Going to work abroad? 5 tips for meeting new people
Part of the charm of going to work abroad is getting to know the residents of the country where you decide to work. However, meeting new people when you are working abroad can be challenging. Here are five ways to connect with people while you are employed overseas:
Live with a co-worker or a roommate
There is no experience like sharing space with people to learn about their language, culture, traditions and values. Presumably, they will bring their friends and relatives to the home, which will naturally expand your circle of acquaintances. You also may be invited to accompany your housemates to dinners and parties with their friends.
Find a recreational group
If you like to play chess or hit the soccer field when at home, there is a strong possibility people with similar interests reside in your country of employment. Shared activities like hiking, biking or playing chess, will lead to other social activities, such as going out for a drink or dinner. However, if you cannot find a volleyball team or another recreational group, start one of your own. Post a notice on a bulletin board, search online and ask co-workers to join up.
Start or join an overseas employment group
You already know you share a common interest since you are in the same industry. Chances are, as you develop a work relationship, it will evolve with offers to join co-workers for dinner or drinks.
Find a mentor
If you are in or near a city, there is a good chance it has an expatriate community with people who are familiar with going to work abroad and already have learned the ropes. Sure, you moved to immerse yourself in the language and culture, but sometimes it feels good to experience a little bit of home.
Express an interest
Small talk often can go a long way toward jump-starting relationships when going to work abroad. Strike up conversations with neighbors, local shop owners, and other employees.