Making friends in a new country is tough and it can be difficult knowing where to start. But once you have a group of friends you feel comfortable with, you will feel more settled.
There are many ways to make friends, including using online resources and volunteering for a local organisation. Be confident when you meet new people and say yes to invitations, as this gives you the best chance of making friends.
Have a read of our blog to discover how to connect with locals when you move abroad.
One excellent way of getting to know people in your community is to volunteer. This could be at a hospice, charity shop, hospital or at a local event.
It is an opportunity to get to know people from different backgrounds and develop your knowledge of the native language. Volunteering can also make you feel good about yourself, as you’d be giving back to the community.
Local events are also great for mixing with others as they often draw in crowds. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to people and start chatting when an opportunity arises.
Volunteering gives you a chance to immerse yourself in a new culture and learn the local customs. It gets you out the house and provides you with a routine, which you might be missing since you moved to the country.
There are many benefits of moving abroad, such as the opportunity to pick up a new hobby or learning a new skill. From this, you could gain friends who share similar interests to you, leading to insightful conversations.
In the instance you live in a small area, you might need to travel to a nearby town or city to find activities, but a quick Google search should give you an idea of what is on offer.
Nowadays, you will find activities and classes on a variety of hobbies, from sports and music, to pottery and reading. Take the time to develop your skills and share knowledge with like-minded people.
Signing up for an activity gives you something to look forward to, and can quickly lead you to making some great friends.
Starting a new job is a common reason for moving abroad, and could be another way of making new friends.
There could be other people at the company that like to socialise after working hours, so be brave and ask people if they want to do something fun afterwards. This could include grabbing a bite to eat, or taking part in an interactive activity.
Workplaces will often arrange a handful of social events for their staff attend. You can attend these to learn more about your colleagues outside of the office and build stronger personal connections.
Co-working spaces are a good option for those who work remotely. You can get chatting with other digital nomads and have the chance to see them regularly if they are a frequent user of the space.
If you’re looking to make friends when preparing to move abroad, there are lots of resources out there. You could try an expat dedicated website or make use of social media to find people who live in the area.
On social media, you can find plenty of expat groups available. Be careful with who you chat with online though, and if you decide to meet up with them later, take someone with you to a public place as a precaution.
Another good idea is to reach out to friends-of-friends. If they have been settled in the country longer than you, then they can show you some of the best places to visit in the city when you get there.
You can also be introduced to their other friends eventually, and before you know it, you will have a group of friends.
Being a digital nomad gives you the freedom to explore new countries while you work, opening you up to wonderful new experiences and different cultures.
Ajay is an entrepreneur based in Europe & Asia. He looks after his family business which has interests in everything from retail to real estate, and was established by his father almost five decades ago and is now a global player.
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