By Mary Charie / 13/09/2015

3 Ways To Find Friends When You Are An Expat

Aalborg Karneval, Denmark

Moving to a different place is undeniably exciting, yet bidding goodbye to your friends is heart wrecking.

When you decide to be an expat, there is a lot to consider such as; a new culture to adapt, language to learn and community to get used to some people even need to ship their items when they move abroad. All things have pros and cons, and one of the of the biggest challenge of moving to a new place is finding friends. There are some things you also need to know before moving abroad.

I was an expat in Denmark, I live in their 2nd largest city called Aarhus. It is not a big city, very easy to go around, especially if you have a bicycle. I love this city because it has everything; the lively city, peaceful forest and calm beach.

I lived there for 2 years. And I am confident to say I made friends – a lot, but it wasn’t easy because of the nature of my work. If you are a student or working with people around you, it could be easier for you to find friends. But I am under the au pair program. It is sort of babysitting job and light housework with the family you are living with. — basically, I live in a house where I work too, what are the chances that I can make friends?

Through my experience, I discovered 3 ways to find friends when you are an expat.

I took up Danish class/Language class

It took a month before the class started, so I spend all my days in the house or when I take the kids out. I was so excited when my language class started, we are supposed to be 28 in the class, but only less than half showed up. It wasn’t that easy as what I was expecting.

Most of my classmates already were here for a while, some of them are students. As lucky as I can get, I found one. She also works as an au pair, we have the same schedule and same situation who are getting familiar with the country. We hang out a lot!

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Meeting people from your own country

How nice is it to speak your own language (unless you’re native English speaker)? Your countrymen can introduce you to the others where you can meet more new friends. They will also be going to be the biggest help in time that you miss the food from your home country.

I went online

These days, nothing beats online world in terms of convenience by connecting with people around you. Search on Facebook for “Bangkok International” or “Expats in Berlin”. Join international communities where you will get to socialise with people who are in the same situation as you. I also used Meetup.com where you can easily find groups of people whose purpose is to meet foreigners and expats around the world.

Leaving your comfort zone is not easy. On the bright side, it offers a lot of good things for you. Being an expat, traveller or backpacker is one of the most amazing things. With this experience, you will get another chance to be a new version of yourself.

I felt like a new person, born with a second chance to be a better one. Mistakes are inevitable but can be fixed., enjoy your fresh start and build friendship wherever you are.

Along the way of finding friends, I met a lot of people from different corners of the world, but Danes are truly remarkable. I think that’s why they were called the happiest people on Earth.

About the author

Mary Charie

She's the person behind this blog. Torn between her itchy feet and writing, Mary found herself soaking up in the world of travel blogging. She travels on her own terms and tries to build her own world whilst pushing herself into every corner of life, breaking limit beyond her capabilities.

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