Coming to a new city and not knowing anyone there can feel lonely. After all you are in an unknown place away from your parents and friends. However interning abroad is a great opportunity to meet people from all over the world and have amazing experiences. So, here are 5 ways you can make new friends at your Erasmus internship.
1. Attend local events
Every country has local events that can’t be experienced anywhere else in the world, for example music festivals or cultural gatherings. The key to making friends is getting out of your comfort zone and being open minded. Find out about current events online and participate in as many activities as possible. However just attending the events won’t guarantee you will make new friends, you also have to approach people and start a conversation.
2. Use social media
There are many social media apps you can use to make friends. For example, Meetup is an app, which you can use to meet groups of people with common interests. However, probably the best way to make friends is to join Facebook groups of students and expats and participate in the events which people post. These could be anything from sports events, parties, to casual hangouts. You can also message people who will be going to the same event and arrange to go together. This way you are not going totally alone and already have people to spend time with at the event.
3. Live in a shared apartment
If you are open to sharing a room or an apartment with other people, then this is a great way to make lifelong friends. You will be spending a lot of time with your flatmates, so you will definitely need to get used to each others routines and there is a risk that you might not get along with them. That’s why this option is not ideal for everyone, but if you are open to it then you can have some great experiences.
4. Hang out with your co-workers
You will be spending a lot of time at your internship placement. So, try to find other interns at your company, as they will also be looking to make friends. Don’t be afraid to speak to your other colleagues too and invite them for a coffee after work. There will most likely be some after-work events organised at your company, always try to attend them as this way you have the opportunity to meet more people and get closer with them.
5. Take a language course or join a club
Taking a language course will give you a chance to meet and befriend other foreigners living in the country. Along with that, knowing the language will help you meet more local people. As, they are generally very happy to see foreigners speaking in the local language and it can lead to interesting conversations.
On the other hand, joining a club is a great way to meet people with similar interests. So join a club which you are passionate about, it could be a dance group, a sports club or any other club. There you will for sure meet many local people who share the same passion.