The 2016 HSBC Expat Explorer survey reveals that students believe in the value of studying abroad for their future professional lives, and that they’re looking for a new cultural experience and challenge as part of the package.
Expat students are the demographic who are most likely of all to feel that time abroad is good for their career, with three fifths (62%) believing it will improve their future job prospects compared with 46% globally.
62% of expat students believe studying abroad will improve their future job prospects
However, job prospects are not the only reason why students choose to move abroad: another motivation is the desire to take on a new challenge (29%).
Expat students are among the most likely to make the effort to learn and use the language of their adopted country (72% compared with 57% of expats globally). In addition, more than three fifths of students immerse themselves in the local culture (66% compared to 61% worldwide).
Expat students tend to settle in more quickly than the wider expat population, with 41% of expat students feeling at home within the first six months, compared with 32% globally. 55% say they feel settled within a year compared with a global average of 49%.
58% of expat students say they feel settled within a year
The reasons why this group move abroad tends to vary with age. Those over the age of 25 are more likely to move abroad in search of purpose in their career (16% compared with 6% for students aged 18-21 and 13% for those aged 22-24). Seeking a new challenge is the main motivation for one third those aged 22-24 (33%), compared with 27% of those aged 18-21 and 30% of those aged 25 or older.
Those older than 25 are also more likely to move abroad in order to improve their quality of life (26% compared with 23% for students aged 18-21 and 22-24).
Around two in five1 students aged 18-21 and 22-24 say that they see an improvement in their social life as a result of moving, compared to 30% of those aged 25 and over.
Younger students also seem to find it easier to settle into their new homes. Almost two thirds (63%) of students aged 18-21 and 65% of those aged 22-24 saying they are integrating well with the people and culture of their new country, compared with 54% of those aged 25 and older.
65% of expat students aged 22-24 saying they are integrating well
1 42% students aged 18-21; 43% of those aged 22-24
The 2016 Expat Explorer survey is a global survey completed by 26,871 expats across the world. The research was conducted online by YouGov in March and April 2016. League tables are calculated using responses to 27 of the questions asked in the research. A minimum sample of 100 expat respondents including at least 30 expat parents is required for a country to be included in the league tables.