Migrating to Asia: A Continent with Better Opportunities

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If your desire is to look for opportunities abroad in the East, you will be able to find some options to do so. These are the best options to emigrate to Asia.

Panoramic image of Tokyo

Migration to Oceania, Africa and Asia is notably lower, however, especially in the latter region the opportunities can be interesting. Photo: Pixabay

LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

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Leer en español: Emigrar a Asia: Un continente con mejores oportunidades

Latin American migration (mainly of Brazilians, Colombians, Peruvians and Venezuelans) occurs especially to destinations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Spain according to data from a 2020 report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). On the other hand, migration to Oceania, Africa and Asia is notably lower, however, especially in the latter region the opportunities may be interesting.

Why live in Asia?

The question should rather be why not? Asia is one of the most fascinating regions of the world, beyond the usual exoticism related to the East, it can become an opportunity to start a different life. To begin with, although the terms Asia or East are often used interchangeably, neither concept manages to encompass the enormous cultural variety of this vast region. We can find rich and poor countries, with a high Human Development Index or with serious human rights problems. The contrasts are remarkable, as in other regions such as Latin America, however, living in what is often called Asia involves cultural challenges, including religion and, above all, language.

Of course, the migration to which the IOM refers includes that of the illegal type, however, it is always better to do it through legal channels. If it is of your interest, you should inform the embassies of the countries that call your attention about their specific requirements for your country, as well as the documentation, costs and other issues that you must consider. The cost of living is usually higher in highly developed countries such as Japan or South Korea, and work restrictions for foreigners make procedures more complicated, but not necessarily impossible.

Best place to work in Asia

In this area, the largest economies are ahead: Japan, China, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore. The most important issue to consider is your job and academic requirements. Usually the jobs are destined for highly qualified people. So the best way to apply to these countries is with a solid training in your home country. Also, there are specialized agencies that could help you find a job, always be careful with them since you must check that they are legal and authorized, especially when there is a fee.

Finally, you can apply for a job if you already have contact with a company, this form is more practical because the employer will help you with the procedures to obtain a visa and work permits and, in some cases, even accommodation and other benefits. It takes into account the level of development and its relationship with the Human Development Index where they occupy the first places in Asia: Hong Kong (China), Singapore, Japan, and South Korea that are among the first 25 in the world, according to the United Nations Development Program.

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"Surviving" with English

English is still the lingua franca, with it you can "survive" in almost any country. If you want to study, even in countries like Spain, English will be necessary. But even more important with this language you can find an opportunity to emigrate to Asia, you can choose a job as an English teacher or as an assistant. Especially in countries like China where trade is continually growing and business opportunities are opening up, the use of English has become indispensable.

If your desire to emigrate to an Asian country is for cultural reasons, either because you have some connection with the culture of India, Thailand or Vietnam, the best way to communicate will be English, even if your goal is to learn the language of these countries for a while you will continue to need it. You will find one more application of the language in volunteering, these exist in almost all countries but especially in developing countries. There are volunteers with different durations, so you could emigrate for a few months to a country of your interest and learn about the culture and way of life. Why not build houses in Nepal or help with women's empowerment projects in the Philippines?

Study in Asia

The pop culture of Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Taiwan, mainly, attracts the attention of millions of young people around the world. Anime, music, cosplay, gastronomy and other cultural elements are part of the attractions of these countries. The way of life that is observed in their audiovisual productions generates interest in these young people to have an academic experience in their universities. Due to the high educational level, nine educational centers in China, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea are among the top 50 in the world, according to the 2021 list of the Round University Ranking.

Although the selection processes are usually complex, you have the option of supporting yourself in exchange programs with Latin American universities or with cooperation programs in your country that frequently include scholarships to study in these places. Do not forget to certify your level of English and, if possible, also have your certification in Chinese, Korean or Japanese, since they will expand your opportunities to obtain a scholarship and to find a job at the end of your studies if your interest is to live in these countries.