When you first move overseas one of the most valuable resources you will come across are expat forums. Expat forums allow you to gain access to valuable information and support and they present an ideal “go to” resource where you can ask questions about your move abroad. These forums can also help you to make friends, find out what is going on in your local area and allow you to share your own experiences with others. Here are our top tips for making sure you make the most of them.
It may sound obvious but the sooner you create an account, the sooner you can start to interact with others. Many expats use forums to simply look up the information they are looking for. This is fine but it is those that get actively involved in the conversations that make the most of this valuable resource. Register on one or more forums and start to participate in the discussions as and when they are valid to you.
2) Sign up to the newsletter
Many forums offer a monthly or weekly newsletter in which they communicate the latest developments with their sites and share details of events. Through subscribing to this, you will be right up to date with what’s going on and won’t miss out on anything that may be of benefit to you.
Start to participate in as many conversations as are relevant to you. Ask questions and try and help others to answer theirs. Through doing this you will start to create relationships with the other expats and will start to feel like part of a community.
4) Ignore the trolls
Every forum in every country houses negative people and negative opinions. You may find that some individuals make a point of disagreeing with what you say or trying to ridicule your opinion. Ignore them. Don’t be drawn into unattractive exchanges and don’t let negative opinions personally affect you. Simply move on and don’t give them the fuel they are seeking.
5) Contact people
If there is an individual or individuals who you feel you have a lot in common with then consider sending them a private message or interacting with them through their blogs. Over time you may develop strong relationships and your interactions may turn into real friendships.
So what are you waiting for? Visit our Expat Forum introduce yourself and ask a question, you never know where it may take you.