WSJ lists 7 things you may not know about expat life

Teaching is a job to which expats tend to gravitate. Source:

Teaching is a job to which expats tend to gravitate, but pay in Cambodia is low. Source:

The life of an expat may contain many surprises, the Wall Street Journal noted in an article not so long ago.

It turns out, according to a survey on which the article is based, that Ecuador provides the most happiness to expats and that Europe, unsurprisingly, offers the best education.

But would you imagine that Ireland falls behind Russia, Oman and Colombia for its quality of life?  And it is behind China and India for “personal happiness?”

The survey by the expat organization InterNations went to 1.5 million members, and 14,000 of them replied.

Apparently, there was an insufficient number of returns from Cambodia, since the country where I now reside, in its capital of Phnom Penh, appears nowhere in a PDF of the full report.  Yet I am fairly certain that Cambodia easily outranks many other nations in several categories of questions that InterNations posed.

As I learned way back when in graduate school, everything about any survey must be examined to determine its validity — for example, the methodology, the wording of the questions and the order of the questions.  Volunteered mail responses always are suspect since the volunteers are different by definition from all other potential respondents; they self-select in their willingness to return such a survey, while others are a sort to opt out.

That said, the surprises and verities about expats in the Wall Street Journal report make for a fun read that I am happy to recommend.

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