but I'm sure there are certain neighborhouds in big cities that both you and I wouldn't feel too comfortable walking around at night.
  • Speaks English, since that's all I know and the only languages I enjoy learning are programming languages

    I think you need to find a place where you're at least able to survive by only speaking Enlish, but I find that it is the case in most parts of the world. But I'm not sure disimissing the possibility of learning a second language right away just because it's not one of your hobbies is very good attitude to have. If you move to a new environment things are going to be different, and learning to adapt is a very valuable skill.
  • Anything else you might think is important

    It's your life.


#40 ChurchSkiz   Members   -  Reputation: 444

Posted 10 December 2011 - 09:12 AM

I'd say it sounds like you want to move here to Canada. Not the urban one mentioned elsewhere in this thread. The bit with the rocks and trees. That's where I live: the politicians are mostly irrelevant and would be driven of your land with a shotgun if they came calling, you can go for days without seeing anyone if you want (you have to drive your truck just to get to the nearest Timmy's) and once you're used to the local accent and level of literacy the only language you'll hear outside of the schools is English.

In short, God's own country.


The same places exist in the US. Hell he lives in Utah, that's God's country right there. Pretty much you can draw a big square in the middle of the US and culturally consider it a different country. The whole US is not New York City.



Canada is not a terrible choice. taxes are high

What's that about taxes?

Top personal income tax bracket in Canada: 29% (over $128,800); comparable tax bracket in US: 28% (between $83,600 and $174,400)
So it seems a whole whopping 1% percent higher than the US, right? Now hold on a second... what about above $174,400 for the US?
33%--up to $379,150. And then, 35%. Canada at those levels? Still 29%.

But perchance you were referring to corporate tax rates?
Canada: 16.5% until January 1, 2012, then 15%. US: top bracket is 35%. Ouch!


Maybe income tax is similar, but you guys also have VAT (close to 15% I think?), and I noticed a lot of stuff was taxed either overtly or under the table. Gas, tobacco, and alcohol are good examples. A 6-pack of Coors was $12 last time I went and a can of dip (my friend chews), was $20. I'm surprised the alcoholics and nicotine addicts are not rioting in the streets.

$30,000 here goes a lot farther than $30,000 in Canada.




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