How to easily meet people and make friends when you move abroad

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Exactly three months ago I moved abroad. I was very excited and looking forward to it, but at the same time I had some concerns, being my very first experience of living outside my country (even outside my city). One of the things on my mind was how would I build a social life there, considering the fact that I was going to be on my own, without family, friends or any familiar face from back home.

Of course if you move abroad for studies or for a new job, that would be the first and very obvious way to meet people (your colleagues). But there are ways to meet other people as well, outside your working team or university colleagues.

I've heard  stories with people that did not quite enjoy living abroad because they didn't manage to make friends there, so they were always home sick and feeling lonely. I didn't want my experience to be like this, although I knew it can be difficult to meet people and build friendships in this circumstances. But not impossible. 

Even before leaving my country I did my research, so here are some ideas (that actually work) on how to meet people when you are living abroad:

Ask around
Tell your friends, post a Facebook updated or whatever, just let people know that you are going to move in one particular city and definitely someone will put you in contact with a person that is already living there.

Meetup is a platform that facilitates offline meetings between people from the same area, called meetups. Meetups are "neighbors getting together to learn something, do something, share something". You can create an account and join groups of your interest. You will find there people that have the same hobbies and interests as you. You will then receive updates about the next meetings that you could join and that's it - attend the meetups and enjoy!

Language Exchange Meetings
I mentioned them here and here. Basically, at these meetings you find people from different countries, as well as local people, and you speak with them in a common language that you both/all know. It is a way to practice a foreign language and also help others improve their abilities to speak in your native language. Language Exchange Meetings are a great way to interact with people, have interesting conversations and build friendships.

Meeple is a social platform connecting tourists and locals all around the world for any joint activity. You would normally use it when travelling, to meet with other people that are visiting the same city at the same time or to meet with locals. But it also works the other way around. You can type in your new city - it will then show you the locals (as well as the travellers who will visit it) so you can contact them and ask them to meet.

Couchsurfing community
Couchsurfing is a platform through which you can find a place where to spend the night as a guest (for free) in someone's house when travelling or to offer your couch (your home) to host a traveller. Once you join the community you can find events and meetings in your city and, yep, join them.

Facebook groups
Join local Facebook groups: groups of your city, groups for events, hobby groups and so on. You can post a message that you have just moved there and you want to meet locals or that you are looking to meet with someone who can show you around etc. You will find out that people can be really nice and eager to welcome you.

This is a great way to spend your free time. Not only you will be involved and bring a positive change in the local community but you will also develop yourself and, of course, meet a lot of nice and friendly people. The are a lot of causes and NGOs out there and you are more than welcomed to join any of them.

Okay, I gave you these ideas so now you have a starting point. But the most important thing is for you to be open and willing to meet new people. So don't stay at home: go to parties, go to events, meet friends of your new friends, don't say no to invitations. You will see that soon enough you will be surrounded by amazing people and you will feel thankful for having them around. At least that's how I feel.

Did you go through a similar experience? How did you manage to meet people?