How do I make friends abroad?
7 strategies that help
Moving to a new country as an expat woman is stressful enough - but without a social network and friends, it's almost impossible to feel at home. When trying to make friends in a new country, it can be difficult and overwhelming. However, we're sure you can overcome the challenge. Here are some practical tips that can help you make new friends.
1. Go out and talk to people
It's time to get out of the house and start the adventure! Spending too much time indoors when exploring a new country can lead to feelings of isolation and insecurity. That's why it's important to take the time to get out and talk to people. This will help you learn about the country's culture and traditions, make new friends and adjust to your new journey.
Talk to people on the road
Get out and talk to people. Whether you're at the supermarket, the gym, or the park, when you're out and about you'll always meet people who are willing to help you.
You may lack the native language, but people will still understand you. Take the opportunity and ask questions. But it doesn't always have to be a question. Just hold a conversation. Once you get started, people will probably be surprised at how hard you try to learn a new language.
Many are willing to help
Remain polite and open, and you will find that people are willing to help you. Talk to the locals and take time to explore their culture and customs. This will not only help you settle in faster, but it will also help you make new friends.
2. Talk to acquaintances and old friends – many have friends abroad
You may have just arrived abroad and don't know where to start. A great way to start your acclimatization is to get in touch with old friends and acquaintances. Many have friends abroad or know someone who has had similar experiences and can give you advice.
Pave the way for you
Many acquaintances are keen to make good contacts for you. Most of these new contacts are also more than willing to pave the way for you.
3. Volunteering: an easy way to meet new people
A third way to settle into a new country is to volunteer. Volunteering not only allows you to get involved and help others, but also to meet new people and learn more about your new home.
In many countries, there are organizations that offer different forms of volunteering, which are perfect for those who want to get involved socially. If you are interested in volunteering in your new home, you can search online for volunteer organizations in your area. There are often opportunities to help out as a volunteer, even if you only have a limited amount of time available.
Connect with others
The best way to feel at home in a new environment is to connect with others and do something good. While volunteering can be challenging, it will also help you gain a sense of satisfaction and connect with others.
4. Look for public meetings for expats
To find your way around a foreign country and settle in, it can be helpful to be part of a group of expats. Therefore, look for public meetings for foreigners that take place in your place of residence.
People in similar situations
Some meetings are organized by international associations, while others are hosted by local organizations and groups. Such meetings are a great way to meet other expats who are in similar situations.
Get helpful tips
In addition, you can learn about various topics at these meetings. The most important information about cultural differences and local customs is usually provided. This will help you settle in more quickly. You can also get helpful advice about where to find accommodation, where to work or how to get around. It's also a great opportunity to make new friends who are also new to the country.
5. Use social media to find groups and online events
Social media is a great way to easily connect with other people who can help you find your way around a new country.
Many are active online
Many expat women are very active online and there are numerous social media groups. You can join Facebook groups or search for online events on Instagram or LinkedIn, among others. Meetup groups can also be a promising way to make new contacts.
6. Get involved in local activities
A great way to get an insight into the culture and way of life of the country is to participate in local activities and events. This allows you to interact with the local people, get to know the language and mentality.
Settle in locally
Find out about your new place of residence and look online to see if there are any local events, such as art markets, sporting events or music festivals. Visit local markets and festivals regularly. Get involved in local organizations and clubs. Or spend a day exploring local shops and restaurants. You will soon notice how you settle into your new home and are better able to relax.
7. Look for interest groups that meet your needs
One of the best ways to feel at home in a new country is to meet like-minded people. Therefore, a seventh important tip for women in a new country is to look for interest groups that meet your needs. There are groups for all kinds of interests, from health and fitness to arts and culture. Join a reading club, a running club, etc.
These groups can help you adapt more quickly and feel more at home in your new environment. They can also help you make new friends, build valuable relationships and make social connections.
Attend a language course
It can also help a lot to attend a local language course, as you are likely to meet other adventurous foreigners there who have just arrived and are still finding their way around. A local language course can also help you settle in more quickly, as it will give you a foundation to navigate your new surroundings.
The most important thing: Be approachable and open up to others
To feel more comfortable in a foreign country, it is important to be approachable. Don't worry about whether you are doing "right" or "wrong" at the moment. Open up to others, and you will be surprised how many people are willing to connect with you and help you. You will also learn a lot about your new environment, the culture, and you will make friends.
Open yourself to new opportunities
Instead of standing still, some conversations and contacts will bring new momentum into your life and open your eyes to the world around you. Being overwhelmed is not a reason to shut down, but a chance to get a new flywheel going.
The key to making friends
Introduce yourself and be patient. Don't be too hard on yourself and allow that not all encounters are good either. But be open to new possibilities and meet people from different cultures. This is the key to really getting to know a new country and making friends.
More on this topic "Friendships among women: How to make new friends after moving abroad" can be found here.