Best Places for American Expats to Live

You may feel the urge to leave your country and explore the world. However, if you’ve never left before – it can be intimidating to know where to start. While moving abroad can seem overwhelming, there are many opportunities to explore new countries. As an American, here are some of the best cities for you to move to and live, not only for career, but for lifestyle.


Ranking number one in the ease of settling in – Mexico is a top spot for expats who enjoy good weather and friendly locals. Puerto Vallarta has been a spot for expats to thrive for over 60 years! It’s turned into a major international resort over time with endless activities and natural attractions. Also – being fairly close to home to jet back in case a need arises is a definite perk.

New Zealand

Living in New Zealand is like living in Australia’s funkier next door neighbor. It’s about as far away from the United States as you can get which allows you to really get that detached feeling, however you can still feel a bit at home surrounded by mostly English-speaking natives. It’s a very outdoorsy culture with lots of hiking, scuba diving, skiing, and more. You’ll have opportunities to also visit Australia and Indonesia, and there’s a range of jobs available to support your new home.

China (Hong Kong)

Hong Kong is fairly independent from the mainland of China and operates on its own currency and laws. Expats who settle here are often rewarded with high-earning jobs and disposable incomes. The social scene is growing and thriving, with many opportunities for regional travel.

It is a fairly expensive place to live and is highly dense in population, so expats who settle here may have to become comfortable with less space than at home. But the bustling and active nightlife makes up for the lack of living space. The healthcare system is advanced and there are elevated standards of schooling for children in addition to the excellent employment opportunities.


Positive factors of settling in China are overwhelming. The booming economy ranks first in the world for expats. There are many great employment opportunities with less competition. The social life in China ranks third with a friendly local culture and many options for exploration within the country, as well as easily accessible Asia-Pacific regions. There’s time for expats to enjoy themselves with a high score for the work-life balance.

Embracing the culture and choosing to live in China long-term opens up a host of careers for expats as the economy is rapidly growing every year. There’s also the perk of lower living costs and an overall great quality of life. Shanghai and Beijing are the most popular destinations for China expats.


Love the big-city feel? Expats flock to Rio de Janeiro for its bustling atmosphere, famous beaches, and endless sites to see. Brasilia – the capital of Brazil, is also a favorite for those who move for work. It has the highest GDP in the country and is home to 125 embassies, as well as many multinational companies. Entrepreneurs and professionals alike can enjoy the work-life balance here. Transportation makes it easy to connect to other Brazilian cities and other countries.


Germany is one of the most populated countries in Europe and is a lively and fairly inexpensive place to live as an expat. The education system and healthcare system is great and of high standards. Expat numbers are constantly rising and are around 250,000 currently.

As you plan for your great adventure, keep in mind that learning the native language will make a world of difference on your ability to assimilate into the culture. Get started learning Mandarin, Brazilian Portuguese, or Spanish by setting up your Free Trial with us today.