Approximately 62% of our waking time is spent at home, more if home is also our office. When moving abroad, the question of what “home” will look like is one of the big ones: how spacious will it be, what features will it have, how much will it cost? And how will it compare to the home where your heart is, in your own country?
Below are some average apartment sizes for major cities. Someone moving from Cairo to Taipei may be in for a shock!.
Cairo 154 m2
New York 92 m2
London 78 m2
Taipei 44 m2
And then there are amenities. A Finn may wish they could have a home sauna, a Japanese person may miss their soaking tub. It is possible to get almost any size or comfort in any location…if you’re willing to compromise and pay. Many expatriates will have to choose between living in the manner of the locals, or in housing aimed at foreign nationals.
If the company is paying, it may seem like a no-brainer to go with the largest, most familiar style. However, there can be advantages to choosing housing that may at first glance seem unfamiliar or inconvenient. You’ll be more likely to make local friends in a neighborhood that is less isolated. It may give you access to shops and restaurants you might not otherwise find. And upon returning home you may find you miss those local tatami floors or the tilt-and-turn windows you weren’t sure about before.
On the other hand, it can be difficult to negotiate with landlords in a country where you don’t know the norms, or may not even speak the local language. You may wish to be close to your children’s classmates, or in a neighborhood with a supermarket that carries familiar brands.
At Living Abroad, our housing resources provide a picture of what is available for expatriates in a country, from private villas to local apartments. We offer information on popular neighborhoods, so you have an idea which districts are for nightlife, and which are good for families. Everything you need to set expectations and prepare to pick your home away from home.
Interesting in taking a look at our housing resources?
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Written by Kate Havas, Content Manager