Expats moving to Bermuda can look forward to a little slice of paradise. The tiny North Atlantic island, located east of North Carolina, is made up of seven main islands and 170 additional islets. In total, it is just 20 square miles (54 square kilometres) in size.
Those moving to Bermuda will find that they're never further than a mile from the ocean. The sea is characterised by a turquoise clarity, washing across pink sand. Bermuda makes for an idyllic tourist and expat destination.
Living in Bermuda as an expat
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 population of over 64,000, about 20 percent are expats holding work permits.
As a British Overseas Territory, the official language of Bermuda is English. That said, 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, and the population is generally friendly and welcoming. Crime rates are low, though when there is violence, it's widely reported.
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.
Cost of living in Bermuda
The cost of living in Bermuda is high and exceeds that of the US and the UK. Aside from small-scale farming of fruit, vegetables and corn, most foodstuffs are imported, and the duties are 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.
Expat families and children in Bermuda
The standard of education in Bermuda is largely exceptional, with free education provision for students up to 19 years. Education is compulsory from primary school to senior school, and the island country boasts 18 primary schools, five middle schools and two senior schools.
Most expats use private schooling, and there is a choice of several schools for 11- to 18-year-olds. It's also quite common for teenage children to be educated abroad. Bermuda College provides vocational training in limited subjects, but there's no university on the island.
Expat parents needn't worry about transporting their tots around Bermuda as the island has plenty of public transport options, including buses, ferries, taxis and bicycles. Outside work and school, lifestyle choices in Bermuda usually centre around water and golf.
Climate in Bermuda
Bermuda's climate is sub-tropical. In the summer, the weather can be too humid to do anything strenuous. A home with air conditioning is a necessity, not a luxury. The winters, however, are balmy and pleasant.
Expats will have no trouble adjusting to life in Bermuda and may very well never want to leave. This tiny island country boasts gorgeous ocean scenes and a population that is ready to welcome newcomers to a blissful life in their new homes.
Population: More than 64,000
Neighbouring countries: The United States is off the east coast. Portugal lies to the west while Brazil is in the northwest, and Havana is north.
Geography: Bermuda is a small British territory in the western North Atlantic Ocean. Known for the infamous Bermuda Triangle, the island territory is distinguished by low hills that are separated by lush depressions.
Political system: Parliamentary representative democratic dependency under a constitutional monarchy
Main languages: English and Portuguese
Major religions: Christianity
Money: The Bermudian Dollar (BMD) is divided into 100 pennies and is pegged to the United States dollar. To open a bank account, expats will usually have to present a valid passport, proof of address and their initial deposit.
Tipping: A service charge of around 15 percent is generally included in restaurant bills, so there is typically no need to tip in Bermuda.
Electricity: 110V, 60Hz. Plugs most commonly in use are types A and B. Type A plugs are the round two-pin type, and type B plugs have two flat parallel pins with a grounding pin.
Internet domain: .bm
International dialling code: +1441
Emergency contacts: 911 (medical, fire and police)
Transport and driving: Thanks to Bermuda's small size, it's quite easy to get around by scooter or on foot. Although households are limited to one vehicle, most people prefer driving in Bermuda, and cars drive on the left-hand side. For public transport, there is a well-established bus network, which makes it easy to get around, and there are taxis available as well.
Are you an expat living in Bermuda?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Bermuda. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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