Sunday, May 01, 2011

Making Friends Abroad

It's not always easy living abroad and when I say that, I mean, even after you have a place to live and a job. To really enjoy being abroad whether its for the short or long term, we need to be able to connect with people which is not always easy if there is a language or cultural barrier. Even though it may be a challenge, its possible. But, yes, it will require more work than if you were at home. When spending time abroad, everything requires more work and energy than it would at home in the beginning and making friends will be no different. Establishing yourself abroad requires more effort but once you've done that, your efforts become more cherished and memorable.

So to make friends abroad, the first thing we must do is reach out to others again and again. One of the best ways to do that is to immediately join groups or clubs that do the things that you are interested in doing. Even if you'll only be in town for a month, try to join anyway. Its rare that you'll be turned away if you express a genuine interest in the group.

Next, do a google search on language exchanges in the city. Most average size cities have something like this and its an excellent way to meet people who speak English as well as native speakers who enjoy meeting foreigners. Even if you meet people who you think you have nothing in common with, still keep them as friends as they have friends as well who may share your age, common interests etc.

Lastly, have fun and enter this endeavor with a light heart. You decided to spend time abroad most likely to broaden your horizons and meet new people? So immerse yourself in that idea and embrace it. What do you have to lose? G.G.

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