Expatriation: how to make friends quickly ?
Moving to a foreign country involves a lot of changes: language, food, climate… Little by little, your new routine will settle in. It is then time to recreate a social life in your new home. You have just arrived as an expatriate and you are wondering how to meet new people ?
Here are 5 tips to make friends on the spot.
Take part in events
Once you have settled in, make the most of your free time to meet people. If you speak the language a little, join the local soccer team, take part in a dance class or take painting classes: this allows you to be part of a group and see the same people on a weekly basis. Volunteering is also a good solution for integration.
Sign up for activities according to your desires and interests’interests.
Pub crawl in Paris, concert in London or exhibition in New York, you are spoilt for choice in your new city ! L’ideal opportunity to have a drink and have fun all night with new people (expatriates, travelers, residents…). Know that even if you settle in a smaller city, there is no shortage of cultural, sporting or culinary activities.
Before you leave
What if your current entourage could help you in your quest for ? Use your network and ask your friends and family if they have any acquaintances in the city where you will be living soon. Former colleague, college buddy or friend of a friend, it doesn’t matter ! You will be able to contact them in advance, on the one hand to ask them for some advice on your future place of life and, on the other hand, to establish a first dialogue even before your arrival.
If you want to integrate into the local population, start by exploring your daily environment: neighborhood, building, work, gym, school… In a word: get out of your house ! That’s where you can connect, not by staying at home. Take courage and start a conversation with the people who live or work around you. Who knows, you may be in for a nice surprise !
Be patient and get out of your comfort zone
Making new friends takes time: don’t despair. You will have to persevere and remain open to the different proposals you receive. Don’t forget that new expatriates are arriving every day, you will soon find the rare pearl(s).
Use social networks
Social networks (or forums) are an excellent way to get in touch with people on site, especially during a pandemic. Join the expatriate groups in your city on Facebook and don’t hesitate to suggest outings. No doubt that people in the same situation as you will be happy to go for a drink in group or to chat online !
Note: Applications dedicated to meeting expatriates (Mater, MeetUp) are also very popular with travelers.