20 Effective Ways to Make Friends as an Expat in The Netherlands

20 Effective Ways to Make Friends as an Expat in The Netherlands

Navigating the social landscape as an expat in the Netherlands can be challenging!
Where do you start and how do you start meeting new people? Especially with a busy schedule this can be difficult.Making new friends is important to make you feel at home in your new country. Meeting new people and making new friends should be a lot easier! And we are here to help! Here are 20 Effective Ways to Make Friends as an Expat in The Netherlands. 

  1. Join a Sports Club: Engage in physical activities to bond with others over shared interests often times, this is a cornerstone of building friendships.

  2. Utilize Online Meetup's: Discover groups tailored to your interests and hobbies, or create your own to connect with like-minded individuals. Although we prefer IRL activities ;) 

  3. Explore Facebook Events: Stay updated on local gatherings and social happenings to meet new people and expand your network.

  4. Initiate Your Own Club: Take the lead in organizing activities or gatherings centered around your passions to connect with others who share similar interests.

  5. Enroll in Hobby Classes: Explore new skills and hobbies while meeting people outside your usual social circles.

  6. Engage in International Groups: Tap into the expat community and connect with others who understand the challenges and experiences of living abroad.

  7. Learn Dutch: Join language classes to immerse yourself in the local culture and create connections with your classmates.

  8. Build Relationships at Work: Cultivate friendships with colleagues through shared experiences and after-work socializing.

  9. Plan Social Outings in Advance: Embrace the Dutch approach to scheduling and plan gatherings well in advance to accommodate busy schedules.

  10. Embrace Direct Communication: Be straightforward and honest in your interactions to create genuine connections with others.

  11. Seek Introductions: Don't hesitate to ask mutual acquaintances for introductions to potential friends who share your interests.

  12. Explore Friendship Apps: Use social apps to meet new people and expand your social circle. Or a better alternative to mindless swiping: try out After5Alike for personalized and curated meetings with someone Alike

  13. Try meeting with other couples: If you are in a relationship, try meeting through the friends of your SO. Connect with other couples through your SO. This might be a good way to find other female friends. 

  14. Attend Borrels: Join social gatherings and networking events to mingle with locals and fellow expats in a relaxed setting.

  15. Join Study Associations: Get involved in academic and social events organized by study associations to meet peers with similar academic interests.

  16. Engage with Student Associations: Explore the vibrant student culture and join clubs or organizations to connect with like-minded individuals.

  17. Participate in International Communities: Join global communities for women working and traveling abroad to connect with fellow female expats.

  18. Volunteer: Contribute your time and skills to local organizations and initiatives to meet kind-hearted individuals and make a positive impact.

  19. Utilize Online Communities: Join online platforms like Discord or Reddit to connect with people sharing similar interests and engage in meaningful conversations.

  20. Meet up with other like-minded women through After5: all you need to do is to Take your Seat and you will be connecting with other ambitious, like-minded women in your city! If you prefer connecting one-on-one, try out After5Alike

By embracing these strategies, you'll find yourself immersed in a supportive social network that enriches your experience as an expat in the Netherlands. Cheers to new beginnings and lasting friendships! 


*image via Pinterest

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