Meet new people abroad : Step 1 – Talk to strangers
So maybe you should give a second thought to have a conversation with the guy working at Starbucks, anyway you should be willing to chat to people you meet on the go.
On the road or in a different country you have to look up, catch people’s eyes and be more easy going and open towards new people. At social events and gatherings, chat with as many people as possible and use some basic tricks to strike up conversations.
If you are still doubting whether you can do it, below we have Some powerful apps that can help you making great connections, depending on your needs :
- Bonappetour and Eatwith are apps that connect travelers and locals to great “home restaurants” or someone’s home kitchen.
- Party with a Local is exactly what it sounds like: connecting travelers to locals and expats nearby, who want to party!
- We Met on a Plane if you are still looking for that person you met on your last flight.
- Chatous is all about meeting people who share your interests, and talking about what actually matters to you.
- Treatings is a social network that helps you find collaborators for your next project.
Meet new people abroad : Step 2 – Don’t fear the familiar
Many expats and travelers like to boast of how they “really got under the skin of a country” or “immersed themselves in the local culture”. There is seemingly a level of honor in severing ties with home. In reality, only 16% of expats report having primarily local residents as friends. Another 34% claim they have primarily expat friends, whereas the figure increases among the younger expats. The remaining 50% say they have a mixture of expat and local friends with older expats.
There is no shame in seeking familiarity when you first arrive. It doesn’t make you obtuse, ignorant or selfish to want friends in a similar situation or with a similar background. As time passes and you settle in, you can make more of an effort to integrate with local culture.
A great tip is to set yourself a time limit. If you set yourself a certain limit, you will make effort to have local friends and you would integrate more.
Meet new people abroad : Step 3 – Become a social addict
The majority of new expats make their friends at work but there are plenty of other opportunities to explore. Let’s discover them!
I would recommend these 2 options
Join a group or a club and attend its meetings and events There are hundreds of location-based expat groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. In addition, there are numerous online forums and organizations to help you such as:
- Meet up, you are probably using the app at home, and you will find plenty of groups and events.
- Internations, Just Landed and Spaniards (especially spanish community) are expat communities hosting events throughout the year, offering a great way to make new friends and offering forums to get in touch with other expats.
- Expatblog, Easy Expat: Informations pour Expatriés, Guides de l’Expat and EasyExpats are community websites about living abroad and relocating in a new country.
It’s also worth following local expat bloggers who can be a great source of information.
Take a class or join a sports team, for most of you it might sound like a cliché , but trust me – it works! It doesn’t matter whether you understand the local language or not at all, you do not get in the way when training. If you want to meet like-minded people who share similar hobbies and interests then there is no easier way but paying a visit to the local gym or playground.
Meet new people abroad : Step 4 – Think different
It’s worth expanding your notion of what friends should be. Don’t get hung up on only finding like-minded people. Friends don’t have to be the same age as you or from a similar background as you or even speak the same language as you do. Common ground can usually be found with anyone if you try. Your friends are not your clones – they are people who will complete you and will help you see the world from a different angle.
Meet new people abroad : Step 5 – Don’t fear rejection
Settling into a new country and/or starting a new job will always be challenging so you need to keep your expectations realistic.
Not everyone is going to be friendly or welcoming, but that’s cool too. If you think about it, not everyone back home was your friend either. It’s fine to meet up with someone every now and then to watch football or have a drink; you don’t need to become best friends with everyone.
Meet new people abroad : Step 6 – Follow leads
Say yes to drinks after work spontaneous neighbor’s offers for coffee. If a contact says they know someone in your new city whom you might like, follow it up and see where it goes. There may be volunteering opportunities or community events you can participate in. If you’re a parent you may even be invited to school events or other children’s parties. Whatever it is, follow these leads and see where they would bring you. If nothing else, this will at least help you get to know your new environment and explore your new town better!
Meet new people abroad : Step 7 – Learn the language
Taking a language class is a great way to find new friends. It allows you to meet fellow expats in a similar situation and to also interact more closely with locals. It’s a win-win situation. If you already speak the national language of your new country, you could try to learn its second language (if there is one). As well as joining classes or courses there are often language exchange options available, which can offer more personalized and reciprocal learning experience (e.g Meetup).
Meet new people abroad : Step 8 – Enjoy your own company
You can be comfortable with your own company visiting the new town/city, window shopping, or while reading a book. This attitude is quite important when settling into a new country. If you’re comfortable being on your own, you will start calling it home much easier.
Meet new people abroad : Step 9 – Don’t be hard on yourself
It’s important to give yourself plenty of time. Things don’t tend to happen overnight and can take longer than you expect. Moving to a new city or starting a new job can be daunting enough; leaving your friends and family will probably be one of the hardest things you have ever done, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Not everyone can be that person: that confident and popular extrovert who makes it all look so effortless.
Meet new people abroad : Step 10 – Keep your old friends close
Even though they’re thousands of miles away on the other side of the world, a good friend will always be there for you. A chat on Facebook or a quick call on Skype can cheer you up after a lonely day or frustrating journey home after a fight with the ticket-machine at the station. It’s not easy to always stay in touch – you’ll likely be on different time zones and schedules – but good friendships are precious, so cultivate them as best as you can.
… And START ENJOYING !
Do not spend your life searching on your computer, instead interact more..
Use main expats tools like Internations, Expatblog & Expatfinder, Eatwith, also some apps such as Meetup, Treatings and Bonappetour and finally don’t bother searching for the best money transfer solution, the analysis has already been done here: CurrencyLive.