On Creating a Community Abroad

One of the hardest parts about leaving Beirut in a few, short weeks will be leaving behind all of the wonderful friends and great community that I’ve found here in Beirut. (In fact, my friend Emilee just wrote a post on this very topic today on her blog Beirut, An Education.)

While expats tend to form a natural community abroad, being in the relatively similar position of being an outsider in a foreign place, it take a little more effort to meet locals. I happen to think that Beirut provides plenty of opportunity to meet locals as the Lebanese tend to be friendly, outgoing and welcoming. Not to mention most people speak English, so there isn’t much of a language barrier to contend with.

Missy Gluckmann, of Melibee Global started a series on her blog called “How To Meet People Abroad” after one commenter on a post said she couldn’t meet locals in England. So far there have been posts on London, Argentina, Honduras, and others, giving advice on how to meet locals in that country. Missy asked to me write a guest post to contribute to the series based on my experience in Lebanon.  Click on over if you want to read my tips for meeting people in Beirut.

If you have your own tips for meeting locals in Beirut (or elsewhere), feel free to leave them in the comments.


4 Comments on “On Creating a Community Abroad

  1. Are adult professionals any different from teen or university-age students, who we expect to find ways to throw themselves into the culture? I’m wondering if it’s harder for us as we grow up. For teens and college students, we (more or less…..) tell them, “adapt. Get used to it. Find interest groups, sports activities, clubs, etc.” Is it harder for adults to do the same?

  2. Good question. I think it can be harder, especially since adults are often not as open to accepting new people into their already-established social circles, whereas teens are. I think also, the idea of an “exchange student” at school is appealing and they are probably seen as a celebrity around school. (Maybe I’m wrong about this?) In any case, I have been lucky in that the Lebanese are really welcoming and accepting of newcomers.

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