Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Expat buddies

Further to the launch of the second report about expat lifestyle abroad, the findings found that that expats choose to spend more time with their own expat friends, rather than making new friends in their host country. Why might this be?

When people are placed in a completely new and unfamiliar environment, it is a blessing to have existing expats in your new country to help you learn the ropes better. Expats who have ‘been there and done that’ can understand the situation you’re in. This could be for this reason that new expats tend to gravitate with fellow expats.

The results show that this is most likely to be the case for those located in Qatar and the UAE where more than four in five expats are more likely to only integrate with fellow expats, followed by Bahrain (81%), Hong Kong (79%) and Saudi Arabia (73%).

Overall, more than half (58%) of expats agreed that they’re more likely to go out with expat friends rather than local friends. The report also found that Europe is the hardest region to make friends, with European countries such as the Netherlands, Germany, UK, Switzerland and Belgium dominating the bottom five places of the ease of making friends league table.

However, the findings show that expats in Canada integrate well within local society and make friends in their host country. Nearly half (45%) of Canada based expats go out with local friends as much as fellow expats, alongside expats in the USA (37%) and Australia (36%).

What have your experiences been?


  1. Could this be anything to do with the lack of language skills among the Brits? Converse in English with work colleagues, sure. But their families?

  2. I think it depends on where your are living. In my experience the tougher the location the more expats tend to stick together. In Canada we had barely any expat friends, in Libya and Indonesia I couldn't have survived without them.

    Kirsty (Shamozal)

    With your headline I thought this post may have been on expat marriages, I recently wrote my theory on that:


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