World’s friendliest countries: InterNations

Taiwan was ranked as the friendliest country, while Kuwait was seen as the rudest.
Taiwan was ranked as the friendliest country, while Kuwait was seen as the rudest.

Surprisingly, it’s not Canada nor Australia.

Expats that move abroad from the United States for a different pace of life or for a new job opportunity have to take a host of aspects into consideration, such as cost of living, tax and cultural integration.

To all many nomads, jetsetters and quarter-life-crisis adventurers, some countries have been less hospitable to them than others.

According to InterNations’ Expat Insider 2016 Index, they will likely be welcomed with open arms in Taiwan, Malta and Ecuador, which took the top three spots for the world’s friendliest countries, followed by Mexico and New Zealand.

Strange enough, Canada (the poster child for being nauseatingly friendly) didn’t make the top 10.

On the other hand, locals may just give you the cold shoulder in Greece, Nigeria, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

In this latest survey by InterNations, the world’s largest network for people who live and work abroad, the social network asked more than 14,000 expats, representing 174 nationalities living in 191 countries or territories, to rate 43 different aspects of life abroad on a scale of 1-7.

The most unshocking surprise? Taiwan took the first place as the friendliest country and best expat destination in the world.

Some 90 percent of expats in the island nation gave Taiwanese high marks for hospitality, compared to a combined average of 65 percent in the rest of the surveyed countries. And more than one-third of expats even considered staying on the tiny Pacific island for life, according to this InterNations survey.

“It’s in the (Taiwanese) culture. We treat our guests with kindness,” says Linda Lin, a director at the Taiwan Tourism Bureau in San Francisco. “If you travel to Taiwan and open your map, people will immediately offer to walk you to your destination.”

On the contrary, Kuwait fared the worst in categories like “ease of settling in,” “feeling welcome” and “finding friends,” based on the survey.

Another Asian nation were seen almost as friendly as Taiwan, and that was Japan. Japanese are ranked as the world’s most polite and well-behaved hosts and tourists.

According to InterNations’ latest survey, Taiwan was surveyed as the second friendliest for working women coming from abroad. Luxembourg took the top helm as the best country for female working expats.

— from staff and other media reports