Everyone knows that “adulting” is difficult, and one of the aspects that make it so is making friends in a foreign country. However, there are ways that you can meet new people in a new country, some that are even like-minded, all while figuring out your way around a new home.
Making friends in childhood was a lot easier, as you know. It is due to the fact that you had to go to school with other people of the same age. Even if the schooling is done online it is still the same idea. As an adult living in a foreign country, you can opt to take classes as a way to meet new people. Plus, if you are living in another country the chances are that you would want to learn the native language. And, you can do a “twoer.”
As in you can go to classes to learn the language, meet new people and make some friends. However, classes are not only limited to language ones. You can attend other classes or workshops that you are interested in to meet like-minded people. And, ones that are even hosted in English. You can do dance, art, acting, writing, etc.
Or if you are more into sports you can join hiking, running, or cycling clubs. Or even join a casual team to do the sport of your choice. The idea is to get yourself out there and attend as many of these classes, workshops and clubs as you can, have fun and socialize.
You can also join a volunteer effort such as taking shelter dogs for a walk. Or helping to pick up trash from the side of the roads etc. You should use the notion of quantity then quality. As in you should meet as many people as you can before you figure out which of those will become your real friends.
A source of knowledge is at your fingertips, and you can use the internet to find the workshops, classes etc. online. However, you can also browse around to find international Facebook groups that often host and organize meetups. This can be quizzes, hikes in summer, or just a gathering for a drink at a pub.
But, make sure that you go to the events that are in public areas for safety reasons. Furthermore, you can join as many Facebook groups as you like. But, keep your eyes out for people making posts about meeting up. Or for the Facebook group itself to host a gathering.
Another way that you can use the internet to your advantage is by posting that you would like to meet people. As long as it is in a public place then you would be good to go. Many people offer to have a meetup for a walk in the park or a drink in a pub. Plus, these international groups are rather friendly, welcoming, and inviting since most of the people in the groups are in the same position as you. Or they have been there. So, they understand.
What is more, you can also use the groups as a way to advertise your skills by hosting a workshop. For example, if you are a dancer you can host a workshop to teach people how to dance. Or you can even start a public book club, or meet up to do some writing. The goal is to put yourself out there and see who will bite. You have more chances of making friends with people with the same hobbies, interests, education or the same expat situation as yours.
There is also Meetup where you can find events to attend and socialize. And, you can choose what type you are looking for such as board games, golf, etc. It all depends on what is happening in the city that you are living in. As well as what other people are organizing through this site.
Another great resource for networking is InterNations. This is a site where the goal of it is to bring people together such as expats, or foreigners so they can make friends. They host events such as dinners so that you can get a taste of another culture while experiencing the surroundings of your new city and meeting people from their different cultures.
There are two types of memberships for InterNations. There is the basic one where you do not have to pay for the membership. However, you will have to pay full price to get into the events that are hosted through InterNations. Furthermore, you can use the platform to find like-minded people as well as to message and chat with them. As well as to get advice on the forums that the site hosts.
You can also opt to become an Albatross Member. Here you would have to pay, and the benefits are that you will pay less or maybe not at all (depending on the event itself) to get inside a gathering. Plus, you can join specific groups, and even host your own events. And, there is a free trial to see if this is for you. Or how often you would go to the gatherings that InterNations hosts.
A good word of advice would be to get out of your comfort zones and do something you may have never done before. This means taking new classes, trying new things, and having new experiences.
If you do not like the activity, you can stop and try something new. However, the main purpose of stepping out of your comfort zone is to meet new people. Therefore, if you like the group but are not a big fan of the activity why not stay in it but take it easy. You can use the time to get to know the members better.
If you are moving to a new country, there is a probability that you are going there for work or family. Or because you just want to, obviously. But, let’s say it is for work. And, you are a freelancing digital nomad.
This can mean that you can work anywhere such as in coffee shops, or co-working spaces. You should research the latter, to see what there is, as well as how much it is. You can use these places to work in, obviously, but also to get out of the house and meet like-minded people. Some of the places may even host workshops, networking events, or meetups.
Therefore, you would have a chance to meet people, make friends. Or you can try to have a little chat while you are using the co-work space for its intended purpose. However, keep in mind that people are there to work so choose your timing wisely.
If you have an office job, then congratulations. And, you can also use this as a chance to get to know your co-workers, socialize and make friends. Since you are working in the same place you would already have something in common. If you can have lunch with them, or join them on their smoke break even if you do not smoke. Additionally, if there is a get-together after-work drinks you should join them even if you are tired. There are also team buildings and other activities where you can get to know your colleagues better.
However, you do not have to drink alcohol at these events. It would be best not to since you would like to make a good impression. But, you know yourself better than an internet writer.
Overall the more you put yourself out there, the more likely you are to meet more people. Remember quantity first to find quality. Plus, if it is a gathering in a pub or after-work drinks, it does not mean you have to drink. Much like a smoke break is not only for smoking. You are no longer in high school so you do not have to “act like the cool kids to fit in.” Just relax and let the conversation flow between you and the new people you meet. A stranger can be a friend you just have not yet met.
But, do keep your wits about you even in a public space, or gathering.
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And, you can also check out which groups to join or events to attend in your new home. Remember to stay safe, as well as to try new things. Also, give it time. Plus, lots of people are in the same boat as you looking for friends, certainly after quarantine.