If you choose Belgium as your country of residence, you are onto a winner.
Along with its multicultural and multilingual environment, Belgium has a high standard of living, which has been constantly improving since 1980, according to the 2014 Human Development Report (prepared by the United Nations Development Programme). In 2013, Belgium was ranked 21st out of 187 countries and territories, which means that the country belongs to the very high human development category, in terms of 3 basic dimensions:
- a long and healthy life,
- access to knowledge (years of schooling) and
- a decent standard of living. Viktor Kurylo
The Belgian healthcare system is one of the best in the world, offering a winning combination of low-cost accessibility for the general public and high quality of treatment. The country has 4 doctors per 1,000 inhabitants, which is a very high ratio for OECD countries. Belgium ranks in the top in Health and Primary Education in The Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum: Nr.1 in 2010-2011 and Nr.2 in 2011-2012 and in 2012-2013.
The country is internationally renowned for its state-of-the art medical equipment, highly-qualified professionals and innovative technologies.
If you do not speak either of the country’s languages, English-speaking doctors and other professionals are easy to find. A great advantage of living in Belgium is that expats benefit from broad support from local communities and associations facilitating their integration into a new environment. A wealth of information for newcomers is provided about every aspect of everyday life, from health care and schools to culture and shops where you can find the food and drink you are used to. With the help of international clubs, associations and support groups you will never feel a complete stranger in a strange country.
Besides, in Belgium your children will certainly benefit from exposure to different languages, while being able to continue their studies in their mother tongue thanks to a wide range of international and European schools. While offering multilingual skills, education in Belgium also scores high on the global level. According to the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the average student in Belgium scored higher in reading literacy, maths and science than the OECD average.
Another advantage of living in Belgium is that France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK are just next door and you can allow yourself a luxury of popping over to cities like Paris, Amsterdam, London or Cologne just for a day and be back home for dinner.
At the same time, while having the rest of Europe within easy reach, Belgium offers you a wealth of cultural and natural treasures that you cannot but enjoy exploring. There are activities in abundance: sightseeing, tasting local culinary specialities, hiking, spa, seaside trips, carnivals – you name it… The country is very family-friendly and you will never feel at loss for ideas about what to do with your kids at week-ends or on holiday or on a sunny or a rainy day.
In a nutshell, Belgium is a country where you are welcome to thrive and enjoy life.
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