An expatriate, quite simply, is someone who lives outside their native country. While this can be a very exciting opportunity, it can also bring with it isolation, anxiety and social awkwardness due to the language barrier. That’s why it’s so important to find others who are in the same boat as you in order to make meaningful, long-lasting connections.
But where can you start?
It may seem like the last thing you want to do, but get out there and hit the local spots. Chances are, other expats are doing the same thing in an effort to meet new people. While your first priority is to meet NEW people from the land you’re visiting, it can be helpful at first to adapt to this environment with other like-minded people that hail from your native land. You can help each other get over the culture shock and bounce ideas off each other.
Head online to find helpful resources of where to find other expatriates. BRIC Language Systems has a great resource center that includes the addresses of many websites designed for this very purpose. These websites can point you in the right direction, whether you’re considering the expat life or are already immersed in it. Learn how to navigate through various countries, connect with people from your homeland, prepare for jobs, coordinate gifts, find events near you, and understand immigration rules and regulations.
Explore Local Chambers of Commerce and Associations
There’s a whole lot more to business than conferences and meetings. Everyone enjoys a cocktail social, after-dinner drinks, tea breaks, wine parties and networking events that put us in touch with others. Find out where your local chambers of commerce and local business associations are located, get in touch, and immerse yourself in the offerings. By taking an active role in your introduction to the country, you are putting yourself out there to connect with expats who may also be feeling lonely and out of sorts. Take it a step further and become a member when you feel comfortable with the language and culture.
Social media is a terrific tool to reach out to others and keep your finger on the pulse of what’s important. Sites like InterNations make it easy to become a part of the community and feel like home, all while maintaining a connection to where you came from. There are many advantages to social media in this instance. According to Global Living Magazine, you can keep up with the news at home, learn more about your new destination, stay updated on local gossip and regional updates, find the best local restaurants, stay on top of the latest weather, and keep tabs on trends related to property, schooling, the economy and employment rates.
Find out more tips for connecting with expatriates by visiting BRIC Language Systems.