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The number of Americans leaving the U.S. has grown significantly in the past fifteen years. A great number of them are moving to Europe, there are numerous countries and cities in Europe that are described as perfect for the US expats.
An international move is a big step and if you are planning to leave the US for good and move abroad you need to do a lot of research, you need to read and find all of the most important information about the country that you are about to call home.
Whatever your reason for moving abroad may be, take a look at our list of the top European destinations for American expats. There are numerous considerations that you need to keep on your mind constantly regardless of the country you choose.
Our tip: Language is the perfect tool! If you are moving to a country that has an official language different from English, you will want to learn that language, at least some of it. This will open many doors for you, and you will be able to make more connections and make more local friends.
One in four Americans that leave the US are moving to Europe and there are over 800,000 Americans living in the European Union. Moving to Europe from the USA is one of the most exciting things that will happen to you and you will definitely experience great culture shock. There are 44 countries in Europe and all of them have their own customs and language, there are numerous exciting differences but you will also find a lot of similarities.
Population: 82.79 million
English speaking population: 56%
Number of Americans living in Germany: 163,000
Germany is one of the global leaders and you will experience an amazing quality of life here. Living costs are reasonable, they are much more affordable than in most of the major USA cities. Food and basic everyday expenses are also surprisingly affordable. Germany will provide you with the top quality health care and health insurance support for all families at all income levels. Most of the residents are English speakers but you can still learn some basic level of the German language in order to make more connections. Public transportation is great throughout the country and it is very affordable if you opt for yearly passes. Some will say that there is a lack of variety in food choices in Germany, that is not all that true, but you will find yourself eating a lot of sausages and drinking a lot of beer.
An important fact to keep in mind is that you will need to pay American taxes as a U.S. citizen if you move to Germany from America, you are still liable for federal taxes on your income.
Germany takes a central position in Europe so this is the perfect country for everyone who loves to travel a lot, you will be able to visit a lot more European countries easily and you will have the time to do it because of the great balance between work and life. Germany will provide you with many exciting opportunities, beautiful cities, great nightlife and a lot of historical places to explore.
Population: 10.65 million
English speaking population: 27%
Number of Americans living in Czech Republic: 5,940
The Czech Republic is a country of the multicultural population with over half a million foreign residents. This is a modern country, with rich culture, great quality of life, amazing job opportunities, relatively affordable housing, and living costs and an accessible health care system.
There are a lot of English speakers in the Czech Republic, but you need to know that education is taught entirely in Czech, so you may want to learn it. You will be able to find relatively affordable housing in this country, keep in mind that if you are a non-EU citizen and you don’t have the permit for the Czech Republic you will not be able to purchase a property. This is why renting is the most popular option among expats.
Moving to the Czech Republic from America will strike you as a big cultural shock and you will need to make a lot of adjustments. On the bright side, you will love some of the differences. Food is amazing here, and the country is renowned for its beer and wine. You will have to deal with a lot of bureaucracy, and you will have to get a Czech driving license, which will be a long process. On the bright side, the public transportation system is well developed and affordable.
The Czech Republic will provide you with a lot of opportunities. This is a great place for new beginnings, starting a family or starting your own business. If you are in need of a fresh start and you want to explore new cultures the Czech Republic is a perfect place for you.
Population: 8.57 million
English speaking population: 61%
Number of Americans living in Switzerland: 19,439
Switzerland is currently one of the most popular places for expats from all over the world. You will find a big and welcoming expat community here which will help you learn insider information quickly and adjust to the new culture fast. For most foreigners, it is required that they live in Switzerland for a minimum of 12 years to become official citizens, for the expats from the USA its only 5 years.
Switzerland is famous for many things, including efficiency and chocolate, but there is much more to it. You will eat amazing food. You will be able to choose from 450 sorts of cheese and an extensive list of local wines.
One of the biggest perks of living in Switzerland is that you will be close to everything, every important Europian vacation spot is on one cheap flight away from you. The biggest con is the cost of living. Living costs in Switzerland are close to the ones in London or even New York City, on the bright side, salaries are high too, Switzerland offers second-highest wages in the world.
Switzerland will provide you with a great quality of life, an amazing universal health care system, a rich culture, and endless outdoor recreation opportunities. Keep in mind that you will have a lot of trouble with language barriers, a lot of people speak English, but if you want to learn the local language you will have to learn dialects of German and French, which can get pretty confusing.
Population: 10.29 million
English speaking population: 27%
Number of Americans living in Portugal: 8,264
Portugal is currently one of the most popular destinations for USA expats, starting a new life in this country is surprisingly easy and the locals are extremely warm and friendly towards the newcomers. There are several significant cons of moving to Portugal but they are easily overwritten with all of the great things that are waiting for you there.
First of all, there are no special requirements for foreigners that want to buy property in Portugal, and opening a bank account is also pretty easy and convenient, you can do it online from another country if you want to. People are friendly, and they will take time to explain all of the bureaucratic processes and help you settle in. Living costs are much lower than in most of the Europian countries, and you can find affordable homes throughout the whole country. On the other side, living costs are low but so are the salaries, so you may want to find a job opportunity before making an actual move. Language and culture barriers are big, only 27% of people are English speakers and Portuguese is a difficult language, on the bright side, locals are warm and friendly and they will help you overcome those barriers.
If you decide to move to Portugal, you will be moving to a beautiful country with breathtaking beaches and diverse natural landscapes. Portugal will provide you with many exciting opportunities and a lot of historical places to explore.
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