Moving to Bermuda

Expats moving to Bermuda will find an island as like paradise as one can imagine. The tiny North Atlantic island is just 20 square miles (54 square kilometres) in size and those moving there will find that nowhere is further than a mile from the ocean. The sea is characterised by a turquoise clarity washing across the pink sand, and the island makes for an idyllic tourist and expat destination.

Hamilton, the capital, has an attractive combination of local shops and international businesses. The country's economy is dependent on the financial services industry which means that of the 65,000+ population about 20,000 are expats holding work permits. As a British Overseas Territory, the official language of Bermuda is English, but it has its own parliament, separate laws and a US-style health service covered by employer’s health insurance.

The culture of Bermuda is a blend of British, Caribbean and American influences. Manners are highly rated and the population is generally friendly and welcoming. Crime rates are low, though when there is violence it is widely reported.

The cost of living in Bermuda is high. Aside from small-scale farming of fruit, vegetables and corn, most foodstuffs are imported and the duties passed on to the consumer. To balance this, pay scales are higher and there are favourable tax regulations. When negotiating a remuneration package, expats should bear in mind that household expenses in Bermuda may be far higher than in their home country.

Outside work, the lifestyle choices usually centre around water and golf. In the summer Bermuda’s weather can be too humid to do anything strenuous. A home with air conditioning is an essential, not a luxury. The winters, however, are balmy and pleasant.

Charities and volunteering are popular on the island and there are numerous opportunities for trailing spouses. The island has churches of many denominations but caters less extensively for non-Christian religions.

The standard of education in Bermuda is high, with free provision of primary school education and government-funded secondary schools. Most expats use private schooling and there is a choice of several schools for 11- to 18-year-olds. It is also quite common for teenage children to be educated abroad. Bermuda College provides vocational training in limited subjects but there is no university on the island.