Moving abroad to live can be a very daunting prospect. A good support network is essential, but it can take some time to get to know people when you move somewhere new. All over the world there are British expats in the same boat, and there are some tried and tested methods of meeting people, exchanging tips and sharing ideas.
Anywhere in the world where there is a large concentration of expats, there will be a local British club or association. Typically these associations will host various social events through the year and are the ideal place to meet people. The hard bit is going along for the first time and forcing yourself to speak to people you don’t know, but people are open and friendly to newcomers and you’ll fit in easily. You don’t need to get into lengthy conversation with everyone you meet, just smile and say hello and let them know you’re open to chatting if they want to.
Even before you move you can get online and start getting ideas and tips from people who are already living overseas. Internet forums for expats are all over the web, so look for one specific to the area you live in or for parents with young children or whatever applies to you best. Facebook can also be a good way to research what is going on in the city or region where you live overseas and using the internet to make new contacts is free, simple and something which can be done from the comfort of your sofa.
Office or School
If you are living overseas with children, school or playgroup can be a valuable source of contacts with the other parents. Many British expat children attend international schools, so get onto the PTA and make contact that way. International companies which employ a large number of expat staff also have an active social scene, and many will have staff dedicated to helping new arrivals settle in and to help with all of those local customs and peculiar laws which newcomers find hard to grasp.