Moving abroad and creating a new life in a different country can be really hard, especially when you have no friends or family to support you. It’s therefore not surprising that expats tend to enjoy each other’s company and support, and there are many associations and groups around the world which help with this.
One of the most popular websites with expats is simply called Meetup, and the beauty of this site is that anyone can register and set up their own group for a specific group of people in a defined area. The site isn’t aimed only at the expat community, but is a good starting point for making contact with other expat families or local who share similar interests or hobbies. You can also browse through the site before you leave the UK, and start emailing or contacting people so that you have already started building up a network of friends before leaving home.
English Language Newspapers
In areas where there is a high percentage of British expats one of the best sources of meet up groups is the local English language newspaper. As well as being a valuable source of news and local information, the paper will carry adverts for groups, societies and social events for the expat community. Most of these papers will also have a website, making it easy for expats to keep in touch wherever they are living.
For families moving abroad with children, there will often be an active social scene around the local English-speaking school. For new arrivals it can seem intimidating if everyone else seems to have formed friendship groups already, but if expats make the effort to make friends and volunteer for everything going, it is possible to form a large circle of friends very quickly. Other parents can provide huge amounts of information about childcare, schooling and other issues such as accommodation too.
Caledonian and Irish Societies
Even if you don’t have a drop of Scottish or Irish blood, the Scottish and Irish societies across the globe can be great places to meet other expats as well as locals, and have a great time in the process. The Caledonian societies across the world hold Burns Suppers and ceilidh dances as well as promoting the interests of Scotland overseas. There are similar organisations for Welsh and Irish interests, but as yet there is not an established network of English societies.