St. John’s conducted a poll among 131 people who grow up as expat children and asked them for the main benefits. Respondents were asked to pick their three choices out of the following options: experience different cultures, appreciate diversity, travel, character development, international awareness, lifestyle, learning languages, living adventurous or international education.
The top three choices picked by respondents were:
1. Experience different cultures (61.1%) – one of the best features of living abroad is integrating in a new culture, to gain a real understanding of a new country and its unique qualities which is not something you can do on a two-week vacation.
2. International awareness (49.6%) – a posting in a foreign country will always increase your awareness of other countries and people. This will help in future locations, schools and jobs and sets you apart from those who spent their youth in one location.
3. Appreciate diversity (39.7%) – spending significant time away from home and in different cultures makes you understand and appreciate diversity in a way you never would have had you stayed in your home country.
Next came travel (38.9%), enjoying an international education (34.4%) and learning languages (32.1%).