Friday, 23 July 2010

Has Denmark solved the problem of expat integration?

One of the most daunting challenges facing any new expat is the process of integration into a local community. Moving to a new country can be an extremely stressful experience and in an unfamiliar environment faced with an unfamiliar language, making friends can be sometimes be difficult. With this in mind the Danish Ministry of Integration have embraced the concept of a digital revolution and established a social networking site aimed at encouraging expat workers to meet local Danish people.

The site “Lets meet! In Denmark” reads “Through our online platform, you can search for, find and match up with open-minded Danes and expats in Denmark, who are curious and interested in getting to know others living in Denmark.“ and as discussed on this blog earlier in the week, could mark the first step in fundamentally changing how expats interact with each other and locals abroad. Here are some further tips courtesy our friends at expat-blog.com on how to make friends whilst abroad

But is it just Denmark that has this problem or is the issue of integration replicated across different countries and continents? As Craig Till of Expat In Denmark notes “Denmark has a real issue with recruiting, but also more specifically retaining, qualified foreign labour professionals. Comparatively speaking, expats don’t stay here very long, and one of the main reasons they cite is that they fail to make friends and feel that they’ve socially integrated into Danish life”

So today we’re asking our expat readers how you’ve found fitting into your new home? Which countries make expats feel especially welcome and which have proven to be slightly more difficult? As always to share any more tips for making this process as easy as possible.

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