Most articles on how to meet people from different countries begin by saying that it is a difficult process. Let’s start this one by dispelling that mindset; we’re all about positivity here!
I am a big advocate of traveling and experiencing the sights and sounds of a new country at every opportunity. With friends on every continent except Antarctica, I believe I have the necessary credentials to speak on how to make friends abroad. I curated these guidelines with input from other social nomads and based them on my accrued travel knowledge.
This article gives practical tips and advice I frequently use to meet people from other countries. They should be easy to adopt and simplify what seems to be an awkward, complex, and nerve-wracking process.
I divided these tips based on the two ways we can meet people in other countries: online and in person. Let’s delve in and learn how we can increase your odds of meeting new people around the world.
Meeting Foreign People Online
The Internet has made meeting people from other countries easier, even from the comfort of your bedroom. It is often the default method when you want to meet people from other countries because it requires the least effort.
Let’s go through the ways to meet people from various countries online.
Through Social Media
Social media is usually my top recommended method for meeting people in foreign countries. It has many advantages over others, the top one being the ease with which it allows you to find friends abroad.
Social media has removed the distance and sometimes even the language barrier when searching for a new friend in a new country. Some of the best social media platforms to use are:
Facebook groups have expanded into renowned and active travel and social interaction groups you can join. You can also find language groups for travelers and network with other new residents in a similar situation.
Most Facebook groups also organize events and social gatherings where you can meet and make friends easily. Travelers, rather than relying on the latest travel blog post, can join a travel Facebook Group.
If you are like the other 2 billion people for whom Instagram is one of their favorite social media platforms, then you are in luck. Just a hashtag search for, say, #americansinUK will bring up tons of photo posts of fellow Americans nearby.
You can scroll through the search results and any profiles you find interesting, send some simple DMs, and you might make new friends abroad!
Reddit is one of the world’s best online social messaging boards and a prime spot to search for and meet new people. If you search, you will find several posts from fellow new residents seeking to connect, and all you need to do is reply.
You can also join several subreddits, preview the travel comments page, and find individuals nearby who share similar interests. Alternatively, you can post and ask for a city tour from someone in your area.
Groups and Meet-Up Websites
Several sites and groups have built entire communities based on the concept of connecting random people. They are welcoming and an easy way to meet new people abroad. Also, because everyone there has the same goal of making new connections, the chances of finding a match are high.
Some of the top sites are:
MeetUp.com is arguably one of the best sites to find local activities in most locations. The site and the accompanying mobile app make it easy to meet locals everywhere.
If you find yourself in a new city or country, you can quickly find nearby social events and groups of people with shared interests. New residents can also join MeetUp and find events organized by local groups. Or they can create their own and invite former guests from MeetUp events to attend.
Meetup.com can also link ex-pats or fellow travelers with those who have similar interests.
The InterNations website is an excellent resource for new residents looking for local hangout spots. It has turned the global world into a personal travel blog for its users. Its members have access to details on several local events, and it has forums with details on how to meet locals nearby.
Over 420 cities are available on the site, and you can easily find new individuals or make ex-pat friends and exchange tips and ideas. With the number of different cities here, you might forgo city guides and use any free time you have to talk with the community there.
Couchsurfing is an excellent site for finding local connections in most new cities. It has an interactive map that allows users to find residents with free spaces to stay. It is one of the fastest ways to get in and meet people in any new place.
You can also book a coffee or meal date with residents on the app. Being from different cultures in a new country isn’t frowned upon, which makes it easy to meet interesting people.
International Dating Sites
Dating sites are also excellent places where you can meet interesting people from other countries. The popular ones have an international presence with a location filter that matches you with other community members nearby.
Several profiles are available for you to sift through. You can look for other members with backgrounds and lifestyles you like and contact them.
Below are dating sites to meet people in Latin America, Asia, and European countries.
Meet People from Latin America With AmoLatina.com
AmoLatina can be a helpful resource for finding new friends when traveling to Latin American countries. It is a good dating site with a clean layout, no spam, and a design focused on connecting people abroad. It has a diverse user base and is available in over 40 countries with over 20 million users. In my experience, it is a great way to date Latinas.
Some features are free: registering, creating a profile, sending the first message, and using the Let’s Mingle feature. But to truly enjoy the site (and get in contact with other members), you must subscribe for premium access and purchase credits. AmoLatina is available on Google Play and in the Apple App Store.
Meet People from Asia With AsianDate.com
AsianDate.com is an active dating site for meeting and connecting with like-minded people in Asian countries. The site has over 4 million users, with over 4000 daily logins. Each user has a detailed profile that contains all the information you need to decide whether you share similar interests.
The free version has useful features, such as free registration and profile creation, using search filters to find compatible partners, and reading messages sent by female members. But to enjoy premium features, like the different contacting options and viewing private photos/videos, you need to sign up for a membership and pay for credits. AsianDate has an Android application, which you can download here.
Meet People from Europe With EuroDate.com
EuroDate.com is an exclusive dating site active in multiple European countries. It is an excellent site for meeting Europeans because of its dominant European user base. It gives off a feel of a European cultural melting pot. It is a great way to meet single European women and men.
The site has an extensive verification process and a partner processing system, so there are few fake profiles. The fact that it is limited to mainly European countries is disappointing, though. It is only available on Android now, and you can get the app here.
Other Ways to Meet People Online
A few other online platforms combine their primary feature with the ability to help users meet new people. The networking features of these sites make them perfect for finding new friends abroad.
Meeting People in Person in Foreign Countries
Finding the most efficient way to meet people from other countries in person might seem daunting. The required personal touch adds another awkward barrier most people want to avoid. However, following the steps below and with some mental fortitude, you will be okay!
The following tips and advice can help you create opportunities for meeting people abroad in person:
Engaging in Local Activities and Local Events
One of the quickest ways to meet new people in any town or city is to participate in local activities. Residents are likely to interpret your presence there as an attempt to make new friends, and they are likely to respond accordingly.
There are three ways to do this:
- Making friends by volunteering
- Signing up for local activities
- Making new friends in language exchange groups
Making Friends By Volunteering
One of the most reliable ways to meet new friends and local people is to volunteer your time and expertise for social causes. It will widen the pool of people you interact with and open opportunities to meet more people.
Since volunteering is a selfless act, it will show the locals that they can be good friends with you and that you are a reliable person. Volunteering for services that interest you can significantly improve your chances of finding compatible friends.
Signing Up for Local Activities
Local gyms, clubs, and cooking classes are perfect spots to meet people in your local community. Most of these venues are always packed, and it only takes a simple hello at any of their gatherings to start a friendly chat.
For example, cooking classes allow locals and other members to exchange recipes and find creative ways to improve their cooking skills. Attend monthly meetings to increase your chances of meeting new friends.
When moving abroad, even in a small town, one of my first stops is the local gym. That usually ends with me meeting a fellow gym enthusiast, and since we share specific interests, we likely end up as friends.
Making New Friends in Language Exchange Groups
Language groups are classes with locals teaching new residents the local language. These are excellent places to start hanging out not only with people who live there but with other new residents, too. You can chat with local and foreign people and learn a few things about their culture while learning a new language!
Joining International Events and Groups
International groups operate in most countries around the world, and they are an easy way to travel and meet people from other countries. What better way to meet people than to be there?
You can do this in three ways:
- Participating in international events
- Registering for international groups
- Signing up to study in a foreign country
Participating in International Events
International events like the Olympics or soccer finals bring people from around the world to one location. It makes them excellent places to meet people abroad and connect. These events attract not just residents but also fellow foreigners. Being in these events will boost the likelihood of meeting someone who shares your interests.
Registering for International Groups
There are several worldwide organizations where you can register, and they will offer the option of working internationally. Groups like the Red Cross or the WWF offer their members the choice of working abroad, particularly those with college or university degrees. Signing up with an international group will increase your exposure to people from different nations.
Signing up To Study in a Foreign Country
For students, this is arguably the best way of making friends abroad. If studying in a foreign country is an option, the university or school environment ensures you’ll meet plenty of new people. Roommates, classmates, and locals are examples of people you will undoubtedly meet frequently.
Are You Ready to Meet Foreign People?
I hope you find this article helpful, and with some effort, you will get positive results.
Be proactive and try to engage with others as much as possible. Avoid using earphones in public settings, as they are universal signals to everybody that you want to be left alone.
Owning a pet, especially a dog is a big plus. Dog owners find other dog owners relatable, and a simple inquiry about their pet could lead to a beautiful friendship!
Also, my last advice is to take necessary safety precautions online and when meeting people in person in a new country. Don’t share too much personal information too fast, and make sure your loved ones know where you are at any given time.