Survey picks the three friendliest expat havens on earth

Published:  30 Oct at 6 PM
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Moving to foreign lands has its attractions, but also has its challenges, with migrants unable or unwilling to face them leaving their home countries at their peril.

A recent survey based on the four traditional challenges for would-be expats – finding like-minded friends, enjoying the cuisine, accepting the customs and understanding the religion – has identified three expat havens as a result of its findings. The HSBC Bank Expat Explorer Survey reveals its respondents chose the Cayman Islands, Australia and the United Kingdom as the three top destinations.

These three nations, it seems, are the easiest places to make friends with the locals, integrate into a socially comfortable community, learn the language and absorb the new culture. The Cayman Islands won on all counts, taking first place in the survey of 5,339 international expats at 75 per cent.

Respondents rated their host countries based on a list of factors focusing on overall experience, raising a family and the economics of living there. The Caymans scored due to its year-round summer, lack of annoying practicalities such as income tax, payroll tax and sales tax and the pollution-free environment, although the fact that one has to be extremely wealthy or in the financial sector to get in wasn’t mentioned

.Australia came a close second at 73 per cent for its great weather, brimming social life, friendly locals and work colleagues and a far better work/life balance.The UK scored 71 per cent, putting it in third place for fast social integration and with many expats hoping to settle long-term although most were less than enthusiastic about the country’s economy.

The best of the rest were Canada for raising a family and New Zealand for its work culture and friendliness, with Spain at number six in spite of its troubled economy. 71 per cent of those who favoured Spain said they were attempting to learn the language to aid cultural integration.
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