It is no new revelation that when one is considering to take up employment or an assignment in another country and one is moving together with one’s family, there are many additional factors that need to be considered, which make certain destinations more or less attractive options. Of course, no two families are the same and what may be ideal for one family will not suit every other family.
We have therefore compiled four country ideas that have particularly interesting aspects for families to consider when moving (in no particular order).
Germany commonly features in survey results for the most live-able countries with families, such as those compiled by Forbes (based on OECD data) and InterNations. Some key benefits to consider when moving to Germany as an expat are the brilliant educational opportunities for one’s children. The public school system is of a high standard, increasingly includes options for English-speakers to learn German and be integrated into the system and are free of charge.
For families with older children, were the children might settle in Germany and decide to pursue tertiary education at a German university, it is good to know that most universities charge only minimal study fees (around 600 Euro / R12 000 per year), even for foreign students.
These days many happy families rely on the partner being able to work in the country of destination, as they too want to pursue their own career. In Germany, as the spouse of an expat, you are entitled to take up any employment in Germany.
Kenya may not typically be on the list of top expat countries, but we find there are a few elements that can make it a desirable location for families. They key aspect must be the stunning landscapes and accessibility of nature and wildlife. Spending time in a country like Kenya provides children with the wonderful opportunity to make unique experiences.
Medical care is an important concern when moving with children, as their safety and well-being must be paramount. In the large cities, which are the economic hubs and thus likely to be the destination for expats, private medical care of a good standard is available.
Lastly, the big cities, especially Nairobi, offer an array of international schools, which enables expats to pick the school system that aligns with previous schooling of their children and / or provides best flexibility for future moves.
- The Netherlands
The Netherlands has similar key benefits in terms of lifestyle and quality of education as Germany but is particularly worth a mention with regards to various English-speaking aspects of life the Netherlands.
The Netherlands is no big country, but for this reason travelling to countries such as Germany, France, Belgium, and the UK is rarely a long journey. Having a long-term residence permit in the Netherlands allows families to travel within the Schengen area as tourists for up to 90 days per 180 days, without needing to obtain any additional visas. Coupled with the excellent European transport network, city breaks and cultural experiences within Europe make for the perfect family adventures.
- South Africa
Bringing in another African country, South Africa must be mentioned due to our advanced policies and laws for different family dynamics. In terms of the immigration requirements, permanent life partnerships as well as same-sex marriage is recognised and protected by the Constitution in daily (family) life and community.
Besides this, South Africa as an incredibly diverse and open nation, will give children (and parents) a great real-life education in diversity, tolerance and acceptance of different cultures, setting them out for successful lives as the global citizens they already are or will likely grow up to be.
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By Hannah Mminele