Embracing Expat Life

Integrate into a new community.

The ways for building relationships vary depending on your center of interest, the type of experience you’re engaged in, and your personality… You will likely meet people organically when starting a job or embarking on a mission with a group, such as a humanitarian trip, or if you’re part of a collective undergoing similar experiences, like au pairs.

  • Connect with your peers: There are a few groups with people that moved abroad in the country just like you and are looking to create new relations. Find them on Facebook, What’sApp, organized events… It is also very helpful if you ever need help finding a place to live, advice for work, or administrative processes. Everyone has pretty much the same experience and can give you recommendations and tips if you need them.
  • Meetups and social events : There are events specifically made for people to connect and build a community. For instance, international meetups organized in bars are an excellent opportunity to engage with new people.
    There are other types of events such as free yoga sessions, “hot girl walks” (just for girls!) or regular hiking groups, associative or community actions. Utilize Facebook’s event tool to discover these gatherings.
    Connect with individuals who share your passions and interests, and don’t hesitate to try new activities to actively engage with your community.
  • Shared appartement or house: It is a good way to feel surrounded when you first arrive, create great relationships and share the rent in expensive cities.
    When you start looking for a shared place, you have to make sure your future roommate(s) are looking for the same experience as you. Some people don’t especially want to connect; they just want to cost-share.
  • Applications: Go on dates; It is a great way to have interesting conversations, go to new places or do fun activities. It doesn’t require you to be looking for a relationship but just an opportunity to discover a new person.
    Make sure to always tell someone you’re close with when you go on a date, meet in public places, and never hesitate to leave the date if you feel uncomfortable. There are also apps to meet only friends like Bumble Friends.
  • Small talks in social places: Go alone to visit a museum, read a book in a park, talk to the baristas at your favorite coffee shop… to create these opportunities. It asks to get out of your comfort zone and start a conversation, but it’s worth it. You will be nicely surprised how kind and open people are.

There exist many ways to create relationships: If you trust yourself and your great personality, open up, and be a little bit curious, you will make nice connections. You are not alone and not the first to be in this situation, so take a chance!