How to Make Friends in a Foreign Country

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The international traveler for business or pleasure will find herself invariably solo from time to time. Here are a few ways to increase your social circle and perhaps even your travel opportunities.

Things You'll Need

  • Small photo album
  • Digital camera
  • Charm, wit and humor
  • Make yourself easy to befriend. Look pleasant, be polite and put yourself in social situations. Cafes, restaurants, museums and shops are all great places to meet people. Tourist areas attract tourists, so if you want to make local friends in a country you love, stay near the local haunts.

  • Keep a small photo album in your carry on baggage when you travel. Photos of family, friends, pets and adventures will allow your new friends to learn more about who you are and give you things to talk about.

  • Ask lots of questions about the city you are in to local folks. Most locals are proud of their cities and will be willing to play ambassador for you.

  • Offer something up. Can you help your new friend improve their English? Can you cook a traditional American meal? By sharing your expertise and experience you can create a bond with your new friend that they won't soon forget.

  • Get the goods. Many foreigners love American products but are forced to pay a premium when buying in their homeland. Levis, Ray Bans, movies and magazines all make great gifts or exchanges. Who doesn't love French chocolate or Chinese silk?

  • Arrange an apartment swap. If you and your new friend hit it off and all is good, you can give your information and arrange to exchange apartments for your next trip. This allows you to strengthen friendships, travel more and live like a local abroad.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep in touch. Make sure you swap emails and information and periodically contact your new friend.
  • Take photos during your visit and email them to your new friend.
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