Germany, Canada and Spain have been voted the easiest countries in which to settle, yet most expats buy property in France, according to HSBC Bank International.
The final report in HSBC's Expat Explorer survey, Expat Experience surveyed 2,155 expats across four continents to examine the integration challenges faced by expats relocating to a new country, looking at the cultural and social differences experienced.
Expats were asked whether they made friends with locals, joined a local group, learnt the language or bought a property in their host country.
Canada is the most welcoming country to expats, with 95% of respondents saying it was easy to make friends with locals. Germany and Australia were close behind with 92% and 91% respectively.
Conversely, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was named the hardest place to make local friends, with only 54% of expats finding it easy. Just 68% of respondents indicated they found it possible to make local friends in Singapore.
Almost half of all expats surveyed said they had joined a local community group. Expats in Germany were the most likely to join a community group, followed by around half of expats in Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada and the US. However, Australia came last in the category, with just 38% of expats joining a group.
Expats in Europe are most likely to learn the local language - nearly three quarters in Germany, followed by 70% of expats in Spain and Belgium. However, just one fifth of expats in Singapore and Hong Kong learned the local language.
The survey found France is still a property hotspot, with almost two thirds of respondents having purchased a property in the country. Expats living in Asia were the least likely to buy a home, with India, China and Singapore the three lowest ranking.
"This final report in our Expat Explorer series focuses on something that is incredibly important to all expats - their ability to fit in to their new home," said Martin Spurling, chief executive officer for HSBC Bank International and head of HSBC Global Offshore.
"This is often the aspect that is most daunting, with many concerned about whether or not they will be able to make friends or feel like they belong in their adopted country," he added.
The report also includes other expat integration issues such as having children in an adopted country, marrying a local, setting up a business or changing citizenship.
The full survey is available at: www.offshore.hsbc.com/expatsurvey.
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