CIGNA Expat Health Insurance

Settling In: Adjusting to Expat Life

Getting Adjusted at Work

Moving Abroad: Expat Clubs & Organizations

Expat Clubs & Organizations - Meeting People After You've Arrived Abroad

Expat Clubs & Organizations

The best way to meet people once you have arrived in your new country is to investigate local clubs and organizations. Some countries have very active embassy groups of expats. In Bangkok, you could fill your social calendar for a year with all the social events and parties given by the British Club, the Canadian Club and so on.

    A group that one of my friends who has lived in many countries is enthusiastic about is the Hash House Harriers, a club that exists in 178 countries. If you want to work on your public speaking skills while making new friends, Toastmaster's International might be the club for you.
  • Don't forget service organizations like the Lion's Club, Kiwanis Club and Rotary International. Make friends and provide service to your new community at the same time.
  • FAWCO, The Federation for American Women's Clubs Overseas, has a director of women's clubs abroad. Seach google for "International Women's Club" and "International Club + City Name" to find other clubs.
  • Another type of "club" where there are opportunities to meet people in your new home are health clubs. Offer to spot someone who is lifting weights or ask them how a certain machine works.
  • Register for public classes at one of the local language schools and meet other expats who you can laugh with as you struggle to learn the new language together.
  • A great way to meet locals is to join a local professional group in your industry. American Chambers of Commerce Abroad, British Chamber of Commerce's International Chambers and BNI, an international business networking organization, are all great options.
  • Investigate clubs based on specialized interests such as vintage cars, bass fishing or even short wave radio.
In the end, meeting people in a new country isn't too different than what you would do to make new friends in your own backyard.

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Using ExpatExchange.com

In addition to the suggestion above, ExpatExchange has a few ways to help you find local clubs and organizations:

  • Check our Club Listings submitted by expats.
  • Read throgh our City Profile Reports to get recommendations for other expats about clubs, organizations and activities for expats
  • Post an inquiry on the Country Forum asking other expats how to meet others in your new city or town.
  • Finally, use EE Connect to build an online network in your area. Suggest get togethers (in public places, please), ask people to submit events, etc.

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Related Links:

Margarita Gokun Silver

This Issue Written by Kendra Redman

Kendra Redman is a well traveled writer with a B.S. in Journalism and a Master's in Writing. She has lived in six countries and draws on her experience to write about her adventures and misadventures. One of her greatest travel accomplishments was once returning from a trip with two end tables and two lamps as her "carry on luggage."

She has been a contributor to websites such as InsideOutmag.com, freshome.com, iVillage.com, Vagablond.com and was a former country host for ExpatExchange.com. Kendra can be reached at: kredman2001@yahoo.com

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