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Making Friends in a Foreign Country

Updated: Jun 21, 2022

Between language barriers and cultural differences, making friends in a foreign country can seem daunting, but is actually arguably easier than in your home country.

This is probably one of my most commonly asked questions, and to be honest, I was a little surprised the first time I was asked how I made friends here in Prague because it never seemed to be any different than any other situation. I made most of my friends at my university; in class, in common areas, at parties, etc.

My university, Anglo American University, is fully taught in English, therefore, every student at my school is fully fluent in English, so there has never really been much of an issue as far as language barriers.

What about cultural differences? I honestly think it makes things more interesting. If you're someone who finds different cultures, languages, religions, histories, etc. fascinating then you'll easily be able to strike up a conversation with anyone in the international/expat community.

Why do I think it's easier to make friends abroad? Because anyone who is willing to make the big move to live in a foreign country is going to be like-minded individuals, so you're more likely to share common interests, like travel, language learning, or adventurous activities. Plus, being in an international environment is endlessly interesting, every time you meet a new person you learn something new and have a unique experience.

What if you don't have uni to fall back on? If you have a job, get to know your coworkers! And if you have no other outlet, Facebook groups are amazing! In every city, there are "Expats in ...." and "Female Expats in ...." Facebook groups you can find and meet English-speaking expats and immigrants. And if you don't feel comfortable with Facebook groups, try signing up for clubs or activities in English, try English taught yoga classes, running clubs, book clubs, rock climbing, etc. Just try not to do anything too touristy like a one-time cooking class or beer tour cause all you'll meet are people here for the week. Lastly, for those of you not shy to just walking up to other English speakers you hear and introducing yourself, try hanging out in known expat places. In Prague, it's places like the Globe bookstore, AMaze Tchaiovna, and Vzorkovna (Dog Bar).

There are more English-speaking people out there than you'd expect. Making friends in a foreign country is just as easy as anywhere else, if not easier.

Don't stress, you'll be a-okay,

xx Liza

Edited by Sophia Pedigo

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