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Our Top 10 Tips to Finding Friends Abroad

Jul 11, 2023 by Fredrik Häggrot

Let's face it, moving abroad, where everything is unfamiliar, can feel like a bit of a maze. You're struggling with new city layouts, work environments, peculiar tastes in food, a different language and, the cherry on top, the scary task of making new friends. Throw in a bit of natural shyness and introversion, and your new country might seem overwhelming.

10 Tips to find friends within your comfort zone, kind of

But fear not! You don't need to host a dinner party inviting complete strangers, spontaneously start conversations on the street, or stand out more than you're comfortable with to forge meaningful connections. So, for all the introverted adventurers out there, we've compiled a list of 10 tips to find friends, that won't push you too far out of your comfort zone. Ready? Let's dive in!

1. Volunteer

Volunteering is a fantastic way to give back to society. Not only will it boost your self-esteem, but it'll also connect you with like-minded folks. Opportunities can vary from helping at local youth centers, aiding the homeless, working with age-related groups, orphanages, animal shelters, and more. A quick Google search for "Volunteering" and the name of your new city should offer some promising options.

2. Online Gaming

The world of online gaming is more than just pixels and fun—it’s a bustling social hub! You can meet new people from the comfort of your gaming chair, and often these virtual friendships translate into lifelong bonds. Online games can introduce you to a fascinating array of people, including those you might never have met otherwise. Popular games include PUBG, Minecraft, Fortnite Battle Royale, League of Legends, and Among Us.

3. Gym Time

Gyms are great for more than just getting fit—they're perfect for some casual chit-chat that might evolve into a deeper friendship. Don't shy away from asking for tips or assistance with a workout. And if the weight room feels intimidating, group classes are a wonderful alternative. A bit of pre-class banter with fellow participants can easily lead to new social media connections or post-workout smoothie dates.

4. Join a Club or Society

Getting involved in a club or society is a brilliant way to meet like-minded people. Whether it's a sports club, hiking group, cultural society, music group, dance ensemble, or theatre group, shared interests are a solid foundation for new friendships. Book clubs, too, are a wonderful way to connect with others.

5. Take a Course

Taking a course can be a fabulous way to make new acquaintances! Start a beginners' course and you won't need to worry about not being up to speed as everyone will be at the same level. You can challenge yourself with something new or deepen your knowledge in an existing area. Language, painting, photography, dance, or cooking courses are just a few examples.

6. Use Friendship Apps

We live in a digital world brimming with apps to meet new people - a perfect way to get a feel for someone before investing your time and emotional energy into a budding friendship. Some of the most popular friend-finding apps include Meetup, Friender, and Bumble.

7. Leverage Social Media

Social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook are not just for scrolling through cute cat videos or stalking your favorite celebrities. You can also use them to make new friends, even as an introvert. Use the "check-in" feature to see who's in your local area or follow local place accounts on Instagram to peek at their followers. You can then start following interesting folks you come across and initiate a conversation via Direct Message.

8. Facebook Events

Facebook events provide a gateway to local gatherings without needing a personal invite. If you're apprehensive about attending alone, use the list of people who've marked 'attending' to start a conversation on Messenger about the event. This can pave the way for you to attend together or at least say hi when you're there.

9. Say Yes! More Often

One way to meet new people is by saying 'yes' more often. You don't always need to be the inviter but practice accepting invites. If someone on a crowded bus offers you a seat next to them, say yes! If a coworker asks you out for a post-work coffee, say yes! Give it a try, what's the worst that can happen? You decide not to do it again?

10. Be Yourself

Whether you're introverted or not, it's crucial to be yourself when meeting new people. Remember, you're unique, and the world around you is excited to get to know YOU. The tips provided above are methods to meet new people, but it's your personality and authenticity that will forge long-lasting and genuine relationships.

Good luck on your journey, and remember: there's a whole world out there waiting to meet you. All you need to do is say 'hello'. Happy friending!