Making friends abroad is hard. Besides language, you're also a cultural outsider. If you're shy, the feeling of not belonging can make it especially difficult to build friendships.
The secret to making friends is contained in the approach. Instead of trying an upfront coffee date or 'let's get to know each other', try meeting people through a shared interest or history where you already have things in common.
Hobby classes bring people with the same passion together, such as photography or diving techniques, where you'll have plenty to discuss. Newbies may talk about why they've taken up the hobby, while experienced hobbyists swap stories about past successes.
Most countries and cities have their own platforms where organizations can post local classes. To find classes, do an online search for "local classes [city]".
If your new country doesn't share your native language, this strategy can help you make friends.
A language exchange is a free way to learn a new language through structured conversation with native speakers. The discussion often focuses on a topic, like eating at a restaurant or shopping. You'll start in one language, then switch to the other. Some cities hosts clubs, but online platforms like Craiglist or Gumtree can also be helpful.
Dogs are perfect ice-breakers. Their need for socialisation gives you a chance to meet other dog owners.
Adult sports clubs are one of the easiest ways to make friends after college. Everyone on the team shares a common interest, and it's common for teams to end their game with a meal or drink together.
Some clubs may have high registration fees, but the less competitive groups tend to be budget-friendly. Check online or at the community's athletic centre for your city's options.
Whether you're passionate about animals or antiques, build friendships through volunteering. You'll have plenty to talk about between activities. You'll also learn about your town, making you less of an outsider.
Search for "volunteer opportunities [area name]" to find local volunteering options.
The best way to find friends on Instagram is to follow hashtags for your area. You can also follow hashtags relevant to your work or interests, like "#femaletravelbloggers or #expats.
Once you find a few relevant hashtags, check Top and Recent tabs for profiles you want to follow. Leave meaningful comments on their latest posts.
Finding other expats in your area is one of the easiest ways to making friends abroad.
Finding expat Facebook groups is straightforward. Use the search feature and change the tab over to Groups. Submit a request to join and wait for admin approval.
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