3 Types of Support Relocating Spouses Need

The recently published Expat Insider 2018 Business Edition, based on the InterNations Expat Insider survey of 18,135 respondents, looked at the types of support that working expats and their spouses receive when moving abroad. From the findings of the report, relocating spouses don’t only need more support in general, but they also require rather specific types of assistance.

Relocating Spouses Strongly Indicate A Need for the Following:

  • Access to Local Networking Opportunities

    Only 12% of relocating spouses were offered access to networking as part of their relocation support, with 68% stating they would have liked to receive this. While there was no major difference in the percentage of relocating spouses receiving access to networking opportunities compared to foreign assignees and international hires, there was a disparity between the expat types when it came to those who desired such support. The difference in relocating spouses indicating a desire for networking opportunities was close to ten percentage points more than the other two expat types. One Russian female relocating spouse living in Germany said: “There are no networking opportunities and it feels like social isolation”.

  • Membership In An Expat Organization

    Only 8% of relocating spouses received membership in an expat organization as part of their relocation support, with 67% stating they didn’t receive it but would have liked it. While foreign assignees and international hires had the same percentage of respondents receiving this type of support (8%), relocating spouses had a higher percentage than both the other expat types indicating a desire for this. A British female relocating spouse living in Kazakhstan said she found it “hard to find out what is happening in the city”.

  • Access to Local Socializing Opportunities

    A large percentage of relocating spouses (65%) also indicated that they would have liked to receive access to socializing opportunities. Only 20% actually received this type of support. In comparison with the other two expat types, relocating spouses again indicated a stronger need for this type of support. One German female relocating spouse living in Sweden said: “It’s difficult to socialize and make friends”.

What Do These Types of Relocation Support Have in Common?

The need for interaction and engagement with other people. Relocating spouses that participated in the survey were generally at home either taking care of their households and children, or looking for work, therefore, a large share (44%) devote most of their time and attention to their families. This may be a reason why there’s such a strong desire to interact, engage and be supported by others — an important point for employers to ponder when offering spouse support.

Read the Expat Insider 2018 Business EditionExpat Insider is one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive surveys on life abroad (18,135 expats from across the globe took part in the 2018 survey — 8% of respondents were relocating spouses). 

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Expat Insider 2018 | Business Edition

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