10 Tips How To Make Friends In A New Country

Feeling isolated in your new home away from home? Our guide offers pragmatic ways to make friends overseas. Discover through ten detailed tips how to seamlessly integrate into your new environment, from joining local gatherings to the digital savvy of connecting with like-minded individuals online. Get ready to build a network that feels like family.

Key Takeaways

  • Dive into local work and social activities to create a base for potential friendships, embracing cultural differences and opportunities.
  • Use shared spaces like co-working spots and community centers, as well as online platforms like MeetUp and Facebook, to meet like-minded people and participate in community events.
  • Stay open to new experiences by saying ‘yes’ to invitations, attending cultural events, and possibly creating content to share your journey and connect with others.

1. Embracing the Local Work Environment

When you’re working abroad, your office isn’t just a place of employment—it’s the front line for your social expedition. Networking at work is more than a career strategy; it’s a significant pathway to developing friendships overseas.

The camaraderie built within the confines of collaborative projects and shared deadlines can extend beyond the workplace, giving you a base to expand your social horizons.

Joining Colleagues for Social Activities

Have you ever noticed how a simple ‘yes’ to post-work drinks can pave the way for new friendships? Engaging with your colleagues in social activities is like planting seeds of companionship that could grow into lifelong friendships. Whether it’s a Friday afternoon happy hour or an impromptu lunch outing, these casual settings allow you to build a friendly rapport outside the office walls. And don’t underestimate the power of regular participation; it’s the key to nurturing these budding relationships into strong, interconnected roots of a supportive social network.

Sometimes, it’s the shared moments during coffee breaks or group lunches that lay the groundwork for a deeper connection. As you exchange stories and laughter over a steaming cup of joe, you’ll find common threads with your colleagues. It’s in these unguarded, personable interactions that amazing friends are often made.

Embracing Cultural Exchange at Work

Cultural exchange at work goes beyond learning new greetings or discovering local holidays. It’s about bridging the gaps between different cultures, much like international sports teams that showcase a melting pot of nationalities and backgrounds. By embracing such diversity in the workplace, you’re not just making friends abroad; you’re becoming a citizen of the world.

Engage in cultural conversations, participate in international potlucks, or even organize a language exchange during lunch breaks. These activities enrich your understanding of your colleagues’ cultures and can spark friendships rooted in mutual respect and admiration.

2. Discovering Shared Spaces: Co-Working and Community Centers

As you continue to weave your social tapestry, co-working spaces and community centers emerge as vibrant threads in the fabric of shared experiences. These hubs are not merely places to work or partake in activities; they’re fertile grounds for friendships to flourish.

Here, amidst the buzz of productivity and the hum of communal activity, expatriates and locals alike converge to create a melting pot of potential friends.

Co-working spaces as Networking Hubs

Imagine a place where every day offers a new opportunity to connect with someone interesting. Co-working spaces are just that—a nexus for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and digital nomads who thrive in collaborative environments. The shared kitchens and lounges of these spaces are not just for coffee refills; they’re the stages for informal exchanges that could lead to your next business venture or a weekend hiking buddy.

What’s more, the proximity to a diverse group of professionals creates an accessible network right at your workstation. This convenience saves you the time and travel usually needed to meet like-minded people, making it easier to find friends with similar interests or career paths. While there may be costs associated with co-working spaces, the investment often pays dividends in the form of steady camaraderie and professional connections.

Participating in Community Center Events

Now, let’s not overlook the charm of community centers. These local gems are teeming with groups and classes that could turn into your next passion project or a weekly game night. From kickball leagues to book clubs, these events provide a backdrop for storytelling and shared laughter, fostering personal relationships and unforgettable memories.

By aligning your activities with these community offerings, you’re more likely to meet people who resonate with your vibe, creating a rhythm of regular meetings and shared experiences that can be the foundation of new friendships.

3. Leveraging Online Platforms to Connect with Like-Minded People

In today’s world, making friends abroad can be as easy as a few clicks on your device. Online platforms such as MeetUp and Facebook groups have revolutionized how we meet people, providing accessible gateways to connect with those who share our hobbies, interests, and even our sense of humor. With these resources, making friends online, especially friends abroad, has never been easier.

These virtual communities offer a wealth of opportunities to find like-minded people who are just as eager to expand their social circles.

Finding Your Tribe on MeetUp

Have you ever wished you could filter the world to find your perfect social circle? MeetUp is an app that does just that. It’s your social curator, allowing you to sift through events and groups based on your age, interests, and more. It’s a wonderland for expats searching for their tribe—be it a group of avid hikers, a band of budding photographers, or a circle of language-learning enthusiasts. The app doesn’t just show you what’s out there; it integrates these events into your calendar and connects you with hosts and attendees, setting the stage for new friendships to take root.

And for those who worry about flaky commitments, fear not—MeetUp groups often have RSVP policies to ensure active participation. This means you’ll likely be surrounded by people who are genuinely interested in being there, just like you. So whether you’re looking for a new tennis partner or a fellow foodie, MeetUp is a treasure trove of potential friends waiting to be discovered.

Engaging with Local Facebook Groups

Now, let’s pivot to the power of Facebook groups. These online communities are a beacon for expats, illuminating paths to local activities, cultural exchanges, and, yes, new friendships. Whether you’re into drone photography or looking for the best local bar, there’s likely a Facebook group that aligns with your interests.

These groups can act as a launchpad for making friends overseas, connecting you to people in your area who are excited to explore or hang out. So dive into the digital sea of Facebook groups—your next adventure buddy could be just one post away.

4. Enrolling in Hobby and Language Classes

Immersion is the name of the game when it comes to making friends abroad, and what better way to immerse yourself than enrolling in hobby and language classes? These classrooms are microcosms of cultural exchange, where common interests become the glue binding you to your fellow students and, potentially, your new friends.

Language Exchanges for Cultural Immersion

Picture this: you’re sitting in a cozy café, exchanging phrases with your language partner, and in the process, you’re learning more than just a new tongue—you’re uncovering the nuances of a different way of life. Language schools and cultural centers offer more than just education; they provide a social setting where you’re likely to meet people who are just as passionate about cultural immersion as you are. These exchanges often lead to a deeper understanding of cultural differences, setting the stage for intercultural friendships that enrich your time abroad.

It’s the shared challenge of grappling with a foreign language that can bond you with others. As you stumble over new sounds and laugh at mutual mistakes, you’ll find comfort in the shared experience, paving the way for friendships that transcend language barriers. These connections often extend beyond the classroom, leading to social outings, study sessions, or even trips to explore other parts of the country together with your language partners.

Sharing Interests Through Hobby Groups

What about those pursuits that have always sparked joy in your life? Pursuing these hobbies in a new country can be a beacon for finding your social tribe. Whether it’s painting, rock climbing, or cooking, hobby groups provide a common ground for you to connect with individuals who get your passion.

Engaging in these activities with people who share the same interests often leads to spontaneous plans, such as traveling to a new spot for landscape painting or trying out a challenging climbing route, which can solidify the bonds of friendship.

5. Exploring the Scene: Bars, Cafés, and Cultural Hotspots

Sometimes, the key to unlocking new friendships lies in the bustling ambiance of the local bar or the quaint charm of a neighborhood café. These are places where culture percolates through small talks and shared laughs, where you can ease into the local scene and cast out lines of connection in the hope of catching new friendships.

The Local Bar: A Gateway to New Friendships

Envision your local bar not just as a watering hole but as a social hub, pulsating with the potential for new friendships. It’s where regulars and newcomers alike gather, providing a relaxed backdrop for conversations to flow freely. A casual comment about a shared interest or a spontaneous toast to celebrate a moment can be the spark that ignites a new friendship. Over time, your frequented spots can become more than places to unwind—they can evolve into your social stomping grounds, where you’re greeted by familiar faces and new ones eager to join the fold.

So, next time you’re at a local bar, let your guard down and engage with those around you. You might find that the person sitting next to you shares your love for indie films or has insights into hidden local gems. These interactions, no matter how small, can lay the foundation for a new friend or even a circle of friends who make your new city feel like home.

Cultural Events as Meeting Grounds

Cultural events, from art exhibitions to music festivals, are canvases rich with opportunities for connection. These gatherings are a symphony of different cultures, ideas, and people—all harmonizing to create an experience that’s both enlightening and enjoyable. As you immerse yourself in these events, you open doors to conversations and connections that can blossom into friendships.

By sharing your perspectives and interests, you not only enrich your own experience but also weave yourself into the cultural fabric of your new country.

6. Hosting and Attending Social Gatherings

Taking the initiative to host and attend social gatherings can be a game-changer in your quest to make friends. It’s a proactive approach that shows you’re open to new experiences and eager to create unforgettable memories with others.

Whether it’s a dinner party at your place or a picnic in the park, these events are opportunities to showcase your hospitality and connect with others on a personal level.

Organizing Your Event

Imagine throwing a social event where everyone leaves feeling more connected and uplifted. That’s the power of a well-organized gathering. Creating an inviting atmosphere where attendees can relax and be themselves is the secret ingredient for a successful event. Steer clear of polarizing topics and instead focus on shared experiences that can bring people closer. Perhaps a theme that nods to your home country or a selection of international dishes that sparks curiosity and conversation.

Inviting a diverse group, including locals and fellow expatriates, ensures a rich cultural tapestry that can lead to interesting discussions and new perspectives. So, go ahead and organize a board game night, a cultural potluck, or a casual hangout at your place. These events not only allow you to express your interests but also give you a platform to weave those valuable social connections.

Being a Guest and Making Connections

Attending events as a guest is equally important in the art of connection-making. Walking into a room full of strangers can be intimidating, but setting simple social goals can transform the experience. Aim to stay for a certain amount of time or to chat with a handful of attendees. This approach can make large gatherings feel more manageable and less daunting.

Remember, most people are open to making new friends and will appreciate your genuine interest in their culture and stories. Your authentic curiosity can be the bridge to make friends and build meaningful relationships.

7. Volunteering: Give Back and Gain Friends

Volunteering is a heartfelt way to integrate into your new community while making a positive impact. It’s not just about giving back; it’s a fertile ground for friendships to take root. The shared experiences, the collaborative work, and the collective achievements forge bonds that are both unique and enduring.

Whether you’re helping out at a local shelter or participating in environmental clean-ups, the connections made while volunteering often blossom into significant and lasting friendships.

Making an Impact and Building Relationships

When you volunteer, you’re not only contributing to the well-being of your new home, but you’re also laying the groundwork for friendships built on common values and shared purpose. The camaraderie that develops through joint efforts can lead to profound connections that go beyond surface-level interactions. Engaging in volunteer work allows you to meet individuals who are compassionate, driven, and community-oriented—traits that often underpin strong and meaningful friendships.

As you navigate the complexities of a new culture, the understanding and empathy gained through these activities can be instrumental in forming bonds with both locals and fellow expatriates.

8. Joining Sports Teams and Fitness Groups

For those who find joy in the thrill of the game or the rush of a workout, joining local sports teams and fitness groups can be a game-changer in your social life. Not only do these activities keep you healthy, but they also offer a common language that transcends cultural barriers, making it easier to bond with teammates and fitness enthusiasts.

Team Sports for Camaraderie

The spirit of teamwork inherent in sports creates an environment ripe for friendships. Whether it’s football, volleyball, or hockey, team sports bring together individuals from various backgrounds, fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie. Regular practices, games, and post-match socials become occasions to celebrate victories, commiserate losses, and laugh over shared experiences. As an expat, joining a local sports team can provide you with an instant social circle and a sense of community that might otherwise take months to develop.

Moreover, sports teams often plan social events that go beyond the playing field, offering even more opportunities to strengthen the bonds with your teammates. Some examples of these gatherings include:

  • Team dinners
  • Charity events
  • Team-building activities
  • Community service projects

These events are additional chances for you to integrate into the local culture and create lasting friendships.

Fitness Classes and Groups

Perhaps the camaraderie of a sports team isn’t for you, but the solo pursuit of fitness speaks to your soul. Fitness classes and cycling groups are just as effective in fostering social connections. Engaging in a shared challenge, like pushing through a tough workout or perfecting a yoga pose, creates a natural affinity among participants.

The encouragement and support exchanged in these settings often lead to friendships that extend beyond the gym walls, as you and your classmates might find yourselves grabbing smoothies together after a sweat session or signing up for a charity run as a group.

9. Saying “Yes” to New Experiences

One of the most rewarding aspects of moving to a new country, especially a foreign country, is the plethora of new experiences at your fingertips. Embracing the unknown and saying “yes” to invitations can lead to unexpected and delightful foreign friends.

Whether it’s a local concert, a food-tasting event, or a neighborhood gathering, each new experience is a chance to expand your social network and enrich your life abroad.

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

It’s easy to cling to the familiar, but true personal growth—and the most memorable friendships—often come from stepping out of your comfort zone. Joining a local excursion or signing up for a group tour can introduce you to people with whom you might not have crossed paths otherwise. These shared adventures can quickly break the ice, allowing you to build connections in a relaxed and fun environment.

Moreover, by showing a willingness to try new things, you send a signal to others that you’re open and approachable—qualities that attract others and encourage them to include you in their plans. So next time you’re invited to an event that feels a bit outside your norm, take a leap of faith. The friendships you form when you’re willing to take a chance can be some of the most rewarding.

Accepting Invitations and Following Up

But saying “yes” is only the beginning. To nurture the connections you make, it’s crucial to follow up after the initial meeting. Here are some ways to follow up and deepen the bond:

  • Reach out to the people you’ve met and propose another get-together
  • Send a message to let them know you enjoyed their company
  • Share relevant resources or articles that you think they might find interesting
  • Connect with them on social media and engage with their posts
  • Offer to help them with something they mentioned during your conversation

This kind of follow-through shows that you value the new relationship and are interested in deepening the bond.

By being proactive in maintaining contact, you keep the door open for future interactions and solidify the foundation for a lasting friendship.

10. Creating Content to Connect

In our interconnected world, creating content can be a powerful tool for connecting with others. Sharing your journey in a new country through a blog or a YouTube channel can attract like-minded individuals who resonate with your experiences. It’s a way to reach out to a global audience while documenting your adventures and lessons learned along the way.

Blogging About Your Adventures

Starting a blog gives you a voice and a platform to share the highs and lows of expat life. It’s a medium through which you can express your thoughts, challenges, and triumphs, inviting readers to engage with your narrative. The beauty of blogging lies in its ability to connect at a personal level, often leading to deep interactions with readers who share similar experiences or are curious about your perspective. These connections can evolve into friendships as you find common ground with your audience and engage in meaningful dialogue.

Moreover, a blog can serve as a portfolio of your adventures, showcasing your unique experiences and attracting a community that goes beyond borders. As you narrate your tales of navigating new cities, cultural faux pas, and unexpected joys, you’ll likely find others who are eager to connect and share their own stories. This exchange not only enriches your own expat experience but also creates a network of support and friendship that can be invaluable.

Leveraging a YouTube Channel

For those who are more visually inclined, a YouTube channel offers a dynamic avenue to connect with an audience. By creating engaging video content, you can capture the essence of your new surroundings and the vibrancy of your daily life. Some ideas for video content include:

  • Vlogs documenting your explorations
  • Tutorials on how to navigate the local market
  • Cooking videos showcasing local cuisine
  • Travel guides to popular attractions
  • Interviews with locals or fellow ex-pats

Each video is an opportunity to share a piece of your world with others.

The interactive nature of YouTube allows viewers to comment, ask questions, and share their insights, fostering a community of engaged followers who can turn into friends. As you consistently upload content and respond to your viewers, you’ll build relationships with people who appreciate your authenticity and look forward to your next post.

Whether it’s through a shared laugh over a cultural misunderstanding or advice on the best local eateries, your YouTube channel can be the catalyst for forming connections that enrich your life abroad.


From the camaraderie of the workplace to the digital realms of social media and from the cheering crowds at local sports events to the quiet solidarity of volunteer work, the journey to making friends in a new country is as diverse as it is rewarding. Each step you take, whether it’s joining a local club, saying “yes” to new experiences, or sharing your story with the world, brings you closer to building a network of friends that transforms your new environment into a place you can truly call home. So go forth with an open heart and an adventurous spirit, and remember that the most valuable connections often come from the most unexpected places.

Frequently Asked Questions

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.