Coping With Relocation October 6, 2021

A Guide to Making Friends Abroad – What to Do to Endear Yourself to Locals

Daisy Wilson

Daisy was born in Salt Lake City and in her free time, she writes about moving and watches Charmed.

About 9 million US citizens are living overseas, and all of them had to figure out how to make friends abroad. If you are thinking about moving internationally, you are lucky – making friends abroad has never been easier. With the help of social media and other platforms, people are more connected than ever before.

It doesn’t matter what your reasons for moving are or if you are relocating to some of the most friendly places in the world, one thing is for sure – you will need to socialize with other people. Especially if you are relocating alone, you will adjust much faster with other humans on your side, and your life in another country will be much better.

Making Friends Abroad – Factors to Consider and the Best Online Approaches

Is it easy to make friends while studying abroad? It’s certainly easier than if you are relocating for a job. For starters, you will have a roommate and other students near you. On the other hand, connecting with other people has never been easier, thanks to social media. So why not make the most of the usage of Facebook and Instagram? Search for groups and pages where you can find out events in the city.

Contact Friends of Friends Abroad

Is it possible to make friends with someone who lives outside the country? Of course! For starters, you can ask your mates if they have someone in that country and connect with them. But if you are relocating somewhere exotic, the Bahamas, for example, there could be a good chance you will find no acquaintance. In this case, you can explore the wonders of modern technology and use some of the apps for meeting people. The most popular one is Meetup. There you can find local events, clubs, and all different kinds of groups. Or you can share your story and make a group of your own.

Join Online Groups for Expats

Whether you are relocating to Argentina or even to Russia, you can find fellow Americans in every corner of the world only if you know where to look. There are tons of websites for expat communities, and connecting with them is a great way to meet people from other countries and learn more about relocating abroad in general. They can advise you about where to find the greatest international moving companies and how to prepare for a move. Also, when is best to get shipping by sea or some packing service and when is the best to pay extra for shipping by air.

You can even ask what to pack for a relocation. The greatest website for this is Internations, and you can find out all about the cost of living, documents you need for travel, and connect with other Americans living there. Having some acquaintances in your country of choice will help you adjust faster.

Schmidt International Relocations
Connect with other expats through Facebook and other online platforms

Get To Know Local Ways to Blend in Much Faster

Whether you intend to live in some of the best cities in Europe or some far Asian city such as Bangkok, you should know that relocating across the world demands a certain amount of local culture and customs research. For example, if you relocate to Seoul, South Korea, you should know that giving a tip is insulting. Or, if you relocate to Hawaii, you should know that refusing a lei (flower garland) is also considered rude. If you plan to relocate to Scotland, you should know you must keep your distance during conversation and your hands out of your pockets. And if you wonder which country is best for making friends, according to a recent study by Internations the following countries are considered to be greatest for making friendships:

  • Mexico,
  • Bahrain,
  • Serbia,
  • Costa Rica,
  • Ecuador.
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The biggest number of American expats travel to Mexico

Make Most of Your Hobbies

Even if you relocate to Toronto or some other big city, you will still have to figure out how to spend your free time. And the greatest thing about relocating to a new city is that you get to start fresh and reinvent yourself. It is a great opportunity to start a new hobby or to keep up with old ones. So if your passion is photography, take your camera and explore your surroundings. Posting amazing pictures on your social media, such as Facebook, is an excellent way to keep in touch with your friends and family and meet new pals.

Sign Up for Language Lessons or Dance Class After Your Travel

On the other hand, if you never had hobbies, you can start some. Find a local dance club and sign up for lessons. Or if you always wanted to learn to paint, why not now? Here you will meet people who share similar interests and most likely find a buddy to hang out with after classes. Also, living overseas is not possible without knowing the language, except if you are relocating to Ottawa or some other English-speaking city and country. Language classes are best to meet people in a similar situation as you, and some bonds will emerge from it.

Schmidt International Relocations
Be bold and sign up for dance lessons or language classes

Explore the City and Do Things You Like

Moving abroad to a different city and country is an exciting experience in life, and you should embrace it. Go out of your comfort zone and explore the city, find a local bar or restaurant and make your routine to have breakfast there every day. Also, if you are a fan of soccer (the most popular sport in most countries) or basketball, find a bar to watch the games and hang out there with other fans.

Make a Habit of Saying Yes to Things

If your neighbor invites you to a party, say yes and go there. Or, if your coworkers invite you for a drink after work, don’t be shy and go out with them. If you want to meet people you need to go out and explore this city you are living in. Be a yes man, but be careful and create your own plans, as well. If you wish to see something interesting, some museum or concert, go alone. You will have to become comfortable being alone. If there is a beach nearby, go for a swim. Just leave your home, and don’t let nostalgia and depression overwhelm you. Check this video for more tips.

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Try the Old Fashion Ways

If none of the things we listed above is working for you, you can always try and do things in an old-fashioned manner. We already mentioned some of those things, like going on a drink with coworkers or hanging out in a local bar, but there are more options you can explore. For starters, you can get a roommate. At least you will not be alone, and maybe your roommate will have some buddies you can also hang out with.

Join Local Sport Teams

If you are athletic and like amateur sports, search where you can join a local sports team. That is not only healthy and good for overcoming relocation depression, but it’s also a great manner to find persons you will like and share similar interests. You can also find a local hunting club if you like this kind of activity or join some hiking group.

Sign Up in Gym

The easiest way to meet someone is in the gym, but taking this relationship to another level is difficult. In the end, nobody is going there to build friendships but to work out. But why not join and try? Maybe you find someone who is lonely as well and in search of a jogging buddy or just someone to hang out with.

Take Your Dog for a Walk Around the Neighborhood

Another great means to introduce yourself to other humans is your pets. If you are relocating with cats or dogs, take them for a walk down the block. In a couple of seconds, you will find someone who is doing the same thing, and the conversation will start naturally. If you are relocating with a dog, find local dog parks and take your furry friend there. Not only will he be a happy pup jumping around with other dogs, but you will find humans with the same interests as you. And let’s be fair, persons taking their dogs to a dog park must be good in heart.

Also, find a pet-friendly coffee house and bars, take your dog there, and hang out with your pet. You will see, everybody would want to start conversations with you. On the other hand, if you don’t have any pets, seriously consider getting one. You will feel less lonely and open to new manners of making friendships.

Do a Bar Hopping

Take a night out and do some bar hopping. After all, bars and taverns are solely intended for hanging out, and who knows, maybe you find a mate for life in some of the bars. Either way, bar hopping is a fun and excellent way to connect with a bunch of different people. Also, you will relax and be more out of your comfort zone, so the chances to speak with someone else are bigger.

Finally, Throw a Housewarming Party

Even though a housewarming party is an American invention, you will be surprised how many cultures consider this gesture to be nice and welcoming. So once you are all settled in, throw a barbeque and invite your whole neighborhood for a party. You will be in your home and feel more comfortable with small talk and chit-chat. And even if you don’t find a mate in your neighborhood, it is good to know them all. Who knows, maybe you will need some favor from them, to water your plants or feed your cat.

Schmidt International Relocations
Throw a barbeque and show them the American way

Book Your International Moving Company, and Adventures Can Start

Moving overseas is stressful enough without you having to worry about packing and shipping a car overseas. You will have to find a place to live, find a new job and school (if you are relocating with kids,) and on top of all that, you will have to get all the papers alone. If you wish to reduce your relocation stress, consider hiring a company that can do all relocation-related work for you. Do so, and you won’t have to worry about finding a storage unit or how to pack your entire home for shipping overseas. You can outsource this kind of worry to an international moving company and make other arrangements at your own pace.

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