Phew! it seems that companies are behind the hard work of the Permits Foundation, after all. This organisation works hard to get governments to offer spouses work visas, and late last year decided it was time to check whether their tireless lobbying still matters. It seems it does.

If you care about the way expat spouses are treated by their partners’ sponsoring organisations in their career ambitions then take a look at the executive summary of this recent survey.

Hot off the press, you can read the summary at

My great mate Robin Pascoe (The Expat Expert) conducted a large international relocation survey earlier this year, sponsored by Canadian movers AMJ Campbell International, entitled “Family Matters!”

Thanks to those of you who read my blog and newsletter and who responded to the terrific attempts at publicity by countless others who, like Robin, know how much family matters, she received a massive 655 workable responses from expats and their family members (14 years of age and above). In addition to 30% of the respondents being male, one of the other notable aspects of the survey was its array of open-ended questions – which in turn resulted in a wealth of very open, honest, heartwarming and heartbreaking responses.

To be one of the first to see the results (as Robin has literally only put it up an hour ago), just click here.

If you are in HR – read it and take note

if you are part of an expat family – read it and take heart

Well done, Robin, a tough job that many will appreciate – including me.

I’ve just had a look at the HSBC survey, downloading the results from the “>Easy Expat blog. I had a bit of a mooch around the site and it looks pretty good, though I was fed up to see neither my books nor Robin Pascoe’s in their list – but maybe I did not look hard enough.

The survey interviewed over 2000 expats and it seems Singapore is, the UAE and the US are the best places to live. So that’s why my best mates are all off to Singapore! The Netherlands, where I live, came 7th in the poll, so I guess I’m not doing so badly.

But the survey is all about lifestyle, luxury, saving, accommodation and length of stay – nothing about how the kids adjusted, if the spouses found work, or if they found ways to feed their soul. No surprise there. I guess if I was doing a survey funded by a major international bank I’d not be interested in those questions either. Thank goodness Robin Pascoe has done a survey on what matters to the family. I can’t wait to see the results of that one.

Slightly cynical, moi?

Dr Nina Cole is associate professor to the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University in Ontario, Canada. This week she released the results of her research study on expat spouses.

Dr Cole’s abstract is here, below, but you can read the executive summary on her website or mine in the Reading Room.

Spousal adjustment issues, increasingly career-related, are a major reason for expatriate assignment failure. Employer-provided spousal assistance programs have been proposed to address this situation. This field study of 238 expatriate spouses found that those who experience a severe disruption or cessation of employment have significantly lower interactional adjustment to host country nationals than others. For spouses with a career orientation to work, females had higher cultural and interactional adjustment than males. Only 18 percent of the spouses received employer-provided career assistance, and there was no significant difference in adjustment between spouses who received assistance and those who did not. Interviews with 100 spouses indicated that their greatest needs are for networking information to assist in their job search and for a ‘go-to’ person for practical settling-in assistance.

Laura of Impact group has been in touch with me to tell me about their brand new survey addressing the transition issues faced by the whole family. Completing it will help to increase understanding of what it is really like to be a global nomad. It will only take 10 minutes to complete they promise.

IMPACT Group, a global leader in supporting individuals through Transition, is conducting a survey to gain insight into the expatriate experience and the products and services that are of greatest value relating to Employee, Spouse and Family Transition Services.

This online survey is designed to be completed by the spouse/partner of a relocating employee and takes about 10-15 minutes to complete. We welcome your participation in the survey to provide input on your own expatriate experience. This information will be used to provide companies with a broad range of information on how individuals feel during the transition process and what can be done to better support the family during this time. If you are interested in sharing your perspective, please follow the link below. Once the survey results are collected and if you choose, we can send a copy of the compiled results to you via email.