To mark the the ten-year anniversary of the InterNations network, expat communities across the globe are celebrating an around the world party on October 7. The world’s longest birthday celebration will take place in more than 300 cities, from Auckland to Honolulu.
In the spirit of bridging cultures and connecting global minds, the two InterNations Bonn ambassadors are throwing a birthday bash this evening at the China Boat Ocean Paradise Restaurant in Beuel. (See event details below.)
“It will be an amazing party. There will be welcome drinks, a Chinese buffet, birthday cakes and deserts from ten different countries and fun entertainment,” says Birgit Seiferth, who herself has lived as an expat in Switzerland and serves as a volunteer ambassador in Bonn since 2014.
According to Seiferth, the local InterNations community has about 4,000 members. She and co-ambassador Sohaib Alhasan are organzing monthly get-togethers in Bonn which are attended on average by 50 to 70 people as well as other activities.
Ten years of crossing borders
InterNations is the world’s largest network for expats. An expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person who is temporarily or permently residing abroad.
Founded in 2007, InterNations now has more than 2.7 million members in 390 cities worldwide. The company, which is based in Munich, has today 100 employees. InterNations was aquired in July by XING, the leading business network in German-speaking countries, for around €10 million. (See XING’s news release here.)
Malte Zeeck, one of the two founders and co-CEO, grew up in Bonn. Prior to founding InterNations he worked as a correspondent and TV reporter for international broadcasters, such as CNN, N24 and ARD.
While reporting from various countries, including India and Brazil, he experienced first hand many of the challenges related to being an expat.
In a Bundesstadt.com podcast interview (in English), which was recorded a year ago, Zeeck talks about his upbringing in Bonn and background and explains what InterNations is about.
The network offers expats a variety of ways to connect and exchange with other members who are in the same situation and have similar needs. Members can help each other when it comes to finding a place to live, dealing with the authorities, and cultural differences. Offline events are a particular focus. Last year, around 50,000 such events were held worldwide and attended by a total of 1.5 million people.
Between getting a hang of life abroad and navigating in a new city, it may take some time to establish friendships.
“At InterNations you can meet like-minded locals and make friends with people from around the world. The personal exchange is for me the most important and rewarding part of it,” says Seiferth.
Expat Insider looks at world through expat eyes
InterNations’ annual Expat Insider survey is one of the most extensive expat studies with nearly 13,000 respondents living and working abroad. Apart from offering an in-depth analysis of life abroad, the survey ranks 65 countries by a variety of factors such as quality of life, working abroad, and settling in.
Bahrain was the surprise winner of this year’s survey, followed by Latin American countries Mexico and Costa Rica. The three countries have their extremely friendly and welcoming local residents in common.
Germany ranks 23th place overall (down from 16 in 2016) and is not seen as the friendliest country. Ranking just tenth from the bottom in the Ease of Settling In Index, expats find Germany a difficult place to fit in. But the majority considers their job security (67%) and state of the German economy (52%) positively. (See country profile)
What: Rock the Boat – InterNations Turns 10!
When: Saturday, October 7th 2017, starting at 7 PM
Where: Ocean Paradise Chinaschiff Restaurant, Hans-Steeger-Ufer 10, 53225 Bonn
Price: 30 EUR per person, includes welcome drink and Chinese buffet
Let’s raise our glasses and lend a cheer, mingle, dance and break the ice for the 10th birthday of InterNations! We will celebrate on the first floor of the boat. We will have enough space to walk around and intermingle.