The United Kingdom has rated poorly in terms of the overall experience of an expat, according to a global survey.
A league table which ranks the locations offering the best life experiences for expats has revealed that the United Kingdom - a popular destination for Australians - doesn't have much to offer in terms of quality of life.
Most expats claimed that increased career opportunities and financial gain were the key reasons for becoming an expat. However, the survey revealed these benefits do not necessarily go hand in hand with quality of life.
The HSBC Expat Explorer Survey 2010, based on the experiences of expats across a range of professions from over 100 countries, focused on quality of life on offer in each location, the ease of integrating into local society and the ease of setting up in a new country, including the relative ease in which expats are able to organise schools for children, set up finances and healthcare, find accommodation and make friends.
Despite the trend of Australian lawyers heading to London for the experience and career advancement, it was revealed that the majority of expats based in the UK do not believe their quality of life is better than in their country of origin. While the UK appears to be an easy country in which to integrate, it scored low in the quality of life ranks, well behind countries such as South Africa, Spain and France.
Of the top 25 countries listed, the UK ranked 23rd in terms of quality of life, performing only slightly better than expats based in China, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Russia and India, which dominated the bottom quartile of the league table.
The UK also ranked in the bottom quartile in terms of ease of setting up and the overall expat experience, coming in at 19th and 20th place respectively.
According to the survey, nearly half (49 per cent) of expats based in the UK believe their social life has become worse since relocating. In addition, the UK scored the worst of all countries with respect to the quality of accommodation and the commute to work - as well as the local weather.
Despite the bleak picture painted by the survey findings, the quality of entertainment is where the UK ranked highest with more than 69 per cent citing the local entertainment as a draw card.
Topping the league table was Thailand which ranked first for overall experience and quality of life and remained in the top four for integration and ease of setting up.