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THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE

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COVID-19 Globe

Covid-19 Has Changed Expat Priorities

A survey by IPSOS on behalf of Allianz Care has revealed how expats have been re-thinking their lives in light of the coronavirus pandemic, with family, health and investments all considerations when deciding to remain abroad or move back home

Published on July 27, 2020

Research undertaken by polling firm IPSOS on behalf of Allianz Care has revealed how the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way in which expats are reviewing their status living overseas.

The survey, which was carried out amongst expats living in the UK, France, Canada, UAE and Singapore, found that 62% of respondents say their future plans have been impacted by the pandemic. Of that 62%, 53% indicated that health and wellbeing is now a greater priority for them, with 48% saying that family is a bigger priority for them now than before Covid-19 when considering whether to remain living abroad or to return home.

As well as offering insights into the impact of Covid-19, the survey also provided some useful information on what life is like for expats in the year 2020. 71% of respondents said that they moved abroad with their family, with 51% moving to their new country with their children. 65% said that living abroad has had a positive impact on their family's overall health, with respondents citing the ability to achieve a better quality of life and access to better healthcare among the reasons why. Three in five respondents also said that they have a better work-life balance living abroad than they had at home.

The study also found that the term 'expat' is being increasingly dropped for more modern terms, such as global citizen. Although 'expat' as a phrase remains widely used in countries such as the United Arab Emirates, the survey found that only 24% described themselves as expats in the UK, with 48% referring to themselves as global citizens instead.

Discussing the results of the study, Paula Covey, CMO of Health for Allianz Partners, said "2020 has been a life-changing year for many of us across the world as we deal with the implications of COVID-19. Massive lifestyle changes have been forced on us almost overnight, which in turn have forced us to re-assess how we live our lives and re-evaluate what’s truly important. The same is absolutely true for the ‘expat’ community who are living and working across the globe. This comes across strongly in the increasing prioritisation of health and family."

Covey went on to say that "We’re also seeing a shift in terms of the life plans of these people. In the past, ‘expat’ assignments tended to be highly paid and were often short-term, but our research has shown that this community is now taking a more long-term view of life abroad. 76% said they had changed job since moving to their new country, 59% have bought a home and 58% said they plan to stay in their adopted country long-term. It’s an interesting trend to watch for employers, who are starting to move away from the traditional expat assignment model and towards more local recruitment in each market."

You can read about more findings and insights from the study by going to www.allianzcare.com/en/about-us/news/2020/07/ipsos-research.html

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