Making Friends as an Expat Tips and Strategies

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Introduction to Ex Pats and Making friends

So you’ve just moved abroad as an expat? Congrats! But if you’re anything like me, you may be feeling a little daunted by the thought of having to start making new friends. Don’t worry though – it’s a lot easier than you’d think!

But before I get into the nitty-gritty tips on how to make friends in a foreign country, let’s define what an expat is. Generally, expats are people who temporarily move away from their home country to work, study, or travel—often they are assigned to foreign countries by their business or government.

Now that we know what an expat is, we can jump into why making friends when you’re away from home is so important. With the right pals by your side, you’ll have people to share experiences with, create meaningful memories, and grow together. And let’s face it—having someone to explore the culture, language, and cuisine of the country you’re living in is way more fun than doing it alone!

Tips for Making Friends as an Expat

Making friends as an expat can be hard, but with the right moves and a little patience, it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips that will give you a jump start on making friends in your new home.

First off, get out and about. It may not seem like the most obvious step, but it’s one of the best ways to meet people. Go for a walk or take a class, join the local gym or book club – anything to get you interacting with others. You could also try signing up for volunteer work; it’s a great way to meet people from all walks of life and you’ll get to do something meaningful while you’re at it.

A world map with a path connecting two different countries.

It’s also worth taking advantage of online resources. There are plenty of websites and social media platforms specifically geared towards helping expats find their tribe. Don’t be afraid to invest time in crafting an interesting profile describing yourself and what it is you’re looking for. Then just sit back, relax, and wait for contacts to come your way.

Another great way to make friends is by taking up a hobby or sport. Whether it’s yoga, running, rock climbing, or painting, being part of a group activity gives you a shared interest with people around you and opens up the opportunity for more natural conversations.

Joining a club or organization can also be really helpful. If you enjoy music, there are likely plenty of local jazz bars, live music venues, and chorale groups that you can join. Or if politics is more your thing, look into political clubs or organizations, or even attend local town hall meetings. Joining any of these can be a great way to meet like-minded people.

Finally, don’t forget to be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day so, even if you’ve made an effort to get out and meet people, it might take some time before you can say you’ve made true friends. So stick with it, remain open-minded and positive, and before long, you’ll have connected with your new crew.


When you’re an expat, it’s important to make the most of your time abroad by forming meaningful connections with locals and other expats. As challenging as it may be, there are some great tips for how to do that. First, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and meet new people – strike up conversations with strangers, join clubs or organizations related to your hobbies, take full advantage of online resources like chatrooms or expat forums, and if sports or other activities are your thing, look into teams or classes you can join. Most importantly though, remember to be patient – friendships take time to cultivate, and sometimes it can feel like baby steps. Just keep on keeping on, and before you know it, you’ll have a whole network of friends!

FAQ on Making Expat Friends

Is it hard to make friends in a foreign country?

Making friends as an expat can certainly be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be an impossible task. The key is to start small and be patient. Get out and explore your new home. Look for activities and events – like a local sports team, a language class, or a book club – that match your interests. These should offer plenty of opportunities to meet new people and begin friendships. It’s important to remember that it takes time to build relationships. Don’t expect to hit it off with everyone you meet; sometimes it just takes a while to find a connection. You’ll also want to be mindful of cultural differences that can sometimes make it difficult to connect.

Another important aspect of making friends in a foreign country is getting involved in the local community. Attend local festivals, dinners, or even join a service organization to meet like-minded people. Consider enrolling in a cooking class or volunteering your time with a charity – these are great ways to bond with people. You can also volunteer to work with refugees or immigrants, or help teach English as a second language. These activities will not only introduce you to new people, but can also be very rewarding and give you the chance to learn more about the culture of your new home.

Finally, don’t forget to reach out online. Social media, online forums, and chat rooms are useful for connecting with fellow expats or locals who share similar interests. You’ll quickly find that there are plenty of ways to make friends in a foreign country, and with a little bit of effort and patience, you’ll soon be making friends in no time.

Is it hard to make friends with Dutch people?

Making friends as an expat in the Netherlands can be both challenging and rewarding. It is important to remember that everyone has different personalities, so not all Dutch people will be the same. But, with a bit of effort, it is certainly possible to build meaningful relationships with them.

One great way to start building relationships is to join a community group or club – there are plenty of organizations and activities that cater to expats. This is a great way to meet people in a relaxed, informal setting, and to make connections with those who understand the unique feelings that come with being an expat. You can also try attending cultural events and festivals, as these are great opportunities to meet new people and to experience Dutch culture.

It’s also worthwhile getting involved in local activities, such as language classes and sports clubs. This is a great way to get to know the Dutch, as they are likely to be friendly and open to meeting new people. As an expat, you can also look for social media groups specifically designed for people in the same boat as you. In these groups, you can share experiences, advice, and even ask for tips for making new friends in the Netherlands.

Making friends as an expat in the Netherlands can be a challenge, but with a bit of effort and patience, it is certainly possible. You just need to remember to stay open-minded and be patient – with time, you can build meaningful relationships with the Dutch people.

Where can foreigners make friends?

As an expat, making friends can be a daunting prospect, but it’s definitely doable. The key is to start with shared interests and commonalities. One great way to make friends is to attend events and activities in your area that cater to expats. Look into clubs, groups, MeetUps, language classes, art classes, and more. Put yourself out there and don’t be afraid to be the one to introduce yourself. You may even want to join a local Expat Facebook group or online expat forum — it’s a great way to connect with people who are in the same boat as you. You can also try volunteering with a local charity or organization, or get involved in a community project. Volunteering is a great way to make friends and give back to your new community. It also gives you an opportunity to practice your language skills while doing something meaningful. Finally, make sure you take advantage of the various networking events that are held in your area — they’re a fantastic way to meet new people. Make sure to dress appropriately, smile, and be yourself. Good luck!

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