Crash Test: Which EU Country Offers the Best Expat Experience?

Although one could argue that I am still quite young, I’ve been fortunate enough to have lived as an expat in seven different European countries. The time I spent in each one of them varies from a few months to a couple of years. Being raised a city boy, I always wanted to see how life is in a less bustling smaller town. I first moved out of my parents’ home at the age of 21 and relocated to Bulgaria. I’ve basically never returned ever since, at least not for long enough.

The EU has undoubtedly given young Europeans the opportunity to experiment with their career and life in general. It’s easier than ever to find a job and live in another country, as long as one wants to. In this article, I will try to condense my experiences in a practical guide for people who are interested in making the big move abroad. The guide mostly reflects what an EU citizen can anticipate in each place – I am aware that things can be much tougher for 3rd country nationals. In each section I also include some information about the length and place of my stay in each case, as they definitely had an impact on the opinion I formed.

Lastly, the scores (scale of 1 to 10) completely reflect my personal opinion and experience. I am sure some of the readers will have a completely different view; I’ll be happy to read your comments below!

Bulgaria

Place of Stay: Smolyan (32,000 inhabitants)

Length of Stay: 4 months

Occupation: Full-time employee

Level of local language before: N/A

Level of local language after: B1

People: 7

I found Bulgarians to be very genuine in all possible ways (good and bad). They tend to express emotions and feelings, they like to complain but they rarely take action and you can most easily get on their good side when they have had something to drink. They enjoy good food, drinks and company and tend to be quite talkative and lively in social settings.

Many Bulgarians have very strong ethnic pride and they like to speak about history and politics but tend to be very protective of their views. They show interest in most foreigners, however breaking the ice can be hard in the beginning. The socioeconomic situation in the country since Communist times has made Bulgarians a bit suspicious of others; speaking for example openly about salaries is somewhat of a taboo, especially because many social groups live on the edge of poverty.

The population of Bulgaria is quite mixed in some areas (including Turkish and Roma minorities) and that creates a chasm betweer different ethnic groups. Be prepared to hear jokes or even insulting comments towards a minority. It is alright to express your views on the topic in a discreet way, however don’t expect the average person to accept your opinion.

Administration / Authorities: 3

Bulgaria is known for its poor public administration and high corruption levels. Encounters with the police, especially if one stopped while driving, will usually end up with an indirect bribe request. Banks are not as fast and efficient as in other countries but generally the staff spoke some English and opening an account was not a big issue – just go for the youngest employee in the room. Registering with the local authorities is hard to manage without a local’s help, so ask a friend or your HR at work for some support.

Knowledge of Foreign Languages: 5

In all honesty, I expected things to be worse. Younger people speak decent English, French or German and the older generation has some solid knowledge of Russian or German. Learning Bulgarian can take you a long way, but throughout your first months be prepared to use your body language, especially when addressing older individuals.

Job Opportunities: 4

Sofia tends to have the vast majority of job offers in the country. If you speak Bulgarian, you can definitely get a good job even in higher positions. For most foreign language speakers, however, most of the available vacancies are relevant to customer support or similar career paths. Salaries are significantly lower than in most EU countries. Expect most (if not all) of your colleagues to be locals, as international work environments are very hard to find.

Cost of Life: 10

You might not make much from your job in Bulgaria, but if you go there with some savings in your bank account you will have a very decent life. Rent can be as cheap as 80€ for a 25 sq.m flat in a small town (but definitely more in Sofia or Plovdiv). Lunch menus cost about 2.5€ for a full meal, while a ticket to cover 100km by bus is about 4€ one way.

Weather: 5

Very harsh winters and very hot summers. That would describe Bulgarian climate in a few words. Winter temperatures can easily drop to -20, whereas expect more than 35 degrees on a hot August day.

Travel Opportunities: 8

Honestly, Bulgaria is a very interesting country. Mountains, ski resorts, beaches, ancient sites, everything is there for you to explore. Travelling is rather inexpensive, althout it tends to be quite slow. Dependence on buses and slow trains is quite high and there are very few flight connections from Sofia to the coast. For its size, the country offers a rare diversity of landscapes that makes it very appealing for tourism purposes. It is also very well connected to surrounding Balkan countries, in case you need an escape.

Total Score: 42/70

Bulgaria will always hold a special place in my heart; however, it is not the easiest place to live if one looks for stability. I totally recommend it for adventurers who have a romantic image of the Balkans and want to live an authentic experience. If you decide to make the big step, your priority should be to learn how to read the Cyrillic alphabet! I promise this will make your life much easier.

Denmark

Place of Stay: Esbjerg (72,000 inhabitants)

Length of Stay: 5 months

Occupation: Full-time student

Level of local language before: N/A

Level of local language after: N/A

People: 5

I promised myself this would be the category I’d be the most generous with. Nevertheless, Danes didn’t give me much to work with. One great thing about them is that they all seem to be very friendly when you ask a question. I never had issues with finding my way or asking for directions. Everyone was gladly speaking to me in English, regardless of their age. However, I quickly noticed that Danes are very hard to get closer to, regardless of this initially friendly demeanor of theirs.

The Danes are very active, sporty people, who like to plan their day. They rarely do overtime at work and are very punctual with their appointments. Similarly to Germans, they tend to be slightly unflexible in most situations. I found their sense of humour to often be slightly dry for my Mediterranean taste, but they were not completely lacking it. Danish men, particularly, tend to get much more open when they drink but unfortunately often overdo it and get into fights. Most Danes seem to enjoy eating and drinking out and they do not mind splurging if they have to.

Administration / Authorities: 8

Things work in Denmark – that is a well-known fact. Getting a residence permit as an EU citizen unlocks several benefits there like health insurance and being able to get employed. Processes are not too long and most public workers speak decent English. The police is dependable and enforces the law, as I found out the hard way with my burnt bike night light! The only reason I put 8 here is because I noticed a lack of flexibility in some cases when it would be good to offer more options; I am mostly referring to their healthcare system, which is great but very linear and sometimes hard to go through in case of some chronic or hard to diagnose cases.

Knowledge of Foreign Languages: 9

They are not as competent as the Swedes or the Dutch, but the vast majority of the Danes speaks English. Decent German and other Scandinavian languages are also often spoken. I was impressed by how knowledge of English in Denmark had nothing to do with age; you could easily find seniors speaking it with ease. Knowing Danish is not necessary to live in the country, but will definitely open more doors for you.

Job Opportunities: 7

Finding any job in Denmark is easy. Actually it’s very easy and the state helps you do it once you enroll at a local university. But finding a good job in Denmark is another story. Knowing Danish definitely helps here but without it expect mostly jobs in tech companies in Copenhagen. As Denmark is a popular destination for expats, standing out during the screening process can be a cumbersome and frustrating experience.

Cost of Life: 4

As is the case elsewhere in Scandinavia, everything is just so expensive! As a student I found it very hard to go through the month with my allowance. A lot of my colleagues had to get part-time jobs to go through the semester. Renting a room in a 4-people shared flat was 350€ / 500€ with expenses, whereas my shopping basket for the week was never less than 60€ even in the cheapest of supermarkets. A single ride city bus ticket was almost 3€. I am sure that Danish salaries are making up for this, but still be prepared to do a lot of wise fund management to go through your month.

Weather: 2

Not much to say here. Rain – wind. Wind – rain. You will learn to always keep your raincoat or poncho close. Umbrellas are useless. I personally learnt to appreciate the sun in Denmark, will never take it for granted again.

Travel Opportunities: 5

Denmark is a very flat country and that makes it rather uninteresting to the eye. Also the high price of train tickets makes it hard to be spontaneous. I visited many Danish cities but found most of them to be similar. For those that love art and nature, Denmark will not disappoint as the options are plenty. Also, it’s easy to get out to Germany, Sweden or more faraway destinations by plane. Denmark has the easiest connections to Faroe Islands and Greenland, two of the most remote destinations in this part of the world.

Overall Score: 40/70

This is just my personal opinion and I know many people would disagree, but I found Denmark to be very hard to live in. As a Mediterranean, I missed the sun, the approachability of the people and the flexibility in many situations. It is certainly a good place to get some work experience or visit for holidays, but I wouldn’t be able to enjoy my life there for more than half a year.

Germany

Place of Stay: Düsseldorf (620,000 inhabitants)

Length of Stay: 1.5 year

Occupation: Full-time employee

Level of local language before: N/A

Level of local language after: A1

People: 7

What saves Germany in this category is its beautiful multiculturalism, which really makes it possible to meet people of all sorts of backgrounds and interests. I met a few stereotypical unflexible Germans, but I also met well-travelled and educated people who were willing to socialize with expats even outside of work. A lot of my fellow Greeks often asked me if I faced any discrimination because of the crisis; on the contrary, most German people I conversed with showed high willingness to hear my point of view.

Germans tend to be a little too organised for my taste, however they are also cosmopolitan and like to spend time outside. They are usually sporty, enjoy a good barbeque or beer and love hiking in the great outdoors. Humour can be an issue with some of them, as it tends to be a little dry and sometimes even raw. I also found many Germans to be a little stingy when it comes to practical things. When it comes to their free time, however, they usually splurge. Their long and frequent holidays abroad are a good proof of that.

Administration / Authorities: 8

More or less a similar situation as described for Denmark above. I found almost everything, from registering to filing a tax report to be quite straightforward in Germany.

Knowledge of Foreign Languages: 8

Slightly less proficient than the Danes or the Dutch, most Germans have a good command of at least one foreign language. English is not globally spoken as one might think, but a polyglot wouldn’t have trouble finding someone that speaks some basic Spanish, French or Dutch. A very interesting thing for me is that many German companies operate with English as their corporate language. Most public services offer the option to speak with an English-speaker, although that should not be taken for granted.

Job Opportunities: 9

Jobs come in all shapes and sizes in Germany. Even without any experience, it’s relatively feasible to get an internship in a big company. In case you have more than a year of solid previous experience and speak German or English fluently it shouldn’t take more than 3-4 months to land a decent job. I also noticed that recruiters in Germany are very active on LinkedIn and Xing, trying to attract talent from competitive companies. It’s a fairly common scenario there that one’s next job comes without even actively looking.

Cost of Life: 7

I know some cities like Munich tend to be more expensive, however things are very decent overall. Groceries are cheaper than in most countries, prices being capped very low for bread, milk, etc.. Rent prices are on the same or lower levels than most European countries. Gas is also very decently priced, especially when compared to the South of Europe. The only thing I found consistently expensive in Germany is eating out. An individual dish and a beer can easily cost you 20-25€ in the simplest bistro or restaurant.

Weather: 3

Germany is big so I am only scoring the area I lived in. Only marginally better than Denmark, as the wind was not a severe problem. But when it’s August and it rains every single day of the week you realize why Germans go out in shorts and tanktops when the first sun rays come out!

Travel Opportunities: 8

Germany has many big and interesting cities with museums, art galleries and other things to keep you busy. However, from one point onwards things tend to kind of repeat. The great thing, however, is that you have plenty of big airports and international trains to get you out of the country. If you look often, you might even find great deals! I noticed that the weather makes it hard to spend too many consecutive months within Germany; escaping abroad is very popular for locals and expats alike, therefore package or ticket offers are common.

Overall Score: 50/70

Germany is consistently called out as one of the best countries to live in for a reason. Although I had my moments when the weather and different lifestyle made me feel like I don’t belong, I generally had a very memorable 1.5 year there. Maybe if I was ever to return I’d pick another city to settle in; Berlin would probably be my favourite option, as it’s vibrant, modern, affordable and multicultural.

Malta

Place of Stay: St. Julian’s (10,000 inhabitants)

Length of Stay: 4 months

Occupation: Full-time employee

Level of local language before: Maltese N/A, English C2

Level of local language after: Maltese N/A, English C2

People: 7

The Maltese are a very interesting bunch. Not only did they manage to keep their national identity through years of being part of bigger empires, but they are also extremely proud of their heritage in very profound ways. The older generations tend to be suspicious of most things foreign but the young seem to mingle more. I met many Maltese that were interested in dating an expat and others that would never even consider it. Most of them get married and have families young. The Maltese are also extremely religious; up until a few years ago even divorces were not allowed!

The locals have a tamperament that is often borderline sassy. This doesn’t mean they hate you, it’s just how it is! Most of my colleagues were Maltese and were interested to show us their country’s gems. They would also hang out with us for drinks after work, as the island’s lifestyle is quite relaxed. However, I often found them to be a little naive and gossipy, possibly because of the country’s tiny size.

Administration / Authorities: 3

Queues, attitude, bureaucracy. An indicative example was that I was waiting for my registration to be approved for more than a month, but when someone from work spoke personally to an acquaintance in the alien office my work got done the same day. The police is not used to resolving cases, so if you lost your wallet consider it gone forever. As the country is small but very densely populated, I got the feeling there were simply not enough public workers to get things done at a decent pace.

Knowledge of Foreign Languages: 8

Literally almost everyone in Malta speaks English, as it is the country’s secondary language. But even if one doesn’t count that, many Maltese speak very decent Italian or Spanish. Tourism has made language knowledge an essential skill for Maltese youth, thus expect to generally not have significant trouble communicating.

Job Opportunities: 8

Things look bright here as well. Speak English or Italian? Then finding a job in tourism should be quick and painless. Speak German, any Scandinavian language or French on top? Then one of the many betting or other online companies will be happy to have you. The main issue is that many jobs are seasonal, however after a successful season on the island you might have made good contacts that can get you a long way.

Cost of Life: 6

As a tourist, I found Malta to be fairly inexpensive. As an expat, however, I found prices to be highly incompatible with local salaries. Groceries were often more expensive than in Greece or Spain. Rent was as high as in many other European countries and the value for money not necessarily as good. Generally the best approach is either to negotiate a better salary if you pursue a stable job, or to work seasonally and arrange to live inside the hotel you work for and maybe also get some meals included in the benefits package.

Weather: 9

Lovely. Season in Malta lasts much longer than in other summer destinations, April to October being perfectly warm and sunny. I only put 9 here because July and August tend to be too hot and stuffy. I also heard rumors that rainstorms, though not very common, cause huge problems to the island because of poor sewage. Since I did not experience that so I am still giving out a high score here.

Travel Opportunities: 2

If you decide to live in Malta, be prepared to have seen it all within the first month. It is tiny and interesting sights are concentrated into a few settlements around the two main islands. I personally got a feeling of claustrophobia for the first time in my life when realizing that taking a plane was the only decent way to get out of the country. There are boats to Sicily but how many times can one go there (plus they are not so cheap). Generally big disappointment here, you will have to swallow it if you want to spend a long time in Malta.

Overall Score: 43/70

I found Malta to be a pleasant place to live in, just not for too long. As I had never lived on a small island prior to that, my main challenge was the lack of travel options and job variety. I also consider saving money to be virtually impossible, as the cost of life is higher than one would expect. That being said, Malta is still a great place to spend a summer season in as a young expat and will most likely give you great memories.

Slovakia

Place of Stay: Bratislava (600,000 inhabitants)

Length of Stay: > 7 months (ongoing)

Occupation: Full-time employee

Level of local language before: N/A

Level of local language currently: A2

People: 5

I have a theory about Slovak people: the best ones of them live abroad. I’ve met many excellent Slovaks through the years that embodied the very idea of well-travelled, educated citizens of the world. However, my experience here in the country so far is a little disappointing. Slovaks have a small town mentality which might be nice for folklore reasons, however it tends to get really tiring once you try to get some things done effectively. I sense and feel a lot of gossip, although I reside in the biggest city of the country. Also, my main issue is Slovak nationalism, which I see as a very frustrating barrier for contact with locals. More than once have I been told by someone that “in Slovakia we only speak Slovak”, when trying to ask someone for something simple in English.

That being said, Slovaks are also very loyal to their families and stay true to their values. If you win them over they will probably become close friends and will help you out without question. They are sporty from a young age, love playing and watching sports and mostly care about their figure. They tend to marry younger than other Europeans and seem to do a lot to please their parents, with whom they often live until a quite old age.

Administration / Authorities: 5

Some things are very easy and some are very tough here. Although you can open a bank account even faster than in Germany, registering with the foreign police is pure madness and seeing a good general practitioner might take some time. Also, the police has a reputation of being quite corrupt, although personally when I lost my wallet I found them to be very polite and helpful. Slovak is important to get most things done here, that is why most international companies provide assistance for things, such as tax reporting, registration, etc.

Knowledge of Foreign Languages: 7

I was surprised by how many Slovaks speak some basic German or English. Of course you’ll meet the casual d**k who will tell you to only speak in Slovak, but generally you won’t struggle too much to ask for directions in the street or get some assistance in a shop. Seems like the problem is mostly in public services, where you definitely won’t get any help in any language other than Slovak. Also, if you speak Czech, expect no isues with communication around here; Slovaks watch tv programs often dubbed in Czech from a very young age, so everyone has a solid understanding of the language.

Job Opportunities: 8

You will not necessarily find the most prestigious jobs in Slovakia, which make use of all your special skills, however you can get easily employed in big companies like IBM, Amazon or Dell without much previous experience. Knowing foreign languages is key here, French and German being the two that are most commonly in demand. Most jobs are concentrated in Bratislava and Košice but honestly, there is not many more places in this country where you’d like to live anyways.

Cost of Life: 7

Eating out is relatively cheap in comparison to most other places, lunch menus offering the best value. You can have a two-course lunch with a soft drink for as little as 3.5€ and a good dinner with a glass of wine won’t cost you more than 14€ in most cases. Beer and alcohol in general are very affordable, making it easy to get drunk on a night out with friends. What I found to be particularly expensive in Bratislava specifically is the price of rent. For a country with an average salary of 750€ paying 500€ for a tiny studio is not really an option. Most people here live with one or two roommates, or share with their significant others.

Weather: 6

The winter is harsh in Slovakia, especially for a southerner like myself. Temperatures in the capital can go as low as -20°C and stay like this for a day or two. Snowfall is common, especially in the Central and Eastern areas. Summers are humid and hot but spring is very pleasant with good temperatures and some rain to break the monotony every now and then. Generally better than Germany, but nowhere near what the European South is enjoying in this field.

Travel Opportunities: 10

You are in the very heart of Europe, what did you expect? West – Vienna and Prague. South – Budapest. East – The high Tatras and the Carpathians. North – Krakow and other Polish gems. You can see a different place every other week! Slovaks also tend to travel a lot for the summer, therefore packages are relatively affordable and a popular choice among locals. Bratislava airport has cheap flights to interesting destinations and Vienna airport is also a good option for long-haul escapes.

Overall Score: 48/70

Slovakia might not be a country you think about when you consider moving abroad, however it’s becoming increasingly popular because of many multinational companies opening major offices there. It certainly is a country that has a few more steps to make in terms of expat and minority acceptance, however I see progress taking place very fast here and I think in five to ten years if the situation keeps evolving as it does now Slovakia will become a hotspot for job hunters and recent uni graduates.

Slovenia

Place of Stay: Ljubljana (280,000 inhabitants)

Length of Stay: 1 year

Occupation: Full-time student

Level of local language before: N/A

Level of local language after: A2

People: 9

Slovenians are very hospitable people. Although the country is small and very agricultural, they have something very European about them in all possible ways. Education has a very decent level there, making most locals well-educated and confident in foreign languages. Slovenians embrace other cultures, many of them loving Croatian music and Italian culture, among others. They also tend to be quite curious about locals, without however becoming gossipy or overbearing.

Similarly to Slovaks, Slovenians are very close to their families and tend to be quite loyal friends and partners. They actively participate in sports from a very young age and are thus usually in very good shape. Slovenia is one of the greenest and most eco-friendly countries in Europe, something visible from the locals’ recycling and nature preservation awareness. If I could find somethning negative about them, it would be that they often come across as a little naive, possibly because of the country’s provincial lifestyle, small size and population.

Administration / Authorities: 7

Slovenia is one of these countries that have obviously gone a long way since they broke apart from Yugoslavia. A lot of their processes have become significantly less bureaucratic, although there is still a lot of space for improvement. Queues are usually not insane, social workers are for the most part not outright rude and the police seems to be mostly doing their job without many visible signs of low-level corruption.

Knowledge of Foreign Languages: 9

Although the quality is not the same as in other countries, the vast majority of Slovenians speak at least one foreign language fluently. The older generation mostly speaks Serbian, Croatian and Italian locally around the coast. The younger population is very knowledgeable in English, German or Italian; Croatian is spoken to some extent but generally not as much as among their parents’ generation.

Job Opportunities: 2

I looked often for different jobs in Slovenia but it was the least disappointing to see the lack of jobs for non-Slovene speakers. The few jobs that an expat could go for usually get so many applications that it’s hard to stand out. The country’s high unemployment rate in the last few years certainly doesn’t make things easier in this area. Consider yourself very lucky if you manage to get a decent job in the country.

Cost of Life: 7

I’d say things are more or less similar to Slovakia here, with the only difference that local salaries are slightly higher. The level of life in Slovenia is the highest among the ex-Socialist countries.

Weather: 8

Its access to the sea and strategic location between Central and Southern Europe make Slovenian climate ideal. Winters can be cold but are not unbearable and are generally shorter than in other neighboring countries. Spring is beautiful, as Slovenian nature itself is gorgeous and goes into full bloom around the end of March. Summers are very pleasant, neither too hot nor too rainy and chilly. Overall very pleasant in this regard.

Travel Opportunities: 9

Slovenia’s very central location, along with its small but enjoyable coastline, make it a nice place to start a trip from. Venice is just 4 hours away, Trieste less than 2 by car or bus. Austria to the north is very easily accessible, whereas Croatia is just a few cigarettes away, thus its popularity among locals for summer vacation. Although not as well connected, Hungary is also not that far away. Slovenia is a beautiful country by itself, combining the sea with tall Alpine views and bautiful lakes, valleys and waterfalls almost around every tiny village.

Overall Score: 51/70

Everyone who knows me well would be aware of how much I adore Slovenia in all possible ways. It is personally my happy place and one of the countries I’d gladly return to if a good job opportunity ever came up. I seriously did not even consider myself an expat while living there. As many people have told me before and I have to agree, Slovenia is a very underrated country that really deserves much more credit than what it usually receives.

Spain

Place of Stay: Girona (98,000 inhabitants)

Length of Stay: 1 year

Occupation: Full-time student / Part-time employee

Level of local language before: Catalan N/A, Spanish N/A

Level of local language after: Catalan N/A, Spanish A2

People: 9

What can I say that hasn’t been said already by every single traveller? Spaniards are simply so lively, so polite and so relaxed people that it’s hard not to like them. Yes, they tend to speak only in Spanish among them even if they have foreigners in the group and yes, they are a little late for most appointments but their natural charm and friendly attitude makes you instantly forgive them. I also think they have a very nice sense of humour and a very social predisposition, which makes it very easy to make friends with them.

Spaniards tend to love parties and social gathering, they speak loudly and like to cook and offer presents to their close friends. They are curious about expats and like to assist them when that is needed, even if they do not speak any foreign language to communicate effectively. One thing that might catch you off is how little Spaniards care about personal space. Don’t be surprised if you get touched around the waist or get given a little kiss on the cheek; it is something you’ll find is very common and they also do it with their best friends and family.

Administration / Authorities: 7

You’d be surprised by how modern several public services have become in Spain over the last few years. However, Spanish is essential to get any work done and mistakes are common in the way documents are issued. Many people that offer you assistance might be sassy or impatient, generally in these cases you need to politely insist to get to the end of any process.

Knowledge of Foreign Languages: 3

Don’t expect much here. Although Spaniards will try to help you regardless of what language you address them in, most of them barely speak anything other than their respective native language. In Catalonia French might be a good option but other than that only some younger people might have some solid knowledge of English. Learning basic Spanish is fairly easy for most Europeans and it can take you a long way. It also happens to be one of the mostly spoken languages on Earth so why not try to pick it up?

Job Opportunities: 4

Spain has one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe. As if this was not discouraging enough, finding a job without solid knowledge of Spanish can prove to be tricky. Barcelona, Madrid and potentially Valencia are your only options, unless you have a good command in German in which case Mallorca could also be an option. Expect jobs mostly related to hospitality, customer support and the like, where you can use your language skills as an advantage over the local candidates.

Cost of Life: 7

Spain fares pretty decently overall, although be aware that around big tourism attractions affordable options become a rarity. Food is not particularly expensive, there are many supermarket options, as well as open-air markets for fresh vegetables and fruit. Eating is somewhere between Germany and Eastern Europe but the food is just that much more worth it (it’s the olive oil, I’m telling you!). Rent depends a lot on the area, but with an average salary you might be able to get a decent studio for one person and still have money left to live comfortably. Transport tends to be expensive, trains being often much more expensive than in other Western European countries. Look out for seasonal offers if you want to travel cheap.

Weather: 9

I am sure that what I experienced in Catalonia is not the case everywhere in Spain, but as with the rest of Southern Europe the weather seemed just perfect for me. I only put 9 here because summers tend to get too hot and stuffy, but otherwise the winters are very mild and the hours of sunlight simply make everyone so much happier.

Travel Opportunities: 9

Spain itself is a very interesting country to travel into. Each region has a different style to discover and the most difficult part about living there is to decide where to spend your next vacation! Spanish airports offer many low cost flights abroad as well, making it easier to escape when you feel you need a change. Trains connect the big cities with France and Portugal, whereas ferries can take you from Valencia or Catalonia to the beautiful Balearic islands.

Overall Score: 48/70

Spain is a great country to live if you are fluent in Spanish and manage to get a stable job. I personally would love to return there and it’s the closest I’ve ever felt to my home country, thus making it easier to adapt. It’s also literally the only country where I really felt I could easily make some friends and acquaintances, although the language was always a significant barrier. If the country’s job market was more similar to that in Germany or in Slovakia, I’d be the first in line to get a one-way ticket to Valencia or Madrid!

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