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Moving to Europe can be a big thing, and knowing what to expect can make your stay much more pleasant. While you wouldn’t categorize Europe as an unfamiliar or a distant culture, there are some differences and things you can expect. However, you shouldn’t generalize about people there as Europe has many different cultures, traditions, and world views you might find surprising. Don’t worry though, as adapting to a new cultural environment doesn’t mean you always have to be on your toes. The first thing you’ll need to worry about is organizing a move, which can be easily done by hiring some the international movers USA. After you settle in, you will feel great relief, as the whole process will take a lot of energy. Once that’s done you can start looking for some company, so here’s how to make friends in Europe as an expat.
What makes an expat and why do they often choose Europe?
The term expat usually refers to a British or American national, who works remotely outside of their countries. Many people use the opportunity to travel the world and meet different people and cultures around the globe. However, expats usually settle in one foreign country and are different from digital nomads in that sense. One of the most popular European countries for US expats is Luxembourg. If you consider moving to Luxembourg from the US, make sure you enlist help from professional movers.
Benefits of being an expat in Europe
While being an expat offers an opportunity to meet other people, it’s not all about travel. There’s also another, a financial layer that often benefits expats. You may get a working visa and pay taxes in the country of your residence. This may result in earning extra cash, but you should get your hopes too high when it comes to Europe and low taxes.
However, paying taxes in Europe gives access to many social services such as free healthcare. If you manage to get a working visa and get into some of the European systems, you won’t have to worry about savings in case you get ill, or about purchasing health insurance. Most of the states will provide it automatically if you’re in their social system. This doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to have private health insurance, but it usually only covers cases that the state insurance doesn’t include.
If these things sound like a great opportunity for you, you should get in touch with international household movers and consider making that big step. You can always come back if you don’t like it, but you’ll be richer for that experience.
How to make friends in Europe as an expat?
Relocation is never easy, especially if you are moving alone to Europe. However, once you settled in, you will slowly start to adapt. But, that process will never be complete unless you connect with the local environment. Nothing beats having a friendly local guide or having a few friends that you can go out with for a drink. However, it may seem scary having to push yourself in that direction. Not everyone is comfortable with meeting new people, even if they yearn for it.
If you had a local job and worked in a collective, that would be your first connection. On the other hand, working remotely doesn’t set you up for meeting anyone outside of your own efforts. But don’t worry, because there are a few things you can do to make things a bit easier.
Volunteer with the local initiative in Europe
You will need to be a part of some collective to make new friends, instead of randomly bumping into people and trying to socialize. That can be stressful both for you and the person you’re trying to talk to, so you shouldn’t it. On the other hand, a collective action towards the common goal enables spontaneous bonding with the people around you, and that’s how to make friends in Europe as an expat. It’s a start, at least.
If people around you see that you are committed and volunteering towards a local goal, they will view you as a compassionate person who sees beyond their own needs. Additionally, if you’re volunteering towards a noble goal, that can be a reward in itself.
Check out local sports clubs as an expat
Sports clubs or the gym are great places to meet new people. Likeminded people with healthy habits can easily understand each other. It’s another great starting point and an opportunity for things to build up naturally. Still, you shouldn’t restrict yourself only to socializing in the gym, as you might miss out on a lot of interesting people.
Moving forward after making the first connections
Whether you choose to mingle around activists, a local initiative, or meet people who are into sports, you should elevate those relationships if you want to make real friends. This isn’t something you can do artificially, but it does need a little push. Try to think about an occasion fitting your relationships. Don’t be cold but don’t be too pushy either.
Invite friends over for dinner
You might consider inviting some people you met over for dinner. Food is a great opportunity to show that you’re committed to someone because it takes some effort to prepare it. Inviting people into your home will be a nice gesture and most people will know to appreciate it. You shouldn’t invite anyone over just to make any friends, but be patient and you’ll know when the time is right.
Don’t be too pushy and maybe let your new European friends invite you to their place before asking them to come over again. Everyone likes to have their own space and advance relationships at their own pace. Try to understand the social sensibility of the people around you and they will always enjoy your company. If you don’t like hosting social events at your place, inviting a group of people for a night out at the club dancing to some funky music can also bring you closer together. However, sitting across the table is more intimate and will help you create stronger relationships.