Monday, December 20, 2010

Daily Mail - expats really do have the good life

I came across this article in the Daily Mail which runs the sub-heading "It's safer, cheaper and schools are better abroad".

What a it safer in Afghanistan, cheaper in Japan and are the schools really better in Kenya? 

The good news is that the article pointed me to this research by HSBC bank which does make interesting reading.  I would actually take issue with some of it (particularly the bits on integration) but I will leave it to you to read and make up your own mind as to what the results show.

The two top concerns for ex-pats were firstly "re-establishing a social life" and secondly "missing friends and family". 

Hand on heart I can say that these haven't been an issue for us in the Charente.  We're seven years in now and do feel part of the local community with plenty of friends and a full social diary.  With four airports within easy reach and the TGV on our doorstep we haven't lacked for visits from friends & family either!

The bit where I'd take issue is where only 57% of expats in France said it was easy to make "local" friends compared to, for example, 62% of expats in Russia.  Sorry but I simply don't believe this to be true.

Anyway, have a trawl through and let me know what you think.  I'll leave you with one excerpt that I do believe:

"In contrast, expats moving to countries that score well on the quality of life league table such as South Africa, Spain and France are much less appealing as destinations to those looking for increased career progression and financial gain.  Less than one in five (18%) expats moving to Spain did so for potential financial gain, alongside 26% in France and 40% in South Africa".

It's a great life here in rural SW France but if you're moving out to meet fellow entrepreneurs & make your millions then you'd be better off heading for Paris or the Cote d'Azur!

You're much more likely to meet the beast pictured above than a Ferrari in Jarnac high street and I can't remember the last time that house prices or school fees dominated the dinner party conversations.

Long may it continue....

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