5 Excellent Resources for Finding Friends Abroad

Arriving in a new country can be a lonely old business, and you will probably want to meet up with a few people who are in the same situation as you.

If you are living in a non-English-speaking country, you may want to simply meet other English speakers.

Luckily, it’s easy to do.

If you want to meet other people as soon as you arrive in your new destination, here are some excellent resources to check out to prevent you from getting lonely.

1. Meetup

Meetup is a free website that has been set up with one specific aim in mind: to facilitate meeting other people. People can join up and create groups, which they then advertise to other members. Other members can then search for groups in their locations and when they find one they like the look of, they simple RSVP and head along.

It is free to use, and the range of groups is vast. You can find people meeting up all over the world, from people who share a common interest or hobby, to people who simply want to hang out and meet new people.

Meetup is a great idea, and it is particularly useful for expats. If you live in a busy city you are almost certain to find at least one group that looks interesting. And of course, if you can’t find something that looks right for you, you can always create your own group.

2. Internations

Internations is another excellent resource for meeting up with other expats wherever you are. It has communities in over 300 cities around the world, and facilitates meet-ups on a regular basis with other expats. Check out the website to find what is going on in your city and you could easily find yourself meeting up with many other expats in no time at all.

3. Facebook

Facebook can be hit and miss depending upon your location. If you are based in a busy city then you may well be able to find local groups who meet up and have pages on Facebook, so take a look and see what you can find.

The good thing about Facebook is that you can also search for contacts with a mutual friend who happens to be in your new city at the same time as you. This could make it easy to get in touch and arrange to meet up.

4. Hash House Harriers

The Hash House Harriers is an international running club that has a presence in over 2000 towns and cities around the world. As well as organising runs, there is a heavy focus on socialising and it is an ideal way to meet other expats even if you do not particularly like running.

5. Local Forums

Most big cities have English-language forums for expats, so have a quick search for one in your own location. Conversations in these forums talk about all aspects of life, and as well as getting lots of excellent information from them, if you drop a quick message explaining that you are new in town you could quickly find that many people are keen to meet up with other expats.

Meet More People Where You Are

These are all excellent ways to meet other expats in your new destination, so check them out and you could soon find yourself making some new friends in no time. Also, don’t forget to search online for local groups, social clubs, volunteering groups and more because you should be able to find opportunities to meet other people in most large towns and cities.


  1. Amy Scott
    July 18, 2013

    Great list! Don’t forget Couchsurfing. When I first moved to Buenos Aires, I made a lot of great friends, both local and expat, through Couchsurfing, even though I wasn’t looking for a place to stay.

    • Phil Byrne
      Phil Byrne
      July 19, 2013

      Thanks Amy for your comments, you’re actually one of the few comments where I leave the url intact! I like your site a lot and hope your up and coming retreat in Bali does very well this November. How did you find Buenos Aires? There are things I still miss about that city even today, 3 years on from our time there…


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