One of the biggest quarrels that some people have about living, working, studying, or interning abroad is that they won’t know anyone.
This is a very common concern which you can overcome by just being more proactive.
If you’re planning on doing an international internship or currently looking to make friends overseas, then you’ve come to the right place.
Here we list 12 very useful tips on how to make friends during your internship abroad.
1. Meet Up With Other International Interns
Meeting up with other interns is a very good place to start when trying to make friends abroad.
Check and see if there are other people interning in your company, as they may be looking to make friends also.
If you’re interning through a provider like Asia Internship Program, they can connect you with the intern community which makes it much easier to make friends.
Victoria Fruzzetti, an intern with AIP says, “I met some great friends through the program and really couldn’t have asked for a better experience.”
2. Go To Networking Events
Going to networking events is a great way to meet new people.
Yes, most people go to networking events for business purposes, although you never know who you’ll meet.
Often times the conversations at these events aren’t work related and you can have some very friendly and easy going talks.
Maybe you won't meet your new BFF here, but attending networking events are a great way to be more social.
3. Social Media Is Your Friend
This one may come as no surprise but has to be mentioned.
There are so many social media outlets that you can use to help you make friends.
Facebook groups are an ideal way to “e-meet” new people and schedule various social activities in your community.
Meetup applications are greats tools to also use. For example, Tinder Social and Meetup are popular apps that are used worldwide and are unique alternatives to Facebook.
4. Take A Language Course
There are many benefits to taking a language course during your internship abroad.
Firstly for obvious reasons, you get to learn a new language.
But even more than that, you have the chance to take a class with other foreigners.
This is a unique way to meet new people and put yourself in a better position to make friends.
Duke Language School provides a very engaging and effective Thai language course.
5. Go Out With Your Coworkers
This is an easy tip to start with if you’re struggling to make friends.
When you’re a new intern with a company, don’t be surprised if your coworkers invite you to go out.
Your colleagues will want you to feel welcomed and part of the team.
Often times companies will have a once a week dinner or after working hours activity to boost the team morale.
6. Go Dating
Everyone loves dating right?
Well in this instance we aren't necessarily saying you're going to meet the love of your life. But dating is a great opportunity to meet new people and have fun.
However, don't take dating too seriously during your international internship because you're only in that country for a limited time.
And if you do happen to meet your future significant other, then that's a win-win situation.
7. Get Out Of Your Room
Get out of your room. This one may seem so simple but it’s a major step in making friends.
After a long week at your internship you may feel like watching TV all weekend, but its important to go out and be social.
Take it from Study International, "spending too much time in front of a screen can be a real handicap when it comes to the social game."
Social anxiety or a feeling of homesickness may come over you during your internship abroad but the best way to get over these emotions is to get out of your room and be active.
8. Discover The Nightlife In Your New City
Here’s a fun tip to take advantage of.
Go and explore the nightlife on a Friday night or whenever you have free time away from your internship.
Derrick from NewLifeESL says, “Going out at night is a great way to meet friends when you first arrive in a new city. It’s also a great spot where you can go with your co-workers to build stronger bonds while off the clock.”
You’re sure to find a club, bar, or some kind of entertainment venue which you will enjoy and have the chance to make friends.
9. Join A Club
A great way to meet new people during your internship abroad is to join a local club.
By joining a club you have the opportunity to make new friends who have the same interests as you.
There are all kinds of social clubs for you to join that can help you make friends including sports, arts, cultural and many other various clubs.
Meeting people who have similar interests as you is a great way to establish and grow a circle of friends.
10. Stay Up To Date With Local Events
When you’re doing an internship in a new country it’s expected that you won’t have knowledge of local venues and events in the area.
So it’s beneficial for you to discover and learn about hotspots to visit.
For example, a website like Eventbrite is a perfect tool that you can use to stay up to date with the latest events in your locale.
Eventbrite posts events such as concerts, parties, seminars, sport events and so much more.
This is a great way to make friends during your internship abroad.
11. Live With Roommates
This tip may not be for everyone because there are people who value privacy and prefer to live alone.
But for those that are open to living with roommates, this is a great way to make new friends.
How do you find a roommate to live with, you may ask.
Facebook groups like we mentioned earlier is a great tool to use when looking for roommates.
Expats, students, and other interns are always looking for other roommates to live with.
12. Checkout The Expat Community
After settling into your new placement country for your internship, it’s a great idea to discover the expat community in your area.
Most major cities around the world have a prominent expat community.
Erin from Surviving Europe gives some good advice. "When you move abroad, look for the support of other expats. As expats, there will be something that bonds you together."
Make Friends During Your Internship In Asia
These 12 tips should get you started into making friends during your internship abroad.
However, it's up to you to apply these tips to good use. Don't forget to be brave, open minded and friendly.
After you meet some people it's very important to stay connected with them.
Sonja from Migrating Miss gives some useful advice.
"Don't wait to be asked what you're doing on the weekend, be the one to ask or put the idea out about organizing something."