South Africa most stressful emigration destination

Thursday, 25 Oct 2007 11:01

South Africa most stressful emigration destination
South Africa has been found to be the most stressful overseas destination for Brits looking to emigrate.

This is according to research released today by currency specialists HiFX, which placed the African nation top of a list of the ten most popular overseas emigration destinations.

The same research found Germany to be the least stressful overseas destinations for relocating Brits.

The findings are based on analysis of a number of factors encountered by Brits when they make the move to another country.

According to HiFX, language and cultural barriers form only a small part of the stress associated with a move abroad, with hidden psychological factors also playing an important role.

For example, civil stability, quality of life, social services, the visa application process and the distance from the UK all have to be considered when making a move.

This means Australia and the USA – which share a common language and a degree of cultural heritage with Britain – follow South Africa as the most difficult places to emigrate to, according to HiFX.

"Moving abroad is not just above moving your belongings and pursuing a new lifestyle. Decamping to a whole new country means getting to grips with a whole new way of living – from the language you will be speaking, to the money you will be spending," said Mark Bodega, director at HiFX.

As such, South Africa, with high unemployment, increasing crime levels and complex property acquisition rules, was found to be the most stressful destination.

In sharp contrast, Germany, with easy links to the UK, a stable currency and impressive social services, is regarded as an easier emigration destination.

"Stress levels are based on the degree of control people are likely to be able to exert over a situation – the less control, the higher the potential for stress," commented Dr David Lewis, psychologist and the Mind Lab.

"Moving to a country with several issues beyond a person's influence naturally increases the potential for stress.

"While learning a new language can be daunting it is not insurmountable, whereas civil instability and complex legal systems are beyond an individual's control."

The full list of the most stressful destinations is as follows:
·  South Africa
·  USA
·  Australia
·  Southern Cyprus
·  Canada
·  Italy
·  New Zealand