Young expats loving life in Belgium

A new study has revealed that the vast majority of young expats living and working in Belgium are satisfied with life in their adopted country.

A survey conducted by the Belgian bank BNP Paribas Fortis found that 96 per cent of expats, aged between 18 and 28, who work or study in Belgium are satisfied with their life. What’s more, roughly 8 out of 10 of expat workers polled state that their decision to relocate to Belgium has given a positive turn to their career.

More than 80 per cent of the expatriate professionals polled moved to Belgium because of the career opportunities available in the country, while more than half also gave personal development as a motivation behind their move. Other reasons for leaving were the opportunity to learn another language, the standard of living and the quality of life in the host country. Contrary to what one might have expected, less than 10 per cent decided to relocate for mainly financial reasons.

Asked about the benefits of their relocation to Belgium, 82 per cent of the young professionals stated that they had been able to advance their careers as a result of the move. Some 43 per cent said that they have a better social life, while 42 per cent have a bigger personal spending and disposable income. About 36 per cent of the young professional expats in Belgium state that their quality of life improved. Other advantages of their relocation are affordable living costs (26 per cent) and an increase in financial savings (17 per cent).

The most common reason for expat students to leave their home country and come to Belgium – given by 53 per cent of those polled – is that there was an opportunity provided by their university or school in their home country. Thirty-nine per cent also said they wanted to experience another culture, while the same amount gave the desire to learn another language or improve their language skills as a major reason for leaving. Thirty-seven per cent of respondents said they went to study in Belgium in order to improve their CV and thus maximise their career opportunities.

Once in Belgium, 63 per cent on expat students feel they experience a more developed social life, while nearly 6 out of 10 praise the quality of the Belgian education, and half of those polled say they have a better quality of life. Affordable education (30 per cent) and affordable living costs (21 per cent) are also important benefits that expatriate students get in Belgium. However, only 7 per cent felt they had seen an increase in financial savings.

Article published 23rd March 2017