When moving to a new country, one of the most scary things can be meeting new people. How do you find them? Will you make any friends? Can you go to places alone? What if you don’t find anyone similar? Moving to a new place alone is a big deal and meeting people is an important part of it. It’s easy to worry about this but trust me, you will meet people – you just have to make the effort to go out and meet them. I’m going to share with you some of my best tips for meeting expats, and locals abroad.
Couchsurfing is my favourite site for meeting people, and it’s not only about surfing on couches. Couchsurfing is basically a place for foreigners and locals with an interest in travel. Most big cities around the world have a weekly event along with other events and discussions. I find this site really useful when moving to a new place as I usually try to get some advice from locals. You can do this by starting a discussion about anything you may need help with or search for others already talking about a similar topic.
I’ve used Meetup quite a bit lately as they have a tone of events and specific groups. In Majorca they have a hiking group where they regularly post events of group walks in the area. You can search via your location to find some relevant groups in your area that you want to receive notifications from.
Facebook groups are really easy to find (if you use Facebook of course). You just have to think of a few search terms that could be useful to you, like ‘Expats Mallorca‘, ‘What’s on Valencia‘ ‘Language exchange Madrid‘. One of myfavourite is Girl Gone International (for girls only) but they have a group for most cities all over the world! Also, there’s usually some Facebook groups for Couchsurfers in specific cities. Here you can find events, discussions and a group full of people in your local area!
These a great way to meet people, even if you aren’t interested in practising a language, many people go to these events just to have fun. You may even find someone who wants to practise your language with you! I have used a site called Conversation exchange to meet people one-to-one for language practice, it’s easier to spend quality time practising or get to know someone. However if you’d like to find a language exchange event full of many differnt people, you could also search for Facebook groups, local universities or check Meetup.com. In Majorca a popular one I sometimes go to is Connect Lingus who share events almost daily from their Facebook page.
The most important thing when moving to a new country is to keep an open mind. It takes more effort to go to an event where you don’t know anyone than it does to hang out with people you know. You have to keep a smile on your face and try to be as sociable as possible. I know it’s not always easy, so try to go when you’re in a good mood 😉
What tips do you have for meeting new people abroad? I’d love to hear your stories 🙂