How to Meet Other Expats in NYC

New York City is a sprawling town filled with people, food, art, and culture from all over the world. However, with over eight million residents, it can be surprisingly difficult to meet people. Sometimes, in cities so big and energetic, it can be twice as hard to find your place, your friends, and that feeling of home. Thankfully, due to the high number of expats in the city, New York makes it easy for new residents to find others going through the same transition.

Take a Class
There is a countless number of classes (art, cooking, beer brewing and yoga just to name a few) that are easily accessible to anyone in the city. Find an activity that suits you or one that you enjoy, and sign up for a class. You will be surrounded by a group of people who enjoy the same type of activity, and socializing with them won’t be too overwhelming as you will all be in a smaller, more intimate environment. Chances are, one other person in your photography or wine class isn’t originally from New York either. Strike up a conversation and ask them how they learned how to adjust.

Join a Sports Team
If you are looking for a more hands-on experience with other people, try joining a soccer club or a basketball team. Again, being surrounded by people with similar interests will facilitate conversation and bond you quickly with people who enjoy similar things. Joining a sports team will give you the chance to get out of your apartment, stay active, and meet friends that can help you transition smoothly into your new life in the big city.

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Find a Cause You Care About
If service is important to you, then do not hesitate to get involved! Tons of New Yorkers actively participate in some sort of volunteering. If you are interested in giving back to your community or the city in general, search around for some service opportunities. This will give you the opportunity to meet like minded people who care about the causes that resonate with you. Whether it is serving lunch in a homeless shelter or planting a community garden, getting involved will allow you to make a positive change and socialize with people who want to do the same.

Expat Meet Ups
Since so many internationals call New York City home, several expat specific meet up groups have been created. A lot of these groups are based on nationality and home country (for example, there are groups that exist for Brits living in NYC), but there are also some that are based on hobbies and interest. Research meet ups in your area or in other parts of the city so you will have an opportunity to speak and connect with others that have gone through, or are currently going through, very similar situations.

Facebook Groups
Like a physical expat meetup, a group on social media provides a connection but with less of a time commitment. Maybe you are a little too busy to go to a meetup or want to start meeting people from the comfort of your home. Utilizing social media is a quick and easy way to introduce yourself to the world of expats in NYC and get a feel for certain social situations that may arise.  There are countless expat resources online for cities all over the world and New York is of course no exception.

Kim Hill