Global health insurer Aetna International has published the results of ‘The 2018 Aetna International Expat Experiences Survey’. The survey aimed to understand the challenges facing expats when moving abroad including making decisions about healthcare.
The results of the survey, which can be found here, also present the cultural challenges and misconceptions that form part of the expat experience. Aetna International hopes that by informing individuals about the realities of moving abroad people can be armed with the knowledge that allows them to be well prepared and culturally sensitive for any international move.
The survey included 500 expats from around the world living in a variety of other countries (including, but not limited to: Dubai, Thailand, U.S., UK, China and India) in March 2018. Please not the findings of this survey are not the views of Aetna International.
- Over half of respondents said that researching healthcare when relocating was important or very important (54%)
Comments from respondents about healthcare included:
“Remember to get a family doctor.”
“Look after your kids’ health abroad as it will be easier for them to get ill, so spend more money on health care.”
“Find an international doctor quickly as the change in climate can cause illness when moving.”
“Keep your children fit and healthy, play sport and games.”
- The hardest aspect of relocating for children is ‘saying goodbye to family members’ (77%) below, the least difficult was making new friends (19%)
- Respondents said that the most important aspect of moving was ‘sorting out banking and finances’ (72%) and spent 54% of their preparation time doing it — a difference of only 18%. While respondents said ‘checking out safety and security was fifth most important (50%) they only spent 7% of their preparation time on it.
- ‘Learning about new cultures and traditions’ was seen as the least important of nine factors, but it still occupied more time that the more important factors of researching local amenities and safety and security.
- 35% of expats say relocating has changed their sense of personal identity
The results of this survey clearly demonstrate the importance of preparation in an international move.