Friday, 4 June 2010

The expat community isolated or integrated?

With only three days to go until the close of the 2010 Expat Explorer survey, time for those wanting to take part is running out. Expatriate studies never fail to raise some interesting insights and a piece of research conducted in Canada has proved to be no exception. The report conducted by Jesse O’Brian of the University of Calgary sought to observe how Canadian and American retirees adapted to life in Mexican town.

Interestingly O’Brian found that the move to a new country is often not easy and despite the cheaper cost of living many expats failed to integrate into the local community. Quite often expats were forced to form their own smaller community that meant the lifestyle they experienced was pretty similar to that they had led before the move. Perhaps more tellingly, expats also regularly lost touch with their relatives back home with many citing this as a particularly difficult aspect of living abroad. How representative are these findings amongst the global expat community? Is it that O’Brian’s study provides a seemingly rare honest insight into how isolated many expats feel or is the research simply an anomaly limited to this particular region?

Tell us your thoughts by completing the 2010 Expat Explorer survey before it’s too late!

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