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Cornstalks

Which Country Should I Move To?

80 posts in this topic

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:
[list][*]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[/list]
I've thought of somewhere in the EU maybe, but I'm not sure.
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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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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.

-me
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[quote name='Cornstalks' timestamp='1323389989' post='4891999'][list][*]Speaks English, since that's all I know and the only languages I enjoy learning are programming languages[/quote][/list]Well there are only 6 countries where english is the defacto language. Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, New Zealand, United Kingdom, USA.


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

I can only comment on living in Australia:
* [b]Politics [/b]- 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" [i]vs [/i]centre-right/social/"Democrat"=="Labor".
* [b]Education [/b]- Can't be hard to beat the US education system, right? [img]http://public.gamedev.net/public/style_emoticons/default/tongue.gif[/img] 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 ([i]which is paid directly to the school, and you pay back via extra tax -- no work, no repayments[/i]).
* [b]Living [/b]- 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 ([i]and the cheaper your rent will become, e.g. outer-suburbs house/yard for <$1k/mo vs inner-city apartment for $2k/mo[/i]).
Crime-wise, again, can't be hard to beat the US, right? [img]http://public.gamedev.net/public/style_emoticons/default/tongue.gif[/img] There's sure to be less guns, gangs, drugs and unemployment here on average.
* [b]Opportunity [/b]- 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.
* [b]English [/b]- we're as mono-language as the states, no need to speak foreign here [img]http://public.gamedev.net/public/style_emoticons/default/wink.gif[/img]
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[quote name='Cornstalks' timestamp='1323389989' post='4891999']
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 [...]
[/quote]
: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.
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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
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I'd love to try living in Norway, Sweden, Finland, or Switzerland. Never visited, but I hear good things.
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[quote name='froop' timestamp='1323395543' post='4892023']
[quote name='Cornstalks' timestamp='1323389989' post='4891999'][list][*]Speaks English, since that's all I know and the only languages I enjoy learning are programming languages[/quote][/list]Well there are only 6 countries where english is the defacto language. Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, New Zealand, United Kingdom, USA.
[/quote]
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...

[quote name='Sirisian' timestamp='1323396420' post='4892029']
[quote name='Cornstalks' timestamp='1323389989' post='4891999']
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 [...]
[/quote]
: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.
[/quote]
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.

[quote name='Sirisian' timestamp='1323396420' post='4892029']
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.
[/quote]
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).

[quote name='Sirisian' timestamp='1323396420' post='4892029']
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.
[/quote]
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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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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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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[quote name='Hodgman' timestamp='1323396035' post='4892027']
The EU definitely sounds like what you're looking for, except you'd probably want to learn a 2nd language for social reasons ([i]many companies use English internally, instead of their native tongue[/i]), and population density might be higher than you're used to.
[/quote]

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

[quote]
[list][*]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 [/quote][/list]


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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.
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[quote name='J-dog' timestamp='1323412570' post='4892093']
and trust me, South Africa has a ton of problems
[/quote]
I know, I lived there for 2 years [img]http://public.gamedev.net/public/style_emoticons/default/wink.gif[/img] Just got back in August.

[quote name='J-dog' timestamp='1323412570' post='4892093']
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.
[/quote]
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.

[quote name='J-dog' timestamp='1323412570' post='4892093']
Travel a bit and try to experience other countries, see what you like...
[/quote]
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.

[quote name='J-dog' timestamp='1323412570' post='4892093']
PS. politics are and always will be shit.
[/quote]
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).

[quote name='J-dog' timestamp='1323412570' post='4892093']
South African politics are laughable, it's actually depressing.
[/quote]
Agreed, unfortunately. Thankfully Malema was [i]finally[/i] 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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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.
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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
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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.
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"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.
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[quote name='CodeDemon' timestamp='1323427830' post='4892144']
And for anyone who thought I was being over-dramatic, like clock-work, it's happening. The EU is finished.

[url="http://www.cnbc.com/id/45609228"]http://www.cnbc.com/id/45609228[/url]

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.
[/quote]
Don't make this political.
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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.

[quote]Not over populated[/quote]

Rules out China, Japan, and the entire EU with the exception of northern Sweden (outside [i]The City[/i]), 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.

[quote]Sensible leaders and politics[/quote]

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.

[quote]Safe (both protected by the government and from the government)[/quote]

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.

[quote]Speaks English, since that's all I know[/quote]

This will be a [u]serious[/u] problem in most European countries (other than Ireland, UK, or Sweden... maybe 1-2 others). You [i]might [/i]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.

[quote]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.[/quote]
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 [i]serious [/i]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 [i]really [/i]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 [i]pro forma[/i]. 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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Here's a few ineffable words of wisdom from the glorious Cracked.com team on [url="http://www.cracked.com/article_19363_6-reasons-your-plans-to-move-abroad-might-not-work-out.html"]why this probably won't work.[/url] 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 [i]different[/i]. 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?
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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.

[list][*]Sensible leaders and politics [b](More or less)[/b][*]Good education system [b](Extremely hands-on learning)[/b][*]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) [b](Probably)[/b][*]Good standard of living for someone in the CS industry [b](Probably)[/b][*]Good work opportunities for someone in the CS industry (I haven't decided a particular area in CS yet) ([b]Probably, working remotely would cover this)[/b][*]Not over populated (I come from mountainous Utah, so I like a decent amount of space between two houses) [b](Definitely, in fact, it's one of the most sparsely populated places on Earth)[/b][*][size="2"][color="#1c2837"]Safe (both protected by the government and from the government) [/color][/size][b][size="2"][color="#1c2837"](Quite, actually. Who would attack Antarctica?)[/color][/size][/b][*]Speaks English, since that's all I know and the only languages I enjoy learning are programming languages [b](The majority of the population speaks English)[/b][*]Anything else you might think is important [b](Internet access, unspoiled natural beauty, fresh air, hot springs on Deception Island...[/b][*][b]Oh, and the satisfaction of picking "Antarctica" as your country when creating accounts for web services.)[/b][/list][left][size="2"][color="#1c2837"][b]
[/b][/color][/size][/left][left]The only caveat is that you have to join a research team/group attached to a country/organization.[/left]
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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.
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