How to find fellow expats

by Corey Sebens / Apr 18, 2011 /

One of the hardest things about teaching English in Central and Eastern Europe, especially if you're in a rural area, is finding other native English speakers to engage with. I didn't realize the effect that this had on me until about 3 months in to my stay. I was anxious to discuss things with fellow Americans and find out if any people lived by me the rural area I lived in. Then, I met a girl from Minnesota who lived in a small town just 40km away from me. A 640 forint bus ride away! If you're looking to teach English in Central/Eastern Europe, the following resources are a great way to meet your fellow expats.

How to find fellow expats

1.  InterNations Groups

InterNations hosts events in Budapest every month.  Although my schedule has conflicted with most of their meetings so far, they seem to hold regular meetings and there is an active community.  InterNations has groups for expats around the world, so if you're not in Hungary like I am, be sure to check out their website to see if they have a chapter in your area!

2.  Transitions Abroad

My favorite website, Transitions Abroad, has an enormous expat resource section - take a look!

 

3.  Go to the popular bars that English speakers go to (in the nearest city)

If you're in Hungary, this means Szimpla Kert, Instant, and Morrison's. I've met fellow English teachers here nearly every time I've went. I met my "neighboring" English teacher in Szimpla late on a Saturday. Most Americans and Brits are very social in the bars, so it shouldn't be hard to find a fellow countryman!

4. Meet Ups

There are meetups all around the world. Dig into the site and find one near you (or start one)!

5. Expat Finder

This website, expat finder, is a treasure trove of goodness, from meeting fellow expats to all kinds of resources.

6. Love Running?

The Hash House Harriers are running and drinking groups worldwide. Find your location via their facebook page.

Support systems are always good no matter where you are. In addition to your employer and friends in your local community, it's nice to have a refreshing face and expat to share experiences with and get advice. 

 

What are your best tips for creating an expat support system?

 

 

Corey Sebens is the ESL Teaching in Central Europe Editor

 

This article was originally published in 2011, and updated in 2017.