A Guide to Online Expat Groups

A Guide to Online Expatriate Groups

Sandrine Wyrich

If you are considering a move abroad, are currently in the process of planning one, or settling into life elsewhere, there are few better ways to receive targeted advice than speaking to people who have made that very same experience. Thanks to the internet, it is now easier than ever before to connect with people across the globe and exchange thoughts, both in more general and specific forums.

We have collected a selection of online groups you might want to have a look at to help prepare for your working abroad adventure. There is plenty more out there though, so if you can’t find the right forum for you here, a useful approach is to enter a city or country name and add ‘expat group’ in an online search engine.

Top tip: Helpful topics to discuss in expat groups when you are looking for advice on moving to your dream destination are estimated rent, food and discretionary expenses, as well as local customs one should be aware of.

 

EXPAT [https://www.expat.com/]

Whichever country or city you are looking to move to, you are sure to find helpful information on Expat. This online forum offers guides for a variety of destinations that will most likely answer any questions around the process of relocation and general local customs you might have. Further, Expat offers dedicated networks for these destinations where users can find more personalised advice and exchange thoughts.

Biggest benefits: The comprehensive information provided on various destinations means that even specific questions can be answered, and you can find targeted advice for your dream location.

Most suitable for: Expats who are looking for advice and information more so than for a community.

 

INTERNATIONS [https://www.internations.org/]

If it’s a community of fellow global minds you are looking for, InterNations is the place for you. The online forum aims to connect expats living in the same area, organise events for international people to meet up, and to share tips and information about a destination.

Biggest benefits: InterNations is not only online, it also serves to organise real life events to meet up and help expats socialise in their new locations. From practising sport together, getting food, to visiting local attractions, there is something for everyone.

Most suitable for: Individuals who are not necessarily looking for textbook advice but personal experiences, and, most of all, a community to help them settle into life abroad.

 

INTERNATIONAL CITIZENS – EXPATRIATES AND GLOBAL MOBILITY [https://www.linkedin.com/groups/5126257/]

This LinkedIn group invites members to connect with like-minded individuals, global nomads, and international citizens to share expatriate experiences. Topics frequently discussed in the group are the opportunities and realities of moving abroad, international placement, work abroad, trailing spouses, and all that comes with an expat lifestyle.

Biggest benefits: Many topics discussed in the group focus on working abroad, so if you are looking for professional rather than cultural advice, this is the place to go.

Most suitable for: Professionals whose relocation is largely motivated by the opportunities of working abroad.

 

MASTER YOUR MEDICS [https://www.facebook.com/groups/masteryourmedics/]

In this Facebook group specifically for medics, members are invited to discuss any topic related to medical education and career progression, including relocation. Master Your Medics encourages thoughtful discussions and the sharing of experiences regarding various EMS topics – a large community of more than 30k members is sure to have thoughts on any burning questions.

Biggest benefits: Master Your Medics is specifically tailored to medical professionals, so the thoughts exchanged on relocation and other topics are certain to be of relevance to you.

Most suitable for: Medics who are looking for advice from peers and are seeking a wider community that discusses not only relocation to different countries but various EMS topics.

Top tip: Another group that offers similar features but also takes a slightly more humorous approach and a more casual environment is The Salty Medic. [https://www.facebook.com/groups/226011222368694/]

 

EXPAT WOMEN – A WORLD OF OPPORTUNITIES [https://www.facebook.com/groups/Expatswomenglobal/]

This Facebook group was created by women, for women in relocation and aims to offer a safe space to converse. True to the motto that women supporting each other can make a real change in the world and push each other to a better experience living abroad, members are invited to share their relocation experiences and challenges, stories, find a new friend and community, or ask any questions regarding moving from one country to another. Expat Women is free from political conversations, it exclusively serves as a space for women to share their experience and uplift each other.

Biggest benefits: The group offers a safe space for women and operates the policy that what is said in the group stays in the group, so one can safely share sensitive or personal content and be assured it will be treated kindly and courteously.

Most suitable for: Women in relocation who are looking for a supportive and understanding environment, tailored specifically to females and their experiences.

 

BRITISH EXPATS [https://britishexpats.com/forum/]

In this online forum, British expats can receive advice and share experiences on both general and specific relocation topics. Besides community chats offering a chance for casual catchups with other expatriates, British Expats also hosts dedicated chats, focussing, for example, on relocating to a specific country or working abroad in a particular profession – this includes a section for nurses, doctors, and other medical/healthcare occupations.

Biggest benefits: The dedicated sub-forums make it easy to find and receive the information you are looking for while the topical, casual chats also allow for a community feel.

Most suitable for: Any English-speaking/(previously) UK based expat looking for advice and/or a community of people in a relatable situation.

 

EXPATS IN NEW ZEALAND [https://www.facebook.com/groups/expatsinnewzealand/]

This Facebook group, operated by ExpatFocus.com, provides a space for expats in New Zealand, or those planning to make the move, to discuss experiences and help each other where possible. Expats in New Zealand aims to create a friendly, useful, and informative environment where members are free to ask questions, share thoughts, and receive support.

Biggest benefits: The group is targeted to New Zealand hence information and comments can be very specific. Further, the affiliation with ExpatFocus.com helps to provide authority on questions regarding the relocation process.

Most suitable for: People either considering a move to New Zealand, are in the process of making the move, or settling into Kiwi life and are looking for advice or simply a community.

Top tip: Once you have your general relocation information nailed down, you can also find groups offering advice targeted at a specific New Zealand area, for example Expats in Auckland [https://www.facebook.com/groups/1649699008635804/].

 

BRITISH EXPATS IN NEW ZEALAND [https://www.facebook.com/BritishExPatsInNewZealand/]

This Facebook page caters specifically to those relocating to New Zealand from the United Kingdom and those who have already made the move. British Expats in New Zealand is a fun online community that besides advice on moving to and living in New Zealand (as well as travelling back to the UK) also shares one or another fun remark on Kiwi culture shock.

Biggest benefits: The information provided in the group is very specific since both the country of origin and the destination are determined, so this is the place to ask questions that can be very much tailored to your situation.

Most suitable for: Brits/(previously) UK based individuals considering or planning to move to New Zealand, or currently settle into Kiwi life and are seeking specific advice or a chat focussing on culture shock.

Top tip: Besides the Facebook page, there is also a private Facebook group for British expats in New Zealand that offers the same features with the added benefit of privacy. [https://www.facebook.com/groups/399378546855289]

 

EXPATS IN AUSTRALIA

This Facebook group, operated by ExpatFocus.com, provides a space for expats in Australia, or those planning to make the move, to discuss experiences and help each other where possible. Expats in Australia aims to create a friendly, useful, and informative environment where members are free to ask questions, share thoughts, and receive support.

Biggest benefits: The group is targeted to Australia hence information and comments can be very specific. Further, the affiliation with ExpatFocus.com helps to provide authority on questions regarding the relocation process.

Most suitable for: People either considering a move to Australia, are in the process of making the move, or settling into life Down Under and are looking for advice or simply a community.

Top tip: There are also targeted groups for Brits/UK based individuals relocating to Australia, providing targeted information on specific areas, as well as a great space to discuss culture shock. Examples are The Melbourne British Expats [https://www.facebook.com/groups/169803263363996/] or Sydney British Expats [https://www.facebook.com/groups/137816463393146/].

 

EXPATS IN SAUDI ARABIA [https://www.facebook.com/groups/113636662008354/]

This Facebook group, operated by ExpatFocus.com, provides a space for expats in Saudi Arabia, or those planning to make the move, to discuss experiences and help each other where possible. Expats in Saudi Arabia aims to create a friendly, useful, and informative environment where members are free to ask questions, share thoughts, and receive support.

Biggest benefits: The group is targeted to Saudi Arabia and therefore, information and comments can be very specific. Further, the affiliation with ExpatFocus.com helps to provide authority on questions regarding the relocation process.

Most suitable for: People either considering a move to Saudi Arabia, are in the process of making the move, or settling into Saudi life and are looking for advice or simply a community.

Top tip: Be cautious with public Facebook groups and pages for expatriates in Saudi Arabia since these are frequently infiltrated by spam bots.

 

EXPAT WOMEN IN SAUDI ARABIA [https://www.facebook.com/groups/628705044450111/]

Cultural differences between Saudi Arabia and Europe can be significant, even more so for women. This Facebook group therefore provides a space for female expats in Saudi to share experiences, advice, and mutual support. Expat Women in Saudi Arabia aims to create a welcoming and safe environment where what’s shared in the group stays in the group. It is also free off discussions regarding politics and religion.

Biggest benefits: The group provides a space for women to share sensitive and personal experiences when they may be experiencing major culture shocks.

Most suitable for: Female expats in Saudi Arabia or those planning to make the move over and are seeking advice or simply a safe community.

 

EXPATRIATES IN UAE [https://www.facebook.com/groups/547206375399048/]

Expats living in the United Arab Emirates can find a community here to exchange thoughts and share tips. This Facebook group aims to serve as a place for casual exchange, one that everyone can enjoy, and where expats can get fresh ideas on how to create their lives in the UAE. Culture differences can be immense and Expatriates in UAE can be a useful guide in navigating these.

Biggest benefits: This group can help expats in the UAE find a community and can aid settling into life in the emirates.

Most suitable for: Expats in the UAE keen to connect with people in a similar situation and receive tips all around everyday life in the emirates.

 

EXPATS LEAVING AND/OR RETURNING TO THE UAE (HELP GROUP) [https://www.facebook.com/groups/292826775102369/]

This Facebook group was formed to help expats keep up to date with regulations on entering and leaving the United Arab Emirates. Besides sharing reliable information around the processes, members are invited to share their own experiences to offer another, more personal source of details and need-to-knows.

Biggest benefits: The group is very committed to posting only reliable information (from government sources), so you can be relatively certain that what you read in the group is factually correct.

Most suitable for: People looking for information on the process of moving to or leaving the UAE rather than on everyday life in the emirates.

 

CANADA IMMIGRATION HELP

ASM Immigration Services created this Facebook group to help international immigrants with their queries and to share news and information. Members are also invited to comment and help (although ASM are not liable for the advice given by members).

Biggest benefits: The group is targeted to Canada and information and comments can therefore be very specific. Further, you have the option to contact ASM directly for a consultation.

Most suitable for: People who are either considering a move to Canada or are in the process of making the move and would appreciate support with the rules and regulations.