The World's Friendliest Countries
They say you can never go home again–and you may not want to after relocating to Canada, Bermuda or South Africa.
These are the countries where it’s easiest to befriend locals, learn the language, fit into the new culture and integrate into the community, according to respondents to HSBC Bank International’s Expat Explorer survey, the results of which were released late last month.
Canada was most welcoming for the second year in a row; more than half of survey-takers there said they’d made friends with locals. In Bermuda 57% have had the pleasure, and the same for South Africa.
To determine the world's friendliest countries, Forbes looked at the results of HSBC Bank International's Expat Explorer survey in four categories: ability to befriend locals, success in learning the local language, capacity for integrating themselves into the community, and ease in which they fit into the new culture.
Expats based here typically integrate well within local society, according to the HSCB survey, with 45% claiming they go out with local friends as much as fellow expats--the highest score of all 25 countries.
Those who have relocated to Britain's oldest colony (and beach paradise) report relative ease with local language and cultures.
3. South Africa
A culturally diverse nation, this host country proved to be well equipped for welcoming all sorts of foreigners.
4. The U.S.
The results of the survey suggest that ease of learning the local language and adapting to the local culture are areas in which the U.S. fares well in as an expat destination--despite low scores in organizing finances and health care.
One of the main advantages of becoming an expat Down Under, according to the survey, is the ease of setting up in the country.
For the overall integration categories, Spain scored the highest--especially when it came to local friends, shopping, food, culture and language--suggesting that once expats in Spain settle in, they feel completely involved in their communities.
This country got high scores on integration, with expats especially enjoying the local food and culture, making it one of the most friendly, culturally rich and inclusive locations.
Though it ranked poorly in terms of quality of life (with issues like crowded urban transportation systems dragging it down), the U.K. does well on ease of integration and of befriending locals.
Expats found it relatively simple to integrate themselves into this cosmopolitan locale, a blend of Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures.
Despite difficulty making friends and learning the language, expats here reported it was a relatively easy place for integrating, with 46% saying they enjoyed the local entertainment and adapted well to the food.