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2010 Survey of Expat Life by

Culture shock and forming social connections are the main concerns of expats moving abroad, according to a survey of expats in 22 countries conducted by But a significantly increased quality of life, better sex and more leisure time make the move well worth it.

Cape Town, South Africa, November 20, 2010 --( Expat life has many payoffs, although increased salary is not among them. Only 21% reported that their salary was significantly better, with 22% reporting their salary as much lower. However, the amount of free time improved for 61%, while social connections (41%) and love lives (47%) took distinctly upward trends while abroad. Stress levels improved for 53%, combined with improvements in overall physical health for 46%. Together these factors contribute to an overall quality of life that 65% of respondents rated better when working and living abroad.

There are challenges though: culture shock was rated by 41% as a significant difficulty to cope with on arrival, and 46% regarded it as the one factor they wished they had known more about before moving. Significantly, only 30% of respondents expected culture shock to be a problem – hence many were caught unawares.

Another main challenge was making friends and social connections. While 45% expected this to be difficult before moving, 52% found connecting socially to be difficult long after the move was made. By contrast, other major expat life issues did not trouble recent expats to any significant degree: healthcare, accommodation, visas and cost of living all failed to feature as concerns.

In planning their move abroad, most respondents found books (58%) and exploratory visits (63%) most useful, with social media sites Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn rated as useful by only 17%. Specific expat information sites however were rated as useful by 45% of participants. Very few people used relocation experts (10%) or expatriate coaches (2%) when executing their move abroad with 71% reporting that nobody assisted them. After arrival, the key resources to facilitate adaptation and overcome culture shock were personal contacts in the expat community (74%) and connections with local people (73%).

### publishes over 100 online destination guides to help global expats plan their move abroad and optimize their lives on arrival. City-based experts works with the editorial team to produce constantly updated information covering 15 main content areas of significance to expats, inter alia, Accommodation, Money & Banking, Culture Shock, Healthcare, Education, Lifestyle, and Visas.
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Expat Arrivals
David Fair
+27 21 4611240

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