A new poll by St. John’s International School among expats shows that distance and time away from family and friends, the language barrier and culture shock when moving back are seen as the main drawbacks of expat life.
The distance and time away from family and friends was considered the main drawback of expat life by 63.2% of respondents, followed by the language barrier (44.1%) and the reverse culture shock (42.6%).
Comments included that the “constant need to start again for each move” is difficult to cope with. Another said: “The effects of having been an expat as a child are that I relate to everyone easily in most circumstances, but I don’t feel well understood by anyone. The expat experience means I am not intimately familiar with the pop culture of any set of people.”
Other response options included: family and friends do not understand (36.8%), no place to call home (29.4%), difference in school systems (29.4%), lack of emotional support (16.2%), adapting to a new culture (16.2%), and not enough time to integrate into the local community (13.2%).