Breaking out of the expat bubble

It is a truth universally acknowledged that many expats find it difficult to break out of the so called ‘expat-bubble’. Expats themselves highlight European countries such as Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland as very difficult to make local friends. Also, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Japan are often found in the top five. And yet this contact with locals can have many benefits, for example because you can learn a lot about the culture of the host country you live in.

How can you make friends with locals?

This is the focus of my new book Breaking out of the expat bubble with Routledge. This book is meant for expats and those who manage and support them, and contains many practical recommendations on how to go about to create more connections between expats and people from the host country itself (also called host country nationals or HCNs), both at work and in private life. As well as my own past research, it is based on 72 new interviews with expats around the world, about how they made friends abroad, which has led to a new model that shows how this process actually works.

You can buy the book here with 20% discount when using this code: EFLY01 (until the end of June). Chapter 2 of the book is freely available in Open Access.

The internationalised workplace

Many workplaces are becoming more and more international. Many countries, for example Denmark, are facing a tight labour market where organisations increasingly look abroad to recruit their new employees. These foreign employees need to be integrated into the local workplace as well as society as a whole. And not every country is easy to settle in and find friends, as expats themselves indicate in the annual InterNations survey. My work on expatriate-HCN interactions will help organisations as well as expats themselves to make these essential connections, so that they are able to benefit from them, and make their stay abroad a success.

For this project I received the Carlsberg Foundation Monograph Fellowship.

Would you like to hear about the book?