Meeting other expats when you’re living abroad is actually really easy if you live in a global city. In fact, in my personal experience and those of other expats, making new American friends is way easier abroad than it is in the States.
#1) You automatically have a reason to start up a conversation
“You’re American!? I’m American too! Let’s be friends”. It’s literally that easy. Whereas in the States it might be awkward and probably even frowned upon to start up a random conversation with someone just because you share nationality (“You’re American?! Oh right, so is everyone else”).
#2) You’re both actively seeking friendship
It’s likely that any Americans you meet abroad are as equally eager, open and receptive to making new friends as you are. Plus, while it might be taboo to admit you’re looking for new friends in your home country, when you’re abroad, it’s expected. I mean, you’re in a foreign country where you don’t know anyone and you don’t speak the language! So no one judges an expat for actively seeking friends.
#3) You probably have a lot more in common than just being Americans abroad
In my research of Americans living and working in Buenos Aires, I found that the majority had a ton in common: most were liberal, educated, independent, adventurous, entrepreneurial, open-minded, well-travelled xenophiles. Combine #1 and #2 and your chances of developing a friendship with any Americans you meet abroad is pretty darn good.
#4) It’s easy to find each other
Every international city has a main webpage for the expat community. In Prague it’s expats.cz, in Buenos Aires it’s baexpats.org. Many urban expats utilize these websites to make social connections. In fact, some of my very best expat friends (and particularly, American friends) I met on expats.cz when I lived in Prague, and on baexpats.org here in Buenos Aires. And I’m not the only one. Many of the Americans in Buenos Aires that I interviewed had met expat friends through baexpats.org. One woman I interviewed told me that after an overwhelming response to her proposal to “do lunch” with other English-speaking women living in Buenos Aires on the baexpats.org forum, she ended up organizing an event attended by 27 women from North America and Europe.
And these main pages aren’t the only ways to find your fellow expats online. There are facebook groups, meetup groups, expat event invitations and more. In fact, pretty much every global city has a facebook group called “Expats in (name of any global city here)”. Endless opportunities for American expats to easily find themselves in situation #1- “you’re American? Me too”.
For information on how to meet expats in Buenos Aires, check out Top 5 ways to meet expats in Buenos Aires.