South Africa fared very well in a recent survey of expatriates by UK banking group HSBC, coming out tops for 'ease of settling up', third for 'overall quality of life' and fifth for 'overall experience'.

HSBC surveyed over 4000 expatriates based in around 100 countries across the globe about their experiences living away from home.

Respondents were asked to rate countries based on criteria such as accommodation, food/diet, entertainment, healthcare, work/life balance, social life, commute to work and opportunities for sports and travel.

In every single one of the categories that the survey examined, South Africa out-performed many countries including the USA, Australia, Hong Kong, France, Germany and Switzerland. In the category 'overall quality of life', the expatriates surveyed rated South Africa the third best out of 25 destination countries. When it came to 'overall ease of setting up', South Africa was rated the best of the 25 countries examined in the survey. When it came to 'overall experience', expatriates rated South Africa the 5th best out of 25.

According to Lisa Wood, Head of Customer Propositions at HSBC Bank International, "Expats decide to move abroad for a number of reasons, but looking to improve finances and lifestyle are amongst the most important. This year's report, however, highlights that expats will, more often than not, have to decide which of these are most important to them prior to relocating. We've found that countries rarely provide the best of both worlds in terms of financial prospects and lifestyle improvements and so it is important for expats to assess what they are hoping to achieve from their move before relocating."

Key Findings
• Thailand comes top of world's largest expat lifestyle survey
• Canada slips to second place but still ranks high for expat lifestyle
• Countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Russia that score high for expat finances perform badly on quality of life rankings
• UK scores poorly for quality of life, but great for entertainment
• BRIC countries (Brazil*, Russia, India and China) and the Middle East are the most difficult locations to set up in
• Emotive worries top the list of expat concerns - especially female expats
• Europeans prove to be the least friendly to expats

Courtesy: SA – The Good News