The Top 5 Destinations for Working Abroad in 2021

With more employers allowing remote work these days, relocating to an exciting new place is an appealing idea for many. But where are the best global destinations for work?

Photo of a young woman working in a café.

Young woman working in a café.

iStock.com/vichie81

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Since 2014, InterNations, a global networking community for expats, has conducted the Expat Insider survey. In 2021, over 12,000 people representing 174 nationalities shared their views on everything from the cost of living to quality of life in 59 destinations. The survey gives a comprehensive snapshot of expat life today — and Working Abroad is one of the main categories.

Here are the top 5 places where expats were happiest working abroad in 2021:

Taiwan, the overall winner for 2021, consistently ranks highly in the Working Abroad Index:

  • 83% of expats rate their job security favorably (vs. 61% worldwide), two in five (40%) are even completely satisfied (vs. only 24% globally).
  • 85% are also happy with the state of the local economy (vs. 62% globally).
  • 41% couldn't be any happier with their job, which is almost twice the global average (22%).
  • 74% are satisfied with their working hours (vs. 66% globally).
  • On average, they also work fewer hours: 39.9 hours a week in a full-time position (vs. 43.2 hours globally).

New Zealand comes in second place in 2021, with especially impressive results for expats' work-life balance:

  • 83% are generally satisfied with their work-life balance (vs. 66% globally).
  • 39% are even completely happy with their work-life balance (vs. 25% globally).
  • Over four in five (81%) rate their job security favorably (vs. 61% globally).
  • Close to 20 percentage points above the global average also rate the local career opportunities positively (64% vs. 45% globally).

Since 2017, Czechia has consistently ranked in the top 3 of the Working Abroad Index, and 2021 is no exception:

  • 82% of expats are generally satisfied with their working hours (vs. 66% globally).
  • Expats in full-time positions in Czechia work an average of 41.5 hours per week, compared to a global average of 43.2 hours.
  • 80% are also happy with their work-life balance (vs. 66% globally).
  • Three-quarters (75%) rate the state of the local economy positively (vs. 62% globally).
  • An impressive 93% of working expats in Czechia say they can do so remotely (vs. 78% around the world).

China receives mixed results in the Expat Insider 2021 survey but performs best in the Working Abroad Index (4th):

  • 59% of expats are happy with their local career opportunities (vs. 45% globally).
  • 87% are satisfied with the state of the local economy (vs. 62% globally).
  • A higher-than-average share of expats is also happy with their job security (68% vs. 61% globally).

Denmark ranks 37th out of 59 destinations overall, but it receives its best result in the Working Abroad Index (5th):

  • It places first in the Work & Leisure subcategory for the fourth time in five years.
  • 80% of respondents are happy with their work-life balance (vs. 66% globally).
  • A further 87% rate the local economy positively (vs. 62% globally).
  • But: Only 60% are happy with their job security (vs. 61% globally).
  • 65% are satisfied with their job in general (vs. 68% globally).

Find out more in the complete Expat Insider 2021 report.

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Society

What It Means When The Jews Of Germany No Longer Feel Safe

A neo-Nazi has been buried in the former grave of a Jewish musicologist Max Friedlaender – not an oversight, but a deliberate provocation. This is just one more example of antisemitism on the rise in Germany, and society's inability to respond.

At a protest against antisemitism in Berlin

Eva Marie Kogel

-Essay-

BERLIN — If you want to check the state of your society, there's a simple test: as the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany, John Jay McCloy, said in 1949, the touchstone for a democracy is the well-being of Jews. This litmus test is still relevant today. And it seems Germany would not pass.


Incidents are piling up. Most recently, groups of neo-Nazis from across the country traveled to a church near Berlin for the funeral of a well-known far-right figure. He was buried in the former grave of Jewish musicologist Max Friedlaender, a gravesite chosen deliberately by the right-wing extremists.

The incident at the cemetery

They intentionally chose a Jewish grave as an act of provocation, trying to gain maximum publicity for this act of desecration. And the cemetery authorities at the graveyard in Stahnsdorf fell for it. The church issued an immediate apology, calling it a "terrible mistake" and saying they "must immediately see whether and what we can undo."

There are so many incidents that get little to no media attention.

It's unfathomable that this burial was allowed to take place at all, but now the cemetery authorities need to make a decision quickly about how to put things right. Otherwise, the grave may well become a pilgrimage site for Holocaust deniers and antisemites.

The incident has garnered attention in the international press and it will live long in the memory. Like the case of singer-songwriter Gil Ofarim, who recently claimed he was subjected to antisemitic abuse at a hotel in Leipzig. Details of the crime are still being investigated. But there are so many other incidents that get little to no media attention.

Photo of the grave of Jewish musicologist Max Friedlaender

The grave of Jewish musicologist Max Friedlaender

Jens Kalaene/dpa/ZUMA

Crimes against Jews are rising

Across all parts of society, antisemitism is on the rise. Until a few years ago, Jewish life was seen as an accepted part of German society. Since the attack on the synagogue in Halle in 2019, the picture has changed: it was a bitter reminder that right-wing terror against Jewish people has a long, unbroken history in Germany.

Stories have abounded about the coronavirus crisis being a Jewish conspiracy; meanwhile, Muslim antisemitism is becoming louder and more forceful. The anti-Israel boycott movement BDS rears its head in every debate on antisemitism, just as left-wing or post-colonial thinking are part of every discussion.

Jewish life needs to be allowed to step out of the shadows.

Since 2015, the number of antisemitic crimes recorded has risen by about a third, to 2,350. But victims only report around 20% of cases. Some choose not to because they've had bad experiences with the police, others because they're afraid of the perpetrators, and still others because they just want to put it behind them. Victims clearly hold out little hope of useful reaction from the state – so crimes go unreported.

And the reality of Jewish life in Germany is a dark one. Sociologists say that Jewish children are living out their "identity under siege." What impact does it have on them when they can only go to nursery under police protection? Or when they hear Holocaust jokes at school?

Germany needs to take its antisemitism seriously

This shows that the country of commemorative services and "stumbling blocks" placed in sidewalks as a memorial to victims of the Nazis has lost its moral compass. To make it point true north again, antisemitism needs to be documented from the perspective of those affected, making it visible to the non-Jewish population. And Jewish life needs to be allowed to step out of the shadows.

That is the first thing. The second is that we need to talk about specifically German forms of antisemitism. For example, the fact that in no other EU country are Jewish people so often confronted about the Israeli government's policies (according to a survey, 41% of German Jews have experienced this, while the EU average is 28%). Projecting the old antisemitism onto the state of Israel offers people a more comfortable target for their arguments.

Our society needs to have more conversations about antisemitism. The test of German democracy, as McCloy called it, starts with taking these concerns seriously and talking about them. We need to have these conversations because it affects all of us. It's about saving our democracy. Before it's too late.

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