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[Infographic] How Relocating Spouses Really Experience Life Abroad

With Relocating Spouses moving abroad either because their partner was sent on a foreign assignment or started a new job in a new country, most of them plan a long-term stay. However, they struggle with balancing their personal and professional priorities. These findings emerge from the Expat Insider 2019 Business Edition: Relocating Spouses.

Expat Insider 2019 Business Edition Relocating Spouses


According to the report, financial dependence on their partner was the top concern for relocating spouses before they moved abroad for their partner’s career. When they relocate to their new country, they continue to struggle with the hardship to find a job and be financially independent. The survey findings reveal that the top reason for their dissatisfaction with life abroad is career-related — 44% of relocating spouses are dissatisfied with their career prospects. Further strengthening this notion is the fact that of those that are unhappy abroad, being unable to work is one of the top reasons at 47%.

With a total of 57% of relocating spouses not employed, it is not surprising that the hardship to settle in professionally concerns them. While more than three-quarters of relocating spouses (87%) are highly educated and hold bachelor, postgraduate, or PhD qualifications, many participating in the survey voiced their frustration and dissatisfaction with being at home, either taking care of their family, volunteering, looking for work, or not being able to work. This might be the reason why access to professional networking represents the relocation services that relocating spouses indicate as being the top need (47%).

Having access to social networking also ranks high, as relocating spouses not only struggle to settle in professionally — they also find it difficult to integrate personally. The hardship to make new friends abroad is another top reason for their dissatisfaction with life abroad.

These findings illustrate a trend that relocating spouses need more support with finding work, building professional and social networks, and fully integrating into life abroad.

Get more insights on this expat type in the Expat Insider 2019 Business Edition: Relocating Spouses.


About the Expat Insider 2019 Business Edition: The InterNations Expat Insider is one of the world’s largest surveys on life abroad — 20,259 expats took part. The Expat Insider 2019 Business Edition focuses specifically on global employees and their spouses — 10% of respondents were foreign assignees, 23% were international hires, and 7% were relocating spouses. Through detailed results, infographics, and expat quotes, the report provides insights that can assist global mobility and HR professionals in understanding the needs of expat employees better.

Expat Insider 2019 Business Edition

Expat Insider 2019 Business Edition

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