Tuesday, 9 November 2010

UK has the X(pat)-Factor... or does it?

Last week, we launched Expat Experience- the second report in HSBC’s Expat Explorer 2010 survey and looked at the emerging themes in the quality of life abroad and how well expats integrated into their new environment.

This week, we thought we’d look a little closer into some of the findings of the report- with a particular focus on expats living in the UK.

The results paint a grey picture for expats who have decided to relocate to the UK. Findings highlight that the majority of UK-based expats do not believe that their quality of life is better than their country of origin. So why do expats continue to decide to move to the UK?

Image courtesy of ITV

Despite ranking 20th in the overall experience league table, the UK ranked top globally in terms of entertainment. With cool music festivals, independent cinemas and quirky eats, the UK ranks 1st for this aspect of expat life. More than two-thirds (69%) cite that they enjoy the varied entertainment choices the UK offers.

The UK also fares well on the 'Ease of Integration' ranking. 41% of UK-based expats think that it is easy for them to make local friends and almost two-thirds (62%) feel that they are integrating well in the local community. This finding could driven by the fact that UK-based expats find it easy to adapt to the local language and limited barriers to communication when they arrive, which is unsurprising considering 70% of expats moving to the UK already speak the local language.

However, despite these positives, the UK scored worst for all countries on expats’ quality of accommodation and the commute to work, compared with their country of origin. The good old British weather was also cited as a reason why expats struggled to feel at home in the UK.

What have your experiences been? Let us know below.

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