The other day I had a sort-of post about expat stuff that I was working on. But then I found out yesterday that an American woman I know who'd gone to the US for Christmas decided not to come back to Guadalajara. I wasn't surprised since I knew she wasn't happy here, but it still made me sad. They had a rough time transitioning to Guadalajara. I don't know them all that well since I met them in October and they left in November. We'd just arrived here ourselves and were getting settled, and she didn't live near us and our car didn't arrive till a week before they left. I don't really think there was much I could have done to help her.
They partly blame their company for things not working out. It's disappointing that companies still send employees overseas without much support. The initial investment in sending a family to another country is huge. Airfare, school fees, shipping stuff, and so much more cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars, and that's all lost when the job doesn't work out or the family returns to the US. In the worst case, the employee quits too.
I don't know if there was any amount of support that could have saved this family. I think it would be hard to go overseas for the first time with 5 children, and they knew they could go back to the US. I've known other families who've had as hard a time with nearly as many children in places like Moscow, who might have gone home if they felt like there was another option. The companies can't always be blamed, but they should do as much as possible to keep employees happy. It just makes sense financially.