10 Tips to Make New Friends While Teaching English Abroad

Want to make new friends while teaching abroad? We got you covered!

Moving overseas to teach English and not being about to speak the local language can create a struggle for anyone in all areas of their life. However, it definitely will create a major issue when it comes to making new friends. Thankfully, there are many things that you can do to make it easier to meet people and find a few that you want to hang out with regularly. Here are 10 tips to help you make new friends while teaching overseas:

1. Be Friendly

It may not be easy for you to be friendly to everyone that you meet when you are overseas, simply because you are a little intimidated or scared to get close to those people you are not familiar with. However, a big smile, a positive attitude, and being friendly will go a long way towards you meeting new friends quickly.

2. Join Local Classes

Just because you are overseas doesn’t mean that you need to stop going to your yoga classes, the gym, or even your quilting class. You will find those same classes in many areas overseas, which means that you can continue with your routine once you move. Of course, these places are also perfect for finding new friends, as the people that you meet there will have many of the same interests that you do.

3. Learn the Local Language

You may be overseas to teach English to students, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t learn how to speak the local language. Once you learn a few words and phrases, you will be able to communicate with more people, and those people could turn into lifelong friends.

4. Join an Online Group

There are online groups on numerous platforms, which means that you can find one on the social media that you use the most. These groups are full of people who live in the same area that you do, and they have the same interest of meeting people like you do. These groups often have real meetings or get togethers, so you can meet people in a group setting in a public place.

5. Find Local Expats

While it can take you a longer amount of time to make friends with the locals overseas, it should be much easier to become friends with the expats who live nearby. You may find someone who used to live in the same area that you did back home, but it is more likely that you will find quite a few expats that simply share the same interests that you do.

6. Utilize Meetup

There is a website called Meetup that you will find quite useful as you are trying to make new friends overseas. People all over the world sign up to host groups that have events weekly, monthly, or at any time that they wish. You will be happy to know that you should be able to find Meetup groups for almost any hobby or interest that you have. Plus, you can join multiple groups to increase your chances of making friends faster. how to make new friends while teaching english abroad

7. Find Other Foreigners

You are not going to be the only foreigner living overseas, which means that there are plenty of other people who are also having difficulty finding and meeting new friends. Take the time to find other foreigners who live near you, work with you, or hang out in the places that you frequent. You will have at least this one thing in common, which means that you can begin your conversation with that and then see where it leads.

8. Consider Co-Workers

You may be slightly intimidated by your co-workers at first, especially if they are not as welcoming as you would like them to be. However, they are basically wondering if they can trust you or not, so you will need to earn that trust before they will be willing to get closer to you. Start slowly with your co-workers by asking them for recommendations of places for you to visit or the best restaurants to grab a meal. If you are continuously asking them for advice or asking them to teach you about the local culture and traditions, they will become more comfortable with you. After all, it is then that they will know that you are planning on staying there for a while.

9. Willingly Accept Invites

You will need to say yes to any invite that you receive, as that will increase your chances of making new friends quickly. You may find yourself at some events that you do not care for, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t have a wonderful time if you keep an open mind. One word of caution though for this piece of advice and make sure that you know who is inviting you and that there will be a few other people there.  After all, your safety comes first!

10. Find a Favorite Local Café or Restaurant

Spending time at a local café or restaurant, or even bar, can allow you to see other people who spend a lot of time in the same location. In the beginning, you may find yourself chatting with only the owner or the servers, but after a while, those conversations will include others who are there at the same time as you are.

Why wait, go out and make new friends!

These ten tips will help you make friends faster when you are living overseas, and those new friends will open up even more adventures as you explore your new home.
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