USA, Switzerland and India favoured destinations for relocating expat professionals

Published:  15 Mar at 6 PM
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International work assignments for Western expats see most expats heading for the USA, India or Switzerland, according to a major relocation specialist company.

International relocation is commonplace nowadays, and is often the first introduction to overseas living for the majority of expat professionals. Settling into a new position in one of your company’s international hubs is a challenge, as is finding a niche in the expat community outside the working environment. Seen as an exciting new opportunity at first, the stress of a new culture and often a new language can affect everything from work to home.

One of the biggest problems for relocated expats is finding suitable housing at a price which fits in with the agreed relocation package. Closeness to transport, shops, restaurants and good international schools is paramount but sometimes difficult to find, especially in the more popular expat gated compounds in larger cities.

Being relocated to the USA, for example, may sound relatively straightforward as regards adjustment, but challenges can be found in housing as rentals are becoming more expensive and less easily available. If your family is moving with you, schools in the USA are very different from those in the UK as regards discipline and the content of courses studied. When your assignment ends, it may be tricky to re-enrol your kids in a UK school due to differing standards of education between the two countries.

Perhaps the major problem of relocation to India is finding suitable accommodation. Gated communities are the preferred expat option, both for safely and community reasons, but there’s a high demand for a shrinking number of properties in good districts. Schooling usually involves private international schools and, although standards are usually good, charges can be high.

For many relocating expats, Switzerland seems the ideal placement due to its small size, high standard of living and efficient amenities. However, Geneva’s housing costs have soared and availability is shrinking as more overseas companies relocate their professionals. Apartments are especially difficult to find in good locations, although the Zurich rental market is stable at present and the city has much to offer as regards expat life.
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