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Expat Challenges – Making Friends and Building Relationships

20th May 2016

Expat Challenges – Making Friends and Building Relationships

Making friends anywhere is tough, while it's easier for some people the majority of us when we start a new job or move into a new neighbourhood will likely feel at little awkward when trying to make new friends. Now imagine how difficult and impossible it can seem when you move to a new country.

While making the move will be and exciting moment afterwards a sense of loneliness or isolation can easily come over you. But making friends and building relationships is easier than you think, let's look at some of tips that can help you.

Smile – You don't have to go around grinning 24/7 that will probably have the opposite effect but small things like a small smile now and then will make you more approachable and friendly after all the smile is an international language isn't it? Brits especially might struggle with this one (we're more a handshake kind of people) but you'll get used to it.

Show an Interest in People – Whether it's someone at work or a person who simple stops you in the street to ask about where you're from, showing an interest in what people are saying is a great way to build rapports with people and break down any barriers. Remember a stranger is just a friend you haven't met.

Lay on the Charm – A little flattery never hurts does it? After all out of the places to live you choose Turkey so why not share your reasons with some locals. Many Turks will be quite pleased even if they don't admit it to hear you tell them why you love Turkey so much. You'll make them and their country feel important and make yourself quite endearing in the process.

Find Your Fellow Expats - Remember not everyone is going to be Turkish, Turkey is the home of many people from all around the world and has a very culturally diverse population. So remember to show some interest in other expats and don’t be afraid of asking for advice they’ll likely be able to share plenty of useful advice with you.

Learn some Turkish – I had a friend once who after much pining finally managed to get a date with the Turkish women of his dreams after learning to ask her out in Turkish. Now I' am not sure I believe this story completely (my friends quite the storyteller) but learning a little Turkish is certainly a great way to impress and endear yourself to locals.

Research Your Local Area – Doing a little research on your local neighbourhood is great way to make friends, find out if there’s any local clubs or groups or whether there’s any expat communities ect. Having a little local knowledge will go a long way towards helping you make friends. 

Don't Be Afraid – Probably the best advice I can give you is to not be afraid you didn’t move to a new country to stay by yourself did you? So don't be afraid of joining in if you see some people having a kick about at the park ask to join in, if you see an event that looks fun or interesting go to it.

Use Social Media and Travel Communities – If you’ve tried the other approached and aren’t having much luck don’t panic the internet is here to help. You’ll find plenty of expats and Turkish community groups online for places all around Turkey. And there’s also travel focused community sites like InterNations which you can join for free. The site hosts a variety of expat only events in a wide range of areas like music, tours and group dining.

Remember don't isolate yourself or avoid doing things because you feel like you won't fit in or you'll make a mistake. The Turkish people whether local Turks or our many expat communities have a reputation for friendliness and for making people feel welcome and it's a reputation that's well earned so don't worry and be brave!


Written by David Varty - YellAli Content Team






Turkish Residence Permit

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