Happiness by connecting

Activity: Talks and presentationsConference presentations


Many expats live in a so-called ‘expat bubble’ – they mainly have international friends and hardly know any host nationals or locals. This is unfortunate because contact with locals can have many benefits: for one, it is a perfect way to get to know the host culture. Host nationals can also play an important role in building a new social network in the host country. After all, social connections – especially the quality of them – are what keep us happy and healthy as we go through life, as a 75 year long Harvard study on adult life shows.

The session explored how expats can be happier through connecting with the local community. We will also discuss how people can break out of this bubble – this is especially difficult in some Western European countries such as The Netherlands, Germany and the UK, according to expats themselves. We will also talk about how cultural differences come into play, since expats need to be aware that people socialize differently in different countries so they might need to change their strategy. This session aims to raise awareness of the importance of bridging the gap between expats and locals and what one can do to bridge this gap – both as an expat and as a local.
Period28. Jul 2016
Event titleHappiness across cultures: Building planetary happiness
Event typeConference
LocationTampere, FinlandShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Expatriate bubble
  • Connecting with locals