Whatever you are moving abroad alone, with your partner or with someone else, there is always a moment when you feel the need to meet new people. It has to do with the basic need of socializing, but also with the need to find your way in this new place, to get to know your new “home” and build your new life here.
There are for sure many ways to meet new people abroad, but sometimes it can also feel a bit challenging or overwhelming if you don’t know exactly where to start. We talked about this topic in one of our Live Chats on Instagram, where we shared our personal experiences and how we met new people during our expat lives abroad. No doubt this all corona situation makes things a bit more complicared, but we are not the kind of people who give up so easily! This situation will be over and we will be able to finally back to a normal life and enjoy this life even more! So here for you, we sum up the top tips.
I know, this might sound like a cliche, but a language course is the best place to meet new people. I have met one of my best friends during the first Dutch course I took in Utrecht. Next to the fact that you are learning the local language (which will open up already to many other opportunities), you have the chance to get to meet people who, maybe, are in the same situation as you. They are expats and new to the city, struggling with the local language as well. It’s the best common situation to start with!
Another tip is to check the local libraries because some of them offer language (and not only) courses during the week which could be interesting for you. Also here, it’s a great way to get in touch with local and non-local people who live very close to you. The ones joining these activities are also the ones open to meet new people, so you can make your way through easier.
This is a big one, there are hundreds of Facebook groups you can look for and for all kinds of things. You can start with typing the word “expat” together with the name of the city you are living in, most likely there will already be a group for that. Or you can also search for a specific group of your interests, for example a book club, or cooking group or anything else that comes up to your mind. You’ll be surprised by the possibilities that you’ll find here.
There are several groups or organizations who organise meetup events, some are officials while others are being organised on a more informal level and on different topics as well. On one side, you can find community events just to gather together and meet new people. Others are more specific, such as the Taalcafe (Language Cafè) in Utrecht where people meet once per week to learn and practice the language. The difference between this one and a proper language course is that here people meet more informally, there are different levels of the language knowledge and the aim is mainly to help each other while socialising. Do you research and see what's available in your city!
Also here, there are quite many Apps to meet new people all around the world, but the one we suggest here is Bumble as it has been suggested during our live chat. You can create your own profile with hobbies, preferences and other info so you can make sure to meet people more in line with your personality and interest. It is also a dating app, but you can specifically choose the Bumble BFF mode if you are not interested in dating, but only on meeting new friends in the new city.
These are our 5 tips for the moment, but we encourage you all to share more with us based on what you experienced. We can read tips and suggestions everywhere, but we do value the ones that come from the true experience of our community. So, feel free to do so!