Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Expat Friends - What Are they Worth?

Photo: Sanja Gjenero
When you are an expat your social circle is probably quite varied. How long you are living abroad, the circumstances that brought you to a new country and where you are living all contribute to the make-up of your friends abroad.

For my newsletter in June I wrote about the friends you make as an expat and how they compare to the friends you already have back 'home'. Here's an extract:

A recent expat survey conducted by the HSBC concluded that expat life in the Netherlands is not easy. The results claimed that it’s hard to learn the language, make friends and integrate into the local culture and community.

I ran a blog post on it back in May and the comments came pouring in from expats in the Netherlands, as well as Dutch readers.

It seems that many of the readers wholeheartedly agree with the survey conclusions. Making friends with the locals seems to be a real stumbling block and most people find themselves friends with expats, despite the effort they perceive they put in with the local people.

It’s an interesting topic – friendships when you’re an expat. Are they different to the friendships you form if you stay in your home country? Are the friends you make whilst you are abroad as close as the ones you have back “home”? Are they as long lasting? It got me thinking……

You can read the full post here and if you want future editions of the monthly newsletter Expats@Home delivered straight to your inbox you can sign up on the home page of


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