Like so many of my blogger friends, I love to travel and live the expat life, so when a new author and very close friend of mine, Kimberly Keilbach, came across this article, World’s Friendliest Countries, she knew who to send it to.
With the current economic situation in the U.S., many are heading abroad. Canada,Germany and Australia are at the top of a list of the countries most welcoming to expats. There, relocators have a relatively easy time befriending locals, joining a local community group and learning the local language.
This article is based on a survey of 2,155 expats in 48 countries, spanning four continents, between February and April 2008.
Expats were asked to rate their country in four categories:
* Their ability to befriend locals.
* The number that joined a community group.
* The number that learned the language.
* The percentage that bought property.
As far as forming friendships with locals here are the results of the survey:
Canada almost 95%
United Arab Emirates only 54% of those surveyed said they’d made friends with locals.
One way to speed up integration is to join a recreational sports team or a community group. Almost half of respondents reported taking this action, with Germany leading the pack at 65%. Churches, organizations and schools provide good places to forge friendships with people who possess common interests and beliefs.
Another reason Germany scored very high is because, “it is also considered middle-of-the-road culturally,” according to Neil Payne, who works for a translation services company in the U.K. “Anyone you stop on the street can talk to you in English,” he says. What’s more, “working conditions are also very well respected and there is a nice delineation for work life and social life, which we don’t have in England.”
If you’re from England or an expat living in England, would you agree with his statement?
China, India and United Arab Emirates scored low overall because cultural differences from the West made integration difficult.
*If you’re an expat, how friendly is your country and why?
*If you’re not an expat, how friendly is your city/town/village and why?
I can’t wait to hear your comments, THANKS.