Updated: May 22, 2023

Building New Connections: A Guide to Making Friends in an Unfamiliar Country

Making friends in a new country can be an exciting and fulfilling experience. It may take some effort and stepping out of your comfort zone

travelling with friend

Here are some strategies to help you make friends:

Learn the local language:

Making an effort to learn the local language will go a long way in connecting with people. It shows respect for the culture and makes it easier to communicate and build relationships.

Join social or hobby groups:

Look for social or hobby groups that align with your interests. Meetup.com, local community centers, or expat groups are great places to start. Joining these groups allows you to meet like-minded individuals and build friendships based on shared activities.


Engaging in volunteer work is not only a great way to give back to the community but also an opportunity to meet people who share similar values and passions. Look for local volunteer organizations or initiatives where you can contribute your time and skills.

Attend community events and gatherings:

Keep an eye out for community events, festivals, or cultural gatherings happening in your area. These events provide opportunities to interact with locals and other ex-pats, fostering connections and friendships.

Take part in language exchange programs:

Language exchange programs or conversation groups can be a fantastic way to meet both locals and fellow ex-pats. You can practice the local language while helping others learn your native language, creating a mutually beneficial learning environment.

Use social media and online platforms:

Utilize social media platforms, online forums, or ex-pat groups specific to your new country. These platforms can help you connect with people who have similar interests, ask for advice, and arrange meetups.

Be open and approachable:

Smile, maintain an open body language, and be approachable when interacting with people. Making the first move to introduce yourself or striking up conversations with strangers can lead to meaningful connections.

Attend language or cultural classes:

Enroll in language or cultural classes to enhance your skills and knowledge about your new country. These classes provide an opportunity to meet fellow learners and potentially form friendships with classmates.

Explore local cafes, restaurants, and hangout spots:

Spend time in local cafes, restaurants, and other popular hangout spots in your new community. Strike up conversations with the staff or fellow patrons. Over time, you may develop acquaintances that can turn into friendships.

Stay connected with your home country:

If there are expat communities or organizations from your home country in your new location, reach out and get involved. It can be comforting to connect with people who share a similar background and can understand the challenges of living abroad.

Remember, building friendships takes time and effort. Be patient, stay positive, and embrace cultural differences. By actively engaging in social activities and showing genuine interest in others, you'll increase your chances of making friends and creating a supportive social network in your new country.



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