Where to Defect After Graduation


Denmark is a Scandinavian country bordering Germany and separated from Norway by the Skagerrak Strait. It is a half-hour train ride from Sweden, making it a convenient entryway to travel further into the Norse countries or down into Central Europe.

I was lucky enough to spend some time in Denmark in August 2016. With over 390 kilometers of bike lanes, Copenhagen is truly a city of bicycles; in fact, you will stand out without one. People of Denmark are wonderful and kind, and they speak English as if it was their native language.

When you are approaching Denmark on a plane, numerous windmills welcome you. Wind energy currently supplies more than 40 percent of the country’s energy. It would be great to live in a country with cautious environmental plans.

-Eva Park


Ecuador has recently been hailed as a paradise for retirees, known for its world class healthcare and low cost of living. South of Colombia and north of Peru, Ecuador rests on the equator and is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. From the Amazon to the Andes, it hosts volcanoes, rain forests beaches and more. Quito, the world’s second highest capital and seat of the former Inca Empire, was the first city in the Americas to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ecuador is also home to the Galápagos Islands, made famous by Charles Darwin and home to sea iguanas and the long lived Galápagos tortoise. A former Spanish colony, Ecuador boasts numerous cathedrals dating back to the 1700s, The most famous of which, Basílica del Voto Nacional, is touted as the Sistine Chapel of the Americas. I will personally be defecting to Ecuador come August.

-Lukas Amsden


Canada extends from its southern border with the U.S. into the Arctic Circle. Canada has had a history of taking defectors from the U.S. since the 1850s. According to Vox, around 20,000 African Americans relocated to Canada in the 10 years preceding the Civil War.

It also known for being a diverse and immigrant-friendly country, with approximately 20 percent of the population foreign-born. More than 60 percent of immigrants come from Asia and the Middle East, and more than 13 percent come from Africa. During the 2016 U.S. election, a local radio station host of Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton even launched a website to help potential immigrants in the wake of a Trump election result.

Having both French and English language skills will vastly improve your chances of gaining residency. Canada also has a fast-track immigration system known as Express Entry for those in skilled occupations, which are typically occupations regarding government, financial institutions, engineering, architecture, healthcare, physics, chemistry and administration, though this is hardly the complete list.

The country is also home to beautiful nature such as Niagara Falls in Ontario, Banff National Park in Alberta, Prince Edward Island, Quebec’s Laurentian Mountains and the Capilano River area in British Columbia.

Free basic health care, affordable education and an excellent tertiary education system from higher taxes are other great reasons to move to Canada.

-Karina Santacruz


This small Nordic island nation is ranked first in gender equality by the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap, and in 2016, 48 percent of elected representatives were women. The country continues to fight the gender wage gap, and by 2022 any place of employment that cannot certify gender wage equality through an independent body will incur daily fines. Additionally, parents are offered nine months of maternity leave in which 80 percent of salaries are paid.

The country also boasts an unemployment rate of only 2.7 percent based on data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and with a declining population, Iceland is also in need of around 2,000 employees each year to keep GDP growth positive. The current population is 337,577 people.

Education is free at their public universities for both citizens and international students.

Iceland is referred to as the land of ice and fire owing to its spectacular natural scenery including glaciers, icy beaches, geysers, the aurora borealis, puffins and waterfalls. Iceland is also one of the most volcanically active regions in the world; however, the volcano Þríhnúkagígur is dormant and the magma chamber accessible.

-Marena Riggan

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest may not be famous for its food or its beer, but it has a rich history. The capital city of Hungary was originally a Celtic encampment before becoming a Roman settlement. In the late 9th century, the Kingdom of Hungary was founded, though it was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century, and most recently was part of the Soviet bloc. The architecture is a mix of Ottoman and Neoclassical among classical and even Roman structures.

Budapest is split down the middle by the Danube river into what the citizens call Buda and Pest. Old Buda contains many historical sites such as the conical spires of the Fisherman’s Bastion and the Buda Castle. Across the river in Pest is the famous Parliament building, built in the Gothic revival style. Budapest is a city where you can feel like a Roman, bathing in the open air thermal baths at Széchenyi, while a ride on the subway will transport you to the Soviet Era.

-Lukas Amsden

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

You should consider getting a job in one of the most advanced cities in the world. Safe, clean and modern, Dubai offers plenty of job opportunities that attract millions of people around the world; in fact, only 15 percent of Dubai’s population are native Emiratis, with expats making up the other 85 percent. This environment further makes it easier for you to start your own business and enrich your entrepreneurial capabilities. In addition, there are no taxes, meaning all income will go into your pocket with no government intervention.

Though the UAE recognizes Arabic as its official language, people mainly speak English in their occupations as the country’s lingua franca. In the evening, enjoy the luxurious life in different clubs and pubs with friends. According to The Telegraph, the UAE was rated the second safest country in the world by the World Economic Forum in 2017.

Both public and private healthcare systems exist in the UAE, and its continued improvement is one of the pillars of the country’s Vision 2021.

-Hossam Elsamanoudy