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American Expats in Paris: Way to make American Friends

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Whatever your reasons for moving to Paris, making new friends will be an important and exciting part of the adventure.

The first few weeks will find you busy settling into your new environment while taking the opportunity to immerse yourself in the Parisian culture around you.

As the weeks go on, however, to minimize the risk of homesickness or isolation, it's important to take proactive steps towards making new friends and searching out other American expats in Paris.

Making friends in Paris - the first steps

Reaching out to classmates or work colleagues by suggesting coffee or lunch is one way to start the friendship ball rolling.

These new colleagues and friends might be Parisian locals, providing not only friendship but a great way to practice your language skills and dip your toe into neighborhood life.

Alternatively, you may be working for a multi-national company and soon find you have a new group of friends whose cultural roots are spread around the world.

There will come a time, though, when meeting people who share a common culture also becomes important, especially if you plan on staying in Paris for a year or longer.

Friends who will get the importance of July 4th and understand your feelings of homesickness at Thanksgiving, that time when American families traditionally gather together. And, while improving your French language skills will be a bonus of your time as an expat sometimes you just crave a good chat or gossip in your native language.

Paris is relatively small, population-wise, with just under 2,250,000 residents. So, with around 100,000 US citizens studying or working in the city at any one time it's not difficult to locate other Americans living in Paris.

We've gathered together a few suggestions of where you might find like-minded people. These new friends will help you make the most of your time in our beautiful city.

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Take advantage of social opportunities and social media

Joining expat groups on Facebook and other social media sites is a quick and easy way to either find Americans that live in your district or discover English language activities across the city. Online newspapers and forums like FUSAC are another great way of discovering English activities in and around the city.

If you love hanging around cozy bookshops, then Shakespeare & Co is a Left Bank institution founded by American Sylvia Beach in 1919. Since it was reestablished in the 1950s, Americans and other Anglophones have found it a ready source of conversation, friendship, and literary events.

If you like a cocktail or two thrown in with your socializing then join The Chamber mailing list and take advantage of this pop-up cocktail club designed for the international crowd. Its location varies from week to week but once on the mailing list, you'll be sent invites to both the club and a whole raft of social opportunities.

Join the congregation of an English-language church in Paris

If back home, you're a church-goer or member of a political party there is no need to miss out on these links just because you're living in a different country. Even if you're not particularly religious or political, both can provide a route into expat friendships.

The interdenominational American Church in Paris and the Episcopalian American Cathedral both offer a warm welcome to anyone who wants to join a service.

Both churches also provide a whole host of other activities from friendship groups and coffee mornings to counseling services and choirs. As well as joining a welcoming community you can also help your local community if you wish by getting involved in charity events or even volunteering at food kitchens and homeless shelters.

If your interests are more political, then you'll find French branches of both Republicans or Democrats Abroad in Paris. You'll meet friends who share similar views while joining in with both social activities or discussion groups about topical issues affecting Americans living abroad.

Should you be in Paris when an election back home is taking place, you can still take a full part by watching the results come in as you party through the night.

Meeting Americans in Paris through education

There are all sorts of educational routes to linking up with other expats from America in Paris. Joining an exercise or dance class in English is one good way or why not extend your mind and knowledge by joining the American Library in Paris.

Not only will you find over a 100,000 English books but a vibrant Anglophone community that hosts sparkling social events from wine-tasting to author readings, and book clubs to city walks.

If you attended university back home then chances are there is an international branch of its alumni association. Joining these groups not only provides social and educational opportunities but is a great way of business networking.

Finally, if you have young children at an international or American school, then reach out to other parents or join any parent groups that the school runs. You'll be playing a supportive role in your children's education while enjoying an active social life among other American expats in Paris.

At Paris Attitude, we want you to fully enjoy your time in our city. As well as showcasing a vast selection of carefully chosen city accommodation our pages are full of useful hints and articles designed to help you settle into this exciting new period of your life.

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