Similarities and differences: Friendship across cultures Since I was five years old, I have had the good fortune to travel all over the world. I have had the privilege of living in Europe, Africa and North America and have made many foreign friends there. My family, friends, and co-workers are always very interested and curious and shower me with questions like: How do you begin a friendship in a foreign country? Are they different from us? Do people in those countries value friendship? In fact, the framework and value of friendship is universal and comparable around the world. But the way friendship is expressed differs greatly from country to country. The difficulty when strangers from two countries meet is not a lack of appreciation for friendship but the assumption of sameness.