Go to local events, such as concerts and festivals; they're great places to meet new people.
The more you go to one place, the more the locals will start to chat to you and you’ll soon become part of the fixtures and fittings.
Back home, you may have been brought up to ‘not talk to strangers’, but when you go abroad everyone is a stranger – so how can you make new friends? Follow your instincts and be careful – meet new friends in public places and with colleagues if you can. Be sensible – obviously don’t go to someone’s house you’ve just met without other people you know and trust going with you!
Joining a gym, a language class, or even volunteering is a great way to make new friends.
Don’t be shy – invite your colleagues and friends to do things together. They will no doubt return the favour.
This is a great way to meet locals and other expats (not just teachers). Some countries have them in abundance, others don’t. These are usually advertised through word of mouth, or you can check out Facebook pages and Google “expats in *country*.”
A smile really does go a long way! Make yourself approachable and chat to people – shop keepers, bar staff, anyone.
Learn the local language and get a friend thrown in to boot. You may then meet their friends and their friend’s friends.
Yes, some countries do have them!
Whilst it may be a taboo in your country, many countries view this as the best way to make new friends and it’s seen as neither strange nor unusual. Try looking for Facebook groups, you never know what someone has already set up!
Try not to criticise the ways of the country you are in – this won’t endear you to potential friends and may make them hesitant to continue the friendship. Remember: It’s not wrong, it’s just different!
It’s tempting, but this will limit your opportunities to meet local people and it will make you less likely to make an effort to do so.
When in Rome, do what the Romans do!
Want to know more?
You can get your TEFL qualification or find a work placement through i-to-i’s Teach English abroad website.
It’s tempting to get carried away with the excitement of going to a new country and being accepted for a job. But before you start packing your suitcase, make sure you check out the conditions.
It’s hardly difficult to see Thailand’s appeal, but just in case you need a little persuading as to how amazing TEFLing there would be, check out these 7 reasons to teach in Thailand.