How To Make Friends In a Foreign Country: 7 Ways To Meet People Abroad

How to make friends in a foreign country! Great tips for moving abroad, solo travel, or any situation where you're moving somewhere new.

If you're thinking of moving to a foreign country where you don't know anyone, the thought of making friends can be intimidating.

When you pick up your life and move across the world there are a lot of factors that come into play, like if you should sell your furniture or sell your car.

We get so caught up in the preparation aspect that sometimes we forget about what happens after the move. (Good things, of course! But still things you want to think about!)

How To Make Friends In a Foreign Country: 7 Ways To Meet People Abroad

Here are seven ways you can meet people and make friends around the world, whether you're moving for a job, traveling solo, or going with friends/family!

1. Find a job

This is the most obvious one, but if you're working while you travel and your job is based in a certain location, hang out with your team!

One of the best perks of working in a foreign country is that you automatically have a built in social network.

Even if you don't become besties with your co-workers, or if there are slight language barriers at first, you have people you will hang out with on a regular basis.

Check out my free starter guide for getting paid while you travel!

2. Meetup

Meetup is a website where you can meet friends online through events or messaging. They have groups you can join based on location and interest so it's easy to connect with others who share interests with you.

I used Meetup when I moved to Arizona - I didn't yet have a job and didn't know anyone, so I made a few good friends that way!

3. Couchsurfing events

Couchsurfing isn't just for finding somewhere to stay!

Not only can you connect with your hosts, but they have community events in different cities too.

When I lived in Florence there were events all the time for various activities from a general meetup, to yoga groups...pretty much anything, really.

4. Social media/online communities

Facebook is a great way to stay in touch with friends around the world and people back home, but one of the best features are Facebook groups.

While your news feed is getting boring (let's be real, everyone is pretty much on Insta/Snapchat now), many Groups on FB are thriving.

I personally love the Girls Love Travel group on Facebook and they have separate tags where you can connect with people in certain cities.

There are also backpacker Groups - like Thailand or Southeast Asia backpackers - as well as pretty much any niche under the sun.

To find these types of groups, search on FB for travel, backpacker, nomad, or expat groups and you should find plenty!

5. Co-working spaces

If you're working remotely whether that's through a company or for your own business, see if you can find co-working spaces in your city.

A co-working space is where you can work on your work, in the same space as others who also work remotely. So you can keep up with your work but have some human interaction during your work hours!

Since the "digital nomad" lifestyle is becoming increasingly popular these days, co-working spaces seem to be popping up all over.

A traveling co-working group that is becoming hugely popular is Remote Year, where you work remotely while traveling for a year with 75 people.

6. Learn the language

If you don't know the language of the country you're moving to, start learning. Say hello to people and have small talk conversations.

You never know where that will lead!

7. Take classes

Even if you're done with school, try taking classes for fun at either a local or international university in your city.

When I was in Italy there were quite a few people taking Italian language, food & wine, cooking, and even sports classes for fun.

It's a great way to meet both locals or other international students in your city while at the same time learning something new.

Bottom Line: 

Don't put a lot of pressure on yourself to make best friends right away. 

Even having some social interaction can really help the transition be easier when you're moving to a foreign country where you don't know anyone. 

If you feel alone, isolated, or homesick right away, know that that is totally normal, especially if you're traveling solo.

Keep a positive attitude, give these tricks a try, and put yourself out there!

Give it a chance and you never know the awesome stories or opportunities that are headed your way!