Hard to believe: 2016 is nearly over! Here at InterNations HQ, our team members are searching for the perfect present for the office Secret Santa exchange or preparing to go home for the holidays; others are making plans for a skiing trip to the Bavarian Alps or for their New Year’s Eve party.
In short, we are wrapping up the year: it has been a rather busy, but really successful 365 days for us. Looking back at the past twelve months, we can take great joy and pride in a flourishing community that helps our members to enjoy their international experience to the fullest and to benefit from cultural exchange.
Looking forward to 2017, we are very excited about what is yet to come for our 2.4 million members around the world.
Getting Involved to Create Thriving Communities
Bringing people across the globe together is what InterNations is all about. More than 900 InterNations Ambassadors and 4,800 Consuls have made other expats and global minds feel at home in our 390 communities worldwide — thank you for getting involved, taking the lead, and making an impact!
And what an impact that was! In 2016, our volunteers have scheduled about 5,800 official events and 43,000 activities; with over 1.45 million guests signing up for these events, they have set a new record. Of course, our vibrant community life all over the world is far more than just numbers, no matter how impressive these numbers might be.
InterNations Founder & Co-CEO Malte Zeeck enjoyed the opportunity to personally meet as many members and volunteers as possible, and to explore a variety of expat destinations in South Africa, the Middle East, and several European cities from Antwerp to Zurich. Our Head of Community Management, Emily Englert, also set out on a trip to Dubai, witnessing firsthand what a thriving community looks like.
Changing the World, One Activity at a Time
Our Volunteer Groups have just received a brand-new look. Since 2012, over 35,000 members have volunteered with InterNations to make their communities a better place, and nearly 150 Group Consuls have organized close to 1,000 opportunities for volunteering this year. They support around 200 non-profit organizations in 45 cities, such as the Red Cross, Special Olympics, or the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
To honor that dedication to changing the world, the world´s largest community outreach program for expats is now called InterNations Changemakers. Everyone has the potential to make a difference — everyone can be a Changemaker!
Sharing Networking Opportunities, Expat Expertise, and Local Snapshots
When it comes to the online side of InterNations, launching our app for Android and iOS has, without a doubt, been the highlight of the year. Next year, we will definitely be coming up with new exciting features — we will keep you updated.! Networking has become even easier for our globally mobile members: on their smartphone, the international experience is always within reach.
We have also successfully conducted the Expat Insider survey for the third year in a row. The results of what is one of the world’s leading expat surveys were picked up by a wide range of international media, from the BBC, Business Insider, and Forbes to Cosmopolitan, Esquire, and Vanity Fair.
Over 14,000 respondents representing about 170 nationalities and 190 countries or territories had their say on what it’s like to move, live, and work abroad. To our overall ranking of 67 destinations around the world — this year headed by Taiwan, rather than the 2014 and 2015 winner Ecuador — we have added a city ranking for the first time.
Thanks again to everybody who took the time to share their view of expat life! We are already looking forward to the 2017 edition.
Speaking of looking forward to 2017: our Social Media Team has already started a countdown to celebrate 1 million followers on Facebook early next year, so stay tuned.
The Social Media Team is also happy to report that our Instagram account — which recently had its very first anniversary — has taken off. So far, we have gained 13,000 followers and hosted three international photo contests for highlighting the best pictures from your #GlobalLocal life. Don’t forget to follow us and discover the most beautiful places on Earth!
Celebrating a Decade of InterNations: The 2017 Anniversary
Time flies: it’s not only the year 2016 that has gone by so fast, but rather an entire decade. In September 2017, we will be celebrating the tenth birthday of InterNations. Next year, we will therefore be focusing on our upcoming anniversary: of course, we may have a special birthday surprise in store for you…
Until then, enjoy the holiday season! Thank you for helping to make expat life a great experience in 2016, and a very Happy New Year 2017 to all of you!
(Image credit: 2), 3, 4), 5) InterNations; 1) Pexels, 6) iStockphoto; video credit: InterNations)