Top Countries to Work Abroad


For decades Singapore has been fascinating people of all age groups alike and for two years running, the HSBC Expat Explorer Survey has ranked Singapore the best place in the world for expats to live and work.

It scored very high for average wages, job progression, and security (both personal and financial). If you are a career-focused guy Singapore won’t disappoint you.

However, the city-state did fall down the rankings in a few areas, including the overall cost of raising children (42nd) and work-life balance (35th in the world). And if you’re a Singaporean thinking of working abroad, you’ll want to know how other countries rank in the areas that matter to you.

Which is why, we’ve taken the Expat Explorer survey results for countries ranked 2nd, 3rd and 4th and dissected them, to help you make up your mind.

Czech Republic

Surprised? A country that saw its birth in 1993 has grabbed the eyeballs of expats and it has climbed from 18th to 4th between 2015 and 2016.

The capital city, Prague, is an economic hub for international businesses and the country’s location in central Europe gets it connected with rest of the world. Good infrastructure and a high standard of living is sure to woo you.

However, the language barrier can lessen your enthusiasm. It’s difficult to get the hang of the language, so it’s generally recommended that expats take plenty of lessons if they want to live among the locals. Standards of education are high (overall national literacy is 99%) so the job market can be competitive too. While the survey ranks the Czech Republic poorly for wage growth, statistics indicate that it is currently ahead of many European countries in this field – including the UK, Germany, and France.


  • Not so good for: quick integration
  • Good for: new challenges, international connections


Canada progresses from 6th to 3rd in the survey. When it comes to being diverse and tolerant Canada shows striking similarities with New Zealand with an openness to foreign workers. Since Canada is an ex-British colony, many expats from UK and France reside here – in fact, French is the second most spoken language in the country behind English.

It’s also very popular with families: 75% of expat parents who responded to the survey reported that their children’s quality of life had enhanced since moving (compared to 60% globally), and Canada also ranks reasonably high on quality of schools.

The survey also indicates that expat property ownership is high in Canada, but house prices can be inflated: the average price of houses in Toronto and Vancouver has ballooned, and Toronto has seen a 62% average price increase in the last 5 years alone. In other cities, property prices are significantly lower on average. The price of basic commodities stack up too as Canada is reliant on imports for much of its produce.


Good for: family life, connections with US markets

Not so good for: disposable income

New Zealand

Famed for its gorgeous scenery, outdoorsy culture, and inviting communities, it’s no real surprise that New Zealand found 2nd place in the Expat Explorer survey. If you’re looking to escape the metropolitan rat-race, this could be the place for you. The expat market is thriving, with many professional from all over the world already setting up shop there. The pace of life is relaxed, with emphasis on community and meaningful personal growth.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that commodities like food are expensive, so you’ll probably have to learn how to have fun on a budget if you move there. The city of Wellington is said to be particularly good for entrepreneurs and start-ups, but be warned: New Zealand is a small country with a low population, so it’s less of an economic powerhouse than the likes of Hong Kong and the US.


Good for: work-life balance, a change of pace

Not so good for: reaching the big leagues