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Working abroad Tips & Tricks

Making friends abroad

Last update: 3 April, 2024  ◦  2 April, 2024 by Photo from Laura Laura  ◦  4 minutes reading time
how to make friends abroad

If you're heading abroad soon and unsure how to connect with people there, keep reading, because after going through this blog, you'll know how to effortlessly make friends during your overseas adventure!


Perhaps you find it daunting to approach new people. Nowadays, there are plenty of apps where you can scroll through potential friends. Take a look at Backpackr and Meetup, for example, both packed with thousands of people looking for a friendly companion!


Dating apps (yes, really) can also be handy tools to meet new people, especially abroad. For instance, Bumble even has a BFF feature specifically aimed at finding new friendships without the expectations of a romantic date. But even on Tinder, you can find people looking for new friends and less focused on a romantic relationship. All you have to do is be open and mention in your bio that you've recently moved abroad and want to meet new people. Hello, new friends!


Disclaimer: these platforms help you meet new people, but always be cautious when meeting people online: therefore, always arrange to meet in a public place first!

tessa blog making friends abroad

Social media

Social media has become an integral part of our lives and is incredibly useful for meeting new people, especially because there are so many different channels available. Take Instagram, for example, where you can find posts from others based on your location. Perhaps you'll find people with similar interests? Step out of your comfort zone and send that DM! There are also accounts specifically aimed at expats and travelers, a smart move to make connections.


TikTok is also worth exploring. Just like Instagram, you can search for videos based on your location or simply see where the For You page takes you. Take a look at what others are posting and engage with them. Or post your own video, who knows, people might just come to you!


Lastly, there's Facebook. Although the platform has been around for about two decades and is often seen as old-fashioned, the power of Facebook groups cannot be underestimated. There are groups for almost every topic imaginable, such as Lonely Traveler for solo travelers. Some groups are even very specific, like women in Barcelona or athletes in Valencia. This way, you can immediately find friendly people with the same interests!


Here are a few of our favorites for when you're working abroad:

At work or through your studies

Working or studying abroad is a great way to meet people. You might hit it off with your colleagues and end up going for drinks after work together. A beautiful friendship could blossom! Make sure to join in on the Friday afternoon drinks and shared breaks, as this is a great way to get to know everyone better and friendships can form in no time. This is your opportunity to meet people. Especially at international companies: just a few weeks or months ago, they were in your shoes. Your colleagues understand what it's like to be new and to work (for the first time) abroad. They'll be more than happy to help you!


If you're studying abroad for a semester, you'll naturally meet new people, whether it's your roommates, classmates, or fellow students in WhatsApp groups. Go grab a drink together at the local bar or watch the sunset with a beer in hand.


During travel

Traveling is the easiest way to meet people. If you spend a night in a hostel, you'll definitely get to know your roommates. Don't be shy and dare to strike up conversations. Travel connects people and often forms the basis for lifelong friendships, especially when you're traveling alone! It may not always seem like it, but most people are eager to have a chat with you. Do you see someone sitting alone in a café? Start the conversation, and before you know it, you've been chatting for an hour!

Language classes and other group activities

During group activities, you're guaranteed to meet new people. For instance, at language classes, you'll mainly meet expats who, like you, are open to new connections and perhaps want to explore the area together with you. Other hobbies and interests will also introduce you to new friends. For example, try attending a yoga or dance class, or join a group session at the local gym!

Share your living space

One of the easiest ways to make friends abroad is by sharing living space. It's not only cheaper but also more enjoyable! There's always someone at home, you can cook together, explore the city, and (not entirely unimportant) go out together. Housemates generally become friends quickly. If you live with an international, it might be a bit challenging at first because you don't speak the same language. In that case, suggest cooking a typical cultural dish together. There's no better icebreaker! If sharing living space sounds appealing to you, check out Facebook groups and accommodation websites like Housing Anywhere, as shared accommodations are often offered there too.

The most important thing is to be open. Not only to meet new people but also to be curious about new languages and cultures. Let's be honest: new friendships make your time abroad a little more enjoyable. Step out of your comfort zone and create unforgettable memories with your new international friends!

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