Putting down roots in another country can be a daunting task even for the most extrovert among us. A new language, culture, traditions and a completely different way of life takes time to get used to and it’s always easier when you have friends around you.

But how do you go about making new friends when you don’t know anybody? The simple answer is that you need to get out there and meet new people. But nobody wants to walk the streets asking for somebody to be their friend, so let’s take a look at a few more structured ideas that won’t get you so many strange looks!

Meetup groups

Even if you aren’t a great fan of social media, you have to accept that it is one of the best ways to connect with people in your area. Facebook is full of groups for both Brits and other nationalities with suggestions for days out, meals, drinks and various other activities where you can get to know people. 

You always have one thing in common and that is living in Spain while getting used to a completely different life. Build on this and you will soon get to know people with similar interests to you that will provide a great support network as you embark on your adventure.

Beyond social media, there are specialist websites such as meetup.com that provide activities similar to the ones mentioned above.

Play games online

If you aren’t quite ready for getting out there and meeting people in person just yet, then how about connecting with like-minded souls through iGaming?

Whether it is video games or the best new slot sites, there are ways to make friends while enjoying your favourite hobby. Multiplayer video games are a more obvious choice, as you get to interact while working your way through a battlefield or any other type of simulation. But slot sites can also provide tournaments where you get to go up against other players in an attempt to beat their score and climb a leaderboard. There are also live dealer games which allow you to interact with the host and chat with other players if you wish.

Expat bars

Expat bars are a great place to hang out and chat with not only expats but also Spanish people who are interested in learning English. There is a familiarity that you can’t find in a small Spanish bar—just yet—and you might even get to watch your favourite football matches on the TV as well! 

Try not to fall into the trap of only frequenting Irish bars and other such establishments, as you won’t exactly turn into an integrated social butterfly in your new Spanish community. The locals are very aware that foreigners tend to stick to what they know and they will get a little disgruntled if your language level doesn’t advance and you don’t know anything about the local traditions.

Language exchange

Remember that making new friends isn’t all about staying in your comfort zone and it’s important to spend as much time with the Spanish locals as possible. The benefits of a language exchange are endless and one of the biggest advantages is improving your Spanish skills. 

Once your Spanish level starts to increase, you’ll be able to have more in-depth conversations and get to know people on a completely different level.

As well as dedicated websites that can connect you with Spanish people who would like to swap English for Spanish conversation, you will always find bars that host conversation exchange evenings as well. Having a relaxing drink while chatting may help loosen you up and get you well on your way to finding a new set of friends.

Sports clubs

If you love football, tennis or any other type of sporting activity, then there may be a local club that you can join. Not only do you get to improve your fitness but you can also make some new friends at the same time. 

Usually, these clubs are made up of both expats and Spanish people, so you get to experience the best of both worlds. Expats can be really useful for helping you settle in, while your new Spanish friends will give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture. 

Having a common interest is a great way to start a new connection.

Volunteer

You can make friends while giving something back to your new society by searching for volunteer opportunities. Within your area, there will be loads of different ways to get involved and you’ll also be helping others out at the same time. Whether it is improving the natural environment with rubbish collection teams, assisting at a food bank, or perhaps even walking rescue dogs, the benefits to both you and others are endless, so why not take a chance?

Evening classes

If you are interested in studying a certain subject or perhaps even stretching out those muscles at a yoga session, you’ll be able to combine an evening class with making friends.

Again, you have a common place to start from, so the proverbial ice is already broken and you just need to build on this new connection. You can search for these classes on both social media and local websites in your area. The local town hall or ‘ayuntamiento’ may also have a decent website with links to some interesting options.

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