Steven is seriously considering taking an overseas assignment with Michelin. We have several options, each with it's own waiting list. France is the hardest one to get - wait times of well over a year - while positions in Japan, even pre-disaster, were almost immediately available. Pretending that the job descriptions and pay were all roughly equal, and that each requires a 3 to 5 year commitment, what is your preference and why?

France (Clermont-Ferrand)
Japan (Ota)
Canada (Granton, NS)
India (Chennai)
Brazil (Resende)
China (Shenyang)
Thailand (a few locations, including Bangkok)

Sorry to dump such a difficult question on you, but I didn't know who else to ask!
Pretending that the job descriptions and pay were all roughly equal, and that each requires a 3 to 5 year commitment, what is your preference and why?

What does "equal pay" mean? Does that mean, say, that he'll earn, say, $5,000 a month for any country he chooses or that he'll earn equal relative pay per country? If the former, living in Thailand or India means you could save a ton of money. If the latter, you'll have to consider whether or not you'll be flying home often or hope to save money. The exchange rates really impact things if you have to convert this money.

Also, if it's a 3 to 5 year commitment, I assume you're not thinking about a permanent move? That suggests you want this to also be financially beneficial (or at least neutral). You don't want to return home only to find out that that you're flat broke due to exchange rates.

It's also worth noting that the more foreign the culture, the harder it's going to be for you to adapt, so keep this in mind (do you have kids? This would impact them, too).

The important question to answer here is why you're doing this and make your decision to align with your goals. If you're doing this because you desperately want to experience other cultures, you'll have an easier time. If you're doing this because Steven wants to enhance his career, choose a country where you'll have less of a culture shift (those who do this for career reasons are have been shown to be more likely to fail, so minimize your risks).

No matter what country you choose (if any), be sure to start learning everything you can about that country. It makes the transition easier. When you get to your target country, try to find activities similar to what you enjoyed back home. Do you like sports? Find local teams and learn about their sport and players. Like cooking? Take local cooking classes. Anything you can do to merge your natural tendencies to local customs will help you.

Hope that helps and let me know what you decide!