how to meet friends in a new country

overview

This guide will give the information and tools you need to meet new friends and connections when you move to a new country. Follow the below steps you will have more friends then you know what to do with.

WHEN MOVING TO A NEW COUNTRY ONE OF YOUR FIRST CONCERNS IS HOW I WILL MEET NEW PEOPLE AND MAKE FRIENDS?

If you work in an office it will be inherently easier to meet people as you are constantly surrounded by co-workers in an office environment. But how about if you are an entrepreneur, digital nomad or someone that works from home? Meeting new people in a brand new country might feel daunting but it doesn’t have to be.

people want to meet you


First, keep in mind, that people most likely want to meet you! When you are a foreigner in a new country you will inherently be more interesting to the locals. They will want to hear your story, find out why you moved to their country and be glad to give you any advice you need. That being said, always have a smile on your face when you walk down the street, work in coffee shops or hit the bars. If you look friendly and approachable you will be surprised how many people will come up and talk to you. Don’t be shy. Remember, you have an interesting story. You are living in a new country which many people never get a chance to experience. Tell them why you moved there and why you love their country. You will be the cool kid on the block in no time.

use the power of social media


We are incredibly lucky to live in a day and age where your next friend, lover or employee is just a click away. Don’t be afraid to get online and reach out to new people that are living in your area. Below are some of the best tools to use for networking in a new country.

   Facebook

Facebook makes it incredibly easy to connect with people in your new country. You can easily search for people in your new city and send them a message. This may be new to you since you are probably used to meeting friends from school or the office but it is becoming more and more common to meet friends online. Simply do a search in Facebook for the area where you are living and you will instantly see a news wall of people talking about that place. From there, you can comment on posts or send messages to people. Keep your messages short and sweet. Tell people how you are new to the area and are looking to meet new friends and connections. Also, most countries all have Facebook expat groups. Find the expat group in your area and join it. This is a great way to meet similar people in your situation.

   Instagram

You might not think of it but Instagram is an excellent way to meet people directly around you. If you are traveling then you need to be on Instagram. Not only can you post your travel pictures to your feed but you can also search for new people to meet by using hashtags and looking in certain locations. For example, since I’m living in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, I can look at real time feed of pictures that people are posting from Ho Chi Minh. From there I can find people that look interesting and then send them a direct message. Also, you can use hashtags to find people with similar interests like #entrepreneurship, #golf, #painting, etc. As you start to grow your following, you will get more and more inbound messages from people that want to connect with you in the new country where you live. Make sure your profile description highlights you as an interesting person. Talk about your love for travel or learning new cultures. Also, don’t be afraid to add some text that says something like “Just moved to (new country) and looking to meet new friends. Send me a message and say hi.” Sometimes people want to connect with you but they don’t have the courage to send you a message. If you invite them to do it, a lot more people will!

   Tinder

The popular dating app, Tinder might be perceived as an app for “hook ups”, however, I find it as a great way to meet friends of the opposite sex in your new country. If you are mainly looking to meet friends using Tinder then it will be important to set up your profile the right way. When setting up your profile be sure to highlight the fact that you recently moved to the country and are looking to meet new friends. Give some details about yourself and explain why you moved to the new country. ??????

   Linkedin

Although Linkedin is traditionally used to establish business connections, it can also be used to cultivate friendships. Once you arrive in the new country, identify certain industries you would like to be involved in. For example, if you are a marketing manager, you may want to meet other like minded people in the Marketing industry. Simply do a google search for some of the top marketing companies in your new area. Then once you found a few promising companies, search for them on Linkedin. Once you find the company on Linkedin, you will be able to see all of the employees in that specific company. From there feel free to reach out to the people you want to meet by sending them a connection invitation and message. In the message tell the person about how you are new to the area and are looking to meet like minded people. Make sure to make the message specific towards their interests and background as you don’t want the person to think you are sending a generic message to hundreds of people. Invite them out for a coffee/drink and pay for it since you are the one requesting the meeting. If you do it right, you may end up making a friend as well as a new client.

co-working spaces?

If you have the freedom to work from wherever you want, I would suggest finding a co-working space in your new country. Co-working spaces are places where you can rent a desk for the month and use it as a temporary office. They usually have free wifi, coffee, conference rooms, etc. It’s a great way to meet people with similar interests as most of the people that do work there are entrepreneurs. Once there it will be easy to connect and share ideas with other like minded people. Also, most co-working spaces hold weekly or monthly events where they will bring in different speakers and give you time to mingle with other people in the co-working space. So when you get settled into your new country, I highly suggest you start searching for nearby co-working spaces. It’s a great way to meet people and also a great way to stay motivated and keep you on track.

final thoughts


Making friends in a new country is a lot easier than you might think as long as you keep an open mind and are social. Make sure that once you meet a new person that you quickly follow-up with them. Send them a text message, Facebook request or email and tell them how it was great to meet them. You need to be the one to initiate the dialog after you first meet. Don’t just sit at home waiting for them to contact you. Also, once you meet a friend ask them to connect you with their friends that they think you would get along with. All you really need is one well connected friend and they will be able to introduce you to so many people. All you have to do is ask. Follow the above methods and before you know it you will have plans every night with different friends.