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The InterNations City Ranking asked expats in 57 countries around the globe to rank their city based on several important factors. Expats rated their home based on how friendly local residents were, how welcome they felt and how easy it was to make friends and socialise.
The friendliest cities in the world were Kuala Lumpur, Mexico City and Malaga where expats said it was very easy to settle in.
However, a few global hotspots didn’t score highly when it came to friendliness towards new expats.
The least friendly city in the world for expats, according to InterNations, was Tokyo, the vibrant capital of Japan.
Just over half of the expats surveyed felt at home in Tokyo, much lower than the global average of 65 percent.
Two in five of the expats thought it was hard to get used to the local culture in Tokyo and suffered from culture shock.
Many of the expats also struggled to make friends in Japan while 37 percent were unhappy with their social life in the city.
One expat said: “Expats are treated fine. But they are never looked at as part of the Japanese community.”
Expats who learn Japanese before moving could have a better chance of settling into the busy city.
Over half of the expats surveyed thought it was hard to live in Tokyo without speaking Japanese.
The second least friendly global city for expats was Dusseldorf. More than a third of expats didn’t feel at home in the German city.
Almost 40 percent thought it was hard to get used to the local culture while over half found making new friends a challenge.
Two out of five of expats in Dusseldorf were unhappy with their social life while one said it was “very difficult to socialize with the locals”.
One third of expats said local people were unfriendly towards foreign residents in Dusseldorf.
The third least friendly city for expats was Paris. Around 40 percent of expats in the French capital thought local people were unfriendly towards foreign residents.
The majority of expats also found it hard to make friends in Paris although 54 percent were happy with their social life there.
Over half of expats did feel at home in Paris but one said it was “difficult integrating into French society”.
The Scandinavian cities of Copenhagen and Stockholm also scored in the bottom five for friendliness.
Over 60 percent of expats in each city thought it was hard to find new friends in the cities and 34 percent didn’t feel at home in Stockholm.
Over 30 percent of expats in both cities were unhappy with their social life while 40 percent thought local residents could be friendlier.
Least friendly cities in Europe for expats (InterNations)
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