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How to Make Friends as an Expat in Singapore

by - 6:00 AM

You probably stumbled across this article because you either just moved to this city or you've been here a while and need a better place to find new friends. Even if you are happy with your social circle, there is always room for more. But first let me share my story and the struggles I have faced here.


The first 6 months of living here was a rollercoaster. It was so exciting to live in a new city with new food, faces, cultures, and climate. However, my homesickness and loneliness got the best of me (most of the time). I felt like a puppy waiting for my significant other to get home from work. I spent a lot of time either in bed or shopping at the same shopping malls. My life lacked purpose and I felt trapped.

Before moving to Singapore I made a few friends living there hoping that we could be there for each other since we were all in similar situations. It turns out that in the end (almost a year later), that they were never really friends to begin with and the situation hindered me to build up enough confidence to stand up for myself. For a while I was too shy and afraid to put myself out there. For someone who has moved her whole life, you would think that I would be an expert at this. But somehow this move for me was the toughest of them all.

Nothing would make me happy for the longest time. I would often pretend around others that I was happy. Maybe in the moment I was but deep down inside I was feeling uncertain, scared, and lonely. I began to cut out those that didn't treat me like a friend, throw myself completely into my passions hobbies, and go out in public more often. Once I gained the confidence that I am worthy to have a loving group of friends, I decided to put myself out there. 

Here are my tips on how to make friends in Singapore:

How to Make Friends as an Expat in Singapore


1. Sign up and attend a meet up based on your hobbies/interests on Meetup.com

I joined this site called meetup.com that has many different types of groups to join based on my similar hobbies and interests. I mostly joined ones for women since I was looking for girl friends. Although everyone that I have met so far have been very kind and polite, there was always a huge age and maturity gap between me and them. I am only 22 years old and the rest of the women are in their early to late thirties. Maybe if I tried out other types of Meetup groups then my experience would have been different.

How to Make Friends as an Expat in Singapore

How to Make Friends as an Expat in Singapore

How to Make Friends as an Expat in Singapore

2. Join Facebook groups and start connecting with others

This is a surprisingly good resource that a lot of my friends have met their friends with. I haven't yet given it a try but the people that usually join are people looking for friends too. Send them a quick message after checking out their profile and see if they would be keen to grab lunch with you sometime. Most of the time they will say yes since they will be flattered that someone messaged them out of the blue.

How to Make Friends as an Expat in Singapore

How to Make Friends as an Expat in Singapore

3. Go up to someone and introduce yourself

A few months ago I was at a cafe by myself sipping on a latte and I noticed these two girls around my age having an enticing conversation. They reminded me so much of how I used to spend time with my friends back home in the US. Something inside me told me to just stand up and introduce myself. I was shaking and sweating from being nervous but in the end it paid off. We stay in contact and even have made dinner plans in the future. I now want to try this again because it really does work guys!

How to Make Friends as an Expat in Singapore

How to Make Friends as an Expat in Singapore

How to Make Friends as an Expat in Singapore

4. Give the app BumbleBFF a try

Since I met my boyfriend, James off of Tinder I wanted to see if there was a similar app for making friends. I tried BumbleBFF with no luck but to be fair I was only on it for a few days so I'm thinking about trying again soon. This app reminds me a lot of a dating app since it has a similar structure except it's a neutral environment for people to swipe right if they want to hang out and be your friend!

How to Make Friends as an Expat in Singapore

How to Make Friends as an Expat in Singapore

How to Make Friends as an Expat in Singapore

5. Slide into a DM on Instagram

The best method for me however with all of my current relationships (yes, even James) is the online/social media approach.  I'm very active in the social media world so I made an announcement one time that if anyone needs a friend in Singapore, then to please message me. To my surprise, that simple announcement has led me to the good friends that I have to this day. Despite what everyone says I believe that social media can be a tool to bring people together.

How to Make Friends as an Expat in Singapore

How to Make Friends as an Expat in Singapore

6. Join a fitness class

Most of the time people join a yoga class, zumba class, or gym just so that they can find a workout buddy and even make friends! It's a great way to break the ice since you already have so much to talk about at first. Why not invite them for a coffee or smoothie after the workout? It's such a natural and organic way to make friends without it being weird. Luckily Singapore has many amazing gym options but my favorite and the one that I use is Ritual Gym. Use my coupon code "GLOBALFASHIONGAL" to receive 50% off your two week trial!

How to Make Friends as an Expat in Singapore

How to Make Friends as an Expat in Singapore

7. Visit your embassy and attend their events

Since I'm a Polish-American I attended an event hosted by the Polish Embassy. They threw together a Polish Classical Music concert called "Poland Sounds Good" at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. I met a lot of other Polish people there and it was fun getting to know everyone and hearing how they ended up here. I wish I saved their contact information because I could see all of us connecting really well as friends.

How to Make Friends as an Expat in Singapore

How to Make Friends as an Expat in Singapore
I hope some of my tips and my story helped some of you! Just know that loneliness is a temporary feeling and only YOU can get out of it. There is hope to make friends in this big city of Singapore. You just need to give it a shot! xx

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