New friends smiling
Making friends while living abroad is no easy task. Between language and culture barriers, it might seem easier to simply stick to your own kind — but that’s no way to travel! In order to make the most of your time away from home, follow these few simple rules to open yourself up, make friends, and build connections...
Women at a table talking
The first time I met Michaela, she told me she loved to speak Spanish and had been learning it since she was a child. As a lover of languages myself, I instantly felt close to her and wanted to get to know her better. Michaela and I would laugh together as we exchanged untranslatable words and expressions, like slang...
Becoming a newcomer is never easy. Learning the lay of the land takes time and patience. Yet meeting locals can help smooth the transition.
When you move to a new country you know nothing. You know so little that you don’t even know that you know nothing. Adjusting to life in a new country means you encounter people constantly telling you “how things work here” who realize you have no knowledge with which to defend yourself.
Extrovert singing karaoke
You walk into a room full of strangers and it's like you're back at a junior school disco. The nearest group has been talking about a show you've never heard of for the last five minutes. You've missed your chance to jump in. You curse yourself for not being an extrovert. Will it ever get easier?
Meeting people in Sweden for dinner
Meeting new people in Sweden can be a daunting experience, especially when you are not sure of the local social codes — those which influence when and how is it acceptable to approach someone, what questions are off-limits and at what pace friendships progress.
Home?
Over the 10 years that I have lived abroad, I have heard a variation of this phrase a number of times. Sometimes it was “I” instead of “we”; sometimes a specific country or town was mentioned. It always bugged me, because while friends and acquaintances decided to consolidate their lives and relationships, my own...