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How to make local friends while living abroad


Everyone will tell you that living abroad is the best way to develop your language skills while broadening your horizons at the same time. But although living abroad can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, what you get out of it very much depends on how you choose to live there. If you’re going to learn German in Berlin, for instance, you’ll do far better by speaking to Germans on a regular basis than by sitting in a classroom. You might also discover historical snippets or viewpoints you won’t find in official accounts.

Living in Bulgaria, I knew about the country’s political history of communist rule and up-and-down economy, but I didn’t know – until a Bulgarian friend told me – how people used to smoke cigarettes rolled with paper torn from newspapers, because there was no rolling paper to be bought. The same friend took me to his parent’s farm in September for the wine harvest, and I enjoyed a day picking grapes and squashing them to pulp, with my bare feet, on the roof of the farmhouse – something I won’t forget in a hurry!

With all the carefully arranged living-abroad schemes available to travellers – the Erasmus programme for students, the opportunities to attend a special Italian or French summer camp – it’s easy to live for several months, or even years, in a foreign country without making any local friends. Many expat groups are easy to find on the internet, and they tend to hold regular meetups. By contrast, it can be difficult to break into the already tightly knit groups of locals you see around you. Many travellers assume that it will be pointless to try, so they retreat to the safety of their fellow international friends.

But Facebook and other community sites like thanksforthehelp ,bestonlineassignmenthelp   and topassignmentexperts are also great ways to find places and events where you will meet local people who share your interests – perhaps at a jazz club, poetry reading, or football stadium? Whichever country you’re in, there’ll be plenty of locals who’ll be excited to meet people from a different culture with varying levels of foreign language knowledge .

And if you’re an English speaker, take advantage of the fact many people will be glad to practise their English with you. While I was abroad, offering to check one girl’s application to an English university sealed our friendship and helped us spend more time together. Generally speaking, offering to help out is a good way to win friends – my friend’s father was as grateful to me for my help with the grapes as I was to him for the novel experience. Do favours whenever you can.

According to experts of essaywriter4u ,paperdoers and onlineassignmentwriting don’t be shy about announcing your desire to make friends. Nobody expects a new arrival to come with a complete social circle. Instead, people will often go out of their way to help you. Remember that, even if people look grumpy and disinterested on the outside, this may well be a simple cultural difference.

It took me a few months to realise that, although eastern European culture doesn’t lend itself to the wide grins and sparkly customer service of a country like Italy or Greece, people are just as warm-hearted once you start to speak to them.

As with most other aspects of living abroad, the key to making friends is to take the plunge. Smile at a workmate, a fellow student or a friendly person in a bar and ask if they’d like to get a coffee this week! Yes, it will be scary. And yes, it’ll be fantastic.

David Smith