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The 10 cheapest cities to work abroad in – and the most expensive

Working abroad can be costly - find out the 10 cheapest and the 10 most expensive cities to be an expat. Source: Getty

Have you ever wanted to work in another country?

It’s an enticing thought, and one that many Aussies have acted on. In fact at any given time, there’s around one million Aussies living and working overseas.

But, it can be costly.

HR consultancy, Mercer, compared the cost of more than 200 items in 209 cities around the world, and found the 10 most expensive and the 10 cheapest cities for expats.

The items analysed in the report range from alcohol, clothing and food to entertainment and housing markets.

These are the cheapest international cities for Aussies to work in:

10 cheapest cities

  1. Tunis, Tunisia

  2. Tashkent, Uzbekistan

  3. Karachi, Pakistan

  4. Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

  5. Windhoek, Namibia

  6. Banjul, Gambia

  7. Islamabad, Pakistan

  8. Tbilisi, Georgia

  9. Skopje, Macedonia

  10. Managua, Nicaragua

And here are the most expensive cities:

10 most expensive cities

  1. Hong Kong

  2. Tokyo, Japan

  3. Singapore

  4. Seoul, South Korea

  5. Zurich, Switzerland

  6. Shanghai, China

  7. Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

  8. Beijing, China

  9. New York, United States

  10. Shenzhen, China

According to Mercer, Asia’s dominance of the top 10 can be attributed to its strong housing market.

This was Hong Kong’s second year in the top spot due to its pricey housing, petrol and coffee.

A regular Big Mac meal was most expensive in Zurich, costing a whopping $21.46, while Londoners copped the biggest bills for movie tickets.

You’d think twice before heading on a night out in China’s biggest cities with your friend or boyfriend, which could set you back a huge $233.24 for coffee, dinner and a movie.

Sydney was ranked the 50th most expensive city, while Melbourne was 79th, Perth was 87th, Canberra was 96th, Brisbane was 103rd and Adelaide was 109th.

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