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PH a haven for expats, survey says

/ 12:50 AM May 17, 2017

While the Philippines has its own share of global diaspora, this country of English-speaking people is regarded as a hospitable haven by many expats and their families, according to results of a survey released on Tuesday.

The latest Expat Explorer survey, an independent consumer study on global expat views commissioned by HSBC, said about 52 percent of people living away from their countries of origin found better personal fulfillment working here than in their home countries.

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Globally, almost half of expat parents said their children took longer than six months to feel at home in their new country, with 25 percent saying the adjustment took more than a year.

Parents found adjustment even more difficult, with 67 percent taking longer than six months to feel at home and more than a year for 49 percent.

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Almost home

“In the Philippines, almost half of expat parents (45 percent) say that they felt like home almost instantly or in less than six months. This is not surprising given the innate hospitality of the Filipino people,” said Kris Werner, HSBC Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management.

“The Filipinos are such a happy, family-oriented culture, and more and more expats agree that working in the Philippines allows them to benefit from the booming economy, but also offers a good place to raise a family,” Werner said.

Settling into life abroad comes with special challenges, especially for children leaving friendships and schools behind.

More than half of expat parents in the Philippines (56 percent) said meeting new friends was one of three major challenges. Almost half (44 percent) said the two other challenges were missing family and friends and settling in a new school.

New friendships

The survey said 56 percent of expat parents felt Filipinos welcome people regardless of race, faith, gender or sexual orientation while 53 percent of expats in the Philippines enjoyed immersing in the local culture, with 63 percent able to easily form new friendships.

HSBC said this was “certainly aligned with the local environment that is generally reported to be affectionate, indulgent, and supportive.”

Global results showed that 62 percent of expat parents found the overall cost of raising children abroad more expensive than at home, but 57 percent said it was less expensive here than in their home country.

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The online survey, which polled 26,871 respondents from over 100 countries, is one of the largest and longest-running global surveys of expats regarding their views on life abroad.

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