Written by Lucille Abendanon
In our series of articles about expat life, we’ve asked Lucille Abendanon, a freelance writer, 15-year expat and mother of three children to help us articulate the unique challenges of being an expat parent.
In this article, we look at what companies do well to help expat employees and their families, and where they can do better to ensure that the overseas assignment is a success.
When you decide to accept an expatriate assignment there are perhaps two or three main factors that go into making your decision: is this a good move for my career? Is this a good move for my family? Does this move make financial sense?
As contracts are negotiated, we tend to focus on monetary values, which are of course an important part of a successful expatriation. Is there a housing allowance? Will the company help with school fees? Does the salary make uprooting your lives worth it?
The stress of moving to a new country, of uprooting your family and leaving behind loved ones is enormous. Companies understand this, and so most offer financial support in order to attract the best candidates, but also to ensure that the overseas assignment is a success. This support usually comes in the form of financial assistance: a housing allowance, school fees, and an attractive salary.
Whilst the financial benefits are greatly appreciated, companies tend to fall short in terms of supporting the wellbeing of their expatriate staff and their families. In this article, we look at what companies can do to make life easier for expat families. Drawing from expats who have first-hand experience, we also examine where companies can do better.