Has it really been two months since I last wrote something? Its been a busy Summer I guess! I am in danger of attracting some criticism with this post now though by encouraging a whole new group of expat arrivals to meet up with other non-German speakers 🙂
I get my fair share of stick for spending most of my time not speaking German and hanging out with other English speakers, but to be honest, at the beginning when you arrive in Germany speaking German and making friends are not mutually inclusive options. So here are a few tried and tested ideas for getting to know new people without stressing about language:
I have mentioned Internations before in a previous post, and it is still a really good way to get to know other people. There is the option of a free profile that allows you to the chance to sign up to the official monthly events but if you are willing to pay a small monthly charge (€71 annually) you can also join all of the smaller groups and events. The premium membership includes free entry to larger events so you can easily cover the annual cost with a few events. The larger official events have anything up to 300 or 400 people attending but it can also be a little ‘hit and miss’. About half the attendees will be German, although everyone speaks English, and there will always be some nice people to meet. From what I have seen, most people at the official events are in their first few months in the city and tend to come less once they get settled.
The best events to attend though are hobby based like sport, hiking, art or culture. Simply meeting to drink and mingle can get a bit tiring sometimes so it is great to mix with a topic. And I general find that I get on a lot better with the people in these smaller groups.
And, in case you have heard that this is more of a dating site, its true that a lot of singles are at the events but that probably is connected to the fact that couples or families have less need (and less time) to go out and meet new people at social events. Their priorities are slightly different!
Technically not a platform for non-German speakers but owing to its popularity overseas, Meetup hosts many English language groups and events. In particular, there is a great language exchange group where you can actually meet new people and improve your German, but also things like an English language yoga group. Although Meetup.com is free, there are still quite a few of the groups where attendance at their events are paid. It depends completely on whoever is running the event so the quality can really vary. Also, although there are a lot of groups for the Frankfurt area, there are also many inactive groups. The site is really good though in case you are interested in digital topics like blockchain and AI or entrepreneurship. It seems to attract a lot of these sort of groups.
Quite a novel concept this. Its almost like a dating app but all of the events have a minimum of 4 attendees and up to 12. It seems like many of the attendees at events are single, but many people just go along to meet new people. Most of the group meetups are in German but it totally depends on the person arranging the event. So just create an event that clearly says English or Expat and everything will work out.
I’ve not personally had much luck with the groups on Facebook when it comes to meeting people, but there are a bunch of different expat groups that are all fairly active. There are also a few inactive ones that you will find in addition to this. Most events are posted in more than one of the groups so there is a lot of overlapping content but it is worth keeping an eye on these. Generally I use them for specific questions that I need an answer to quickly. There is always someone willing to help. Here is a list of the groups in order of usefulness: