India and China: An Expat’s Paradise?

sunset china

Have you ever thought about how many countries in the world you could visit? With 189 to 196 countries recognised depending on the source, the possibilities are pretty much endless. But when the wanderlust comes to a halt and a wandering soul decides to actually settle down somewhere inspiring with good career options, the choice is much narrower.

Ideally you will want somewhere with good connections as well as a welcoming culture that allows you to feel part of the local society as an expat.

business-ideaIf English is your first language, chances are that you will feel more at ease anywhere that used to be part of the Commonwealth. At the same time, but it won’t be difficult for you to find your place in society in Europe and North America because of purely cultural reasons.

This time, however, we thought we’d take a look at two booming Asian destinations that are often overlooked…


Closely following China in the HSBC list for up and coming destinations for expats, India enjoys a favorable economic climate as well as a unique cultural heritage. Living here will mean confronting with poverty and luxury on a daily basis, exposing a clash that will surely motivate you to learn more about an often controversial and fascinating culture.

The great thing about living in India as a Westerner is the value for money you can get, meaning you will likely get to live in the nicest  areas of your chosen city for a very affordable price. Even metropolis such as New Delhi and Mumbai are near the bottom of the list of the world’s most expensive cities, 113th and 114th respectively.

As you settle in India, don’t forget that you need to register at the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office within 2 weeks from your arrival or you won’t be allowed to stay for more than 6 months.


The engine of global economy over the last decade, China keeps attracting westerners for purely economic reasons but not only. Over 240,000 foreign workers lived in China in 2012, up 17% from five years before.

An ancient culture, a huge territory and the proximity to many other interesting Asian countries are among the main attractions for expats with a desire to travel. The country itself offers very different sights, from the futuristic streets of Beijing to more rugged, mountainous areas to the West and South.

Choosing China for your expat life means choosing a very different lifestyle without completely losing touch with your Western roots. From affordable flights to getting the odd courier sent to China by your family, the country’s main cities are incredibly well connected with the rest of the world.

Despite rising living prices, the country is still a very profitable place to live as a Westerner. Teaching, technical, financial or international marketing jobs are the most popular among expats because of the shortage of local expertise in these sectors and the significant language barrier, so expect your salary to be significantly higher than back home.




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