Top destinations for English-speaking expats

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Published 8 months ago

Learning a new language is often part of the challenge for expats seeking to move overseas. If you're feeling apprehensive about how to adapt, engage in conversations comfortably, and deal with all the paperwork, why not consider moving to a country where English is widely spoken? Expat.com gives you an insight into the best destinations for English-speaking expats.

Singapore

Singapore
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With a population of over 5.6 million inhabitants, Singapore is often refered to as a cultural melting pot. Given its diverse population comprising Chinese, Malay, Indians, and Eurasians, Singapore has been attracting expatriates in large numbers over the years. The country has four official languages including English, Mandarin, Bahasa Malay, and Tamil, meaning that you will have no trouble communicating with the locals if you're an English speaker. Thanks to quality education, the City-State is also a great place to raise bilingual children. Needless to say that the local labour market is very open towards English-speaking expats, with opportunities in various sectors such as banking, finance, information and communication technology, electronics, and shipping, for those having the required expertise. Since English is the international language for business, there is also a great demand for English teachers in the country. By moving to Singapore, English-speaking expats can expect high living standards and a lively and dynamic atmosphere with modern infrastructure and all the necessary amenities.

Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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Famous for its natural and cultural heritage, Malaysia is a rather popular destination for English-speaking expats. Even though the official language is Bahasa Malay, which is a mix of Malay, Arabic, Tamil, Persian, and a few other languages, English is quite widely spoken in the country. Malaysia used to be a British colony until 1946, which probably explains the strong influence of English in business and education. In fact, English is taught at school along with Malay. There are also many career prospects for English-speaking expats in Malaysia, especially in the tourism industry. With your English-speaking skills along with other competencies, doors will also be open to you in the information and communication technology sector, banking, finance, and marketing. There is currently a high demand for English-speaking professionals in the secondary and higher education, as well as medical fields. Moving to Malaysia can thus be a unique opportunity, allowing you to benefit from a dynamic economy as well as a vibrant lifestyle, especially in major cities such as Kuala Lumpur and Penang. Also, think of the beautiful tropical beaches, lush green mountains and forests, religious and cultural events, and festivals awaiting you.

South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa
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With its stunning natural beauty and various landscapes, South Africa is definitely more than just a safari land. While most people tend to associate the country with wild animals, social and political conflicts, and townships, South Africa stands out for its diverse population of over 55.9 million people, including large expat communities. With people coming from all around the world, many cities have a cosmopolitan vibe where English is the main spoken language, even if it is actually only one of the 11 official languages of the country. Expats from Europe and the USA are especially drawn to South Africa for its lower cost of living and warm climate, not to mention the popular outdoor lifestyle with a range of activities such as hiking, paragliding and surfing. The population is also generally warm and friendly, so you won't find it hard to adapt. Most English-speaking expats choose to move to Cape Town and Johannesburg where there are also various career prospects. There is a great demand for highly-skilled English-speaking professionals in many sectors such as finance, information and communication technology, sales, accounting, finance, software development, and nursing.

Philippines

Manilla, Philippines
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Like many Asian countries, the Philippines has a long relationship with the English language since the American occupation period. Today, both Tagalog and English are the widely spoken, even though there are other languages and dialects spoken as well. Given the strong presence of English in the country, it comes as no surprise that the language is also taught at school. It's worth noting that English is the only language used in mathematics, information technology, and science courses. That said, the Philippines is an attractive destination for English-speaking expats for various other reasons including its beautiful beaches, amazing natural landscapes, and its unparalleled cuisine. Like major cities, beach resorts provide all the necessary amenities for expats to fit in, including modern infrastructure and accommodation, leisure activities, a vibrant nightlife, and a lower cost of living. No wonder the Philippines now ranks as one of the top retirement havens. Engaging in conversation with the friendly locals couldn't be easier even if you don't understand or speak their native language. Americans, British, Canadians, and Australians are among some of the strongest expat communities in the Philippines.

Mauritius

Port Louis, Mauritius
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A former French and British colony, Mauritius is an island in the Indian Ocean and an attractive destination for English-speaking expats. With a population of over 1,3 million people, Mauritius offers a pleasant environment along with great cultural diversity, dazzling beaches, and stunning natural landscapes coupled with a rich history. While Mauritian Creole and French are widely spoken languages, English is the official language. So whether you're planning to work, set up a business, or retire in Mauritius, your English-speaking skills are more than welcome. Thanks to its booming economy along with a low cost of living, this small developing island has been attracting foreign investors from all around the world. For English-speaking expats, opportunities exist in various fields such as business consulting, banking, finance, marketing, accounting, tourism, and information and communication technology. Regarding education, there is no lack of international schools and universities providing quality education in Mauritius. Thanks to its tax incentives, Mauritius is also turning into a popular retirement haven for expatriates from around the world.

India

Gateway of India
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A land of contrasts and cultural diversity, India can be an amazing place to move to for English-speaking expats. Hindi and English are the official languages, although English is more popular in big cities rather than in smaller villages. A vibrant mix of religions and cultures, India has significant expat communities living in its different states and major cities. Needless to say that many multinational companies have chosen to set up their business in India not only for the lower cost of living but also for cheap labour. Nevertheless, there are various career prospects in India for skilled English-speaking expats especially in the fields of information and communication technology, biotechnology, engineering, aeronautics, electronics, marketing, and sales. Keeping in mind that salaries are going to be much lower than expected, your move to India can be a unique chance to get to know more about some of the world's most ancient histories, religions, and cultures, and discover the delightful Indian cuisine at the same time.

Belize

Belize
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Unlike most Central American countries, Belize is not a Spanish-speaking country. With a long coastline along the Carribean Sea, Belize is in fact an English-speaking country with a very diverse population inlcuding Spanish people, Mayans, North Americans, etc. In short, you don't have to learn a new language before moving to Belize. While most expat communities can be found in Coroza, Belize City, and Ambergris Caye, you will be delighted to exchange with the friendly and welcoming English-speaking locals. If you're moving with your family, it's also worth noting that most primary schools are based on the British education system. There are also Catholic public schools, as well as international schools that are based on the American education system. Belize is a British Commonwealth country that has similar laws and regulations to those of North American countries like the USA and Canada – which means that you won't have any trouble understanding legal documents if you're planning to set up a business there, for example.