When becoming an expat you are faced with many difficult options like where to live, what type of transportation to rely on, if you will take your pets along and where your children will go to school. Another difficult decision that you might not have to consciously make is if you will spend the majority of your time with other expats, or the locals. While you do have a conscious choice on who you befriend, sometimes friendships just fall into place. Since there are benefits to having local friends and expat friends, finding a fair balance in the number of expat and local friends you have can help you see the best of both worlds. Here are just a few reasons why both are great and it’s worth finding the fair balance in your types of friends.
Expat Friend Advantages
- They can relate to your situation.
- They know where to get the “expat” goods.
- They usually have a travel bug to see the world, just like you.
- Are typically well- traveled and make great travel buddies.
- You’ll have access to other locations. If you befriend an expat that is not from the same country as you- it opens the door for you to travel with them back to their home country on their next visit and explore that country with a local by your side.
- Having an expat companion can help soothe your homesickness and assimilate faster.
- You will have someone to speak your native tongue with.
Local Friend Advantages
- They will show you secrets that only locals have access to like what restaurants have authentic, local cuisine and how to find a great local apartment.
- If you are not fluent in the native language, they can help translate until you are.
- If you do need to learn the language, they make great practice buddies.
- You can celebrate holidays like the locals with them.
- You will be exposed to their friends and family which opens the door to even more friends.
- You will pick up on local slang very quick.
- They can share the do’s and don’ts of business etiquette of the local culture.
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