Even as settling into a new life abroad comes with special challenges, most parents in India feel life as an expat has positive effect on their child’s quality of life, according to global report. “Living overseas brings its own difficulties, especially for children, who leave friendships and school behind. However, 48 per cent (almost half) parents felt life as an expat has a positive effect on their child’s quality of life,” according to the latest HSBC Expat Explorer survey. About 53 per cent of parents in India said the experience of expat life brings them closer to their children, it added.
In 2016, Expat Explorer survey was done among 26,871 expats from over 100 countries, including India, through an online questionnaire in March, April and May 2016. The report revealed that, parents of older children (11 to 16 years) said settling into a new school is challenging, with more than half (55 per cent) highlighting it as a major hurdle.
In India most parents, (80 per cent) take more than six months to feel at home with 39 per cent taking more than a year, it said. While 69 per cent found that their children are open to new cultures and experiences, 45 per cent said their child is a more well-rounded and confident individual, it said.
“Moving abroad can be a momentous challenge for the whole family to overcome whether it is making friends or adjusting to the new culture. Many expat parents tell us that they have sometimes found it challenging to settle quickly, with two- thirds taking more than six months to feel at home, and nearly a quarter finding it difficult to form new friendships of their own,” HSBC India Head, Retail Banking and Wealth Management, S Ramakrishnan said.
Meanwhile, globally, the report revealed that missing family and friends is the biggest challenge for children across all ages. Half (50 per cent) of expat parents said missing friends and family is one of their children’s top three challenges, it said.
Other major challenges for children include making new friends (36 per cent) and understanding the new language (30 per cent), the report added.