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Average expat takes six months to feel settled, finds study

Author:   |  May 15th, 2017

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Give it six months of living overseas and your new country will reward you in numerous ways.

Give it six months of living overseas and your new country will reward you in numerous ways.

If you’ve recently taken the life-changing step to move away from your home country to become an expat, first of all: well done! While it can feel daunting, it will most likely prove to be the best decision you ever make…

Second of all: don’t worry if you fail to feel settled right away. Life as an expat differs for everybody, but generally the process goes a little like this: honeymoon period of excitement, then a short period of frustration and doubt, then a longer period of bemusement and amusement at the cultural differences before your very eyes, before finally the home stretch of settling in, making friends and putting down permanent roots.

This process takes an average of six months, according to a recent survey by HSBC called the HSBC Expat Explorer survey.

Having polled thousands of recent expats, the survey found that 67% of adults took at least six months to feel truly settled in their new country of residence.

Only 48% of parents with expat children felt it took so long for their offspring to settle in, proving the (old) adage that the younger you are, the more adaptable you are to new surroundings.

Longer term, 60% of parents said that the quality of their children’s life was higher abroad than back home, with only 13% ranking expat life as worse for their children than home life.

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