In the latest Expat Explorer survey, Canada comes up as a top destination, and expats moving to live in Canada can expect a very friendly welcome.
In the survey, Canada ranks third after Switzerland and Singapore – moving up one notch since the 2018 survey.
Canada is a huge country (apparently driving from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast is almost equivalent to a drive from the UK to Saudi Arabia) and most of the population lives near the border of the USA. Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver are the most popular with expats; the former two being very multicultural (60% of the Montreal population speak French as their first language so expats should polish up on their French skill before moving there). The country’s outdoor lifestyle, excellent healthcare system and reasonable cost of living are great attractions for expats. It is also easy to own your own home.
Canada is a great country to settle down with a family. Many students in Canada come from abroad and the education system is well adapted to help with the various challenges that expat children must deal with. According to the survey, parents say that settling in is easy for the children including making friends. Canada’s schools are run by each province rather than nationally and the standard of both public and private education is high, although the private education and international schools are very costly with waiting lists and often strict entry requirements.
Regarding work, Canada has plenty of jobs in the energy sector (they have many natural resources), and in finance, real estate, and communications. With a strong, growing economy the number of jobs has increased in the past several years. The working environment is generally open and welcoming for expats according to the survey.
Culturally there is a huge array of nationalities living in Canada and so cultural differences are generally not an issue for most expats. It may take some time to get used to the sheer magnitude of the country and the long cold winters in some areas, but in general getting around is not a problem and Canada is well-equipped to cope with the severe winters!
Before moving to Canada, check that your financial situation is in order; in last year’s survey, many expats said that it was difficult to organise finances during the initial period spent as an expat over there.
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