www.costaricatesol.com - ITA Costa Rica

TEFL Training In Costa Rica | Updated: 02/18/2023

How to make friends with locals while living abroad

Written by International TEFL Academy Costa Rica

We have shared how to create a good social circle while living abroad, but how can you ensure that you will make friends with locals and not just other expats?

1 - Step out of the expat bubble. Believe me, you are going to have to make a deliberate effort to hang out with people other than English teachers.  I know it's easy and comfortable to stay with people that are from the same place as you.  You work with them and live with them. They understand you blah blah blah....But is that why you moved abroad?  No! 

2 - Take a class or join a club/team.  I'm sure it's not surprising to hear that "pick up" soccer games turn into regular things all the time around here, and what a great way to make Costa Rican friends!  Sports not your thing? What about dancing, cooking, or an art class?  Check out the schedules at local institutes and academies, and find something that interests you!  

3 - Go to events locals are attending.  Again, soccer is obviously big here, so the local professional games are a great way to mix with the Costa Ricans.  Tickets are normally cheap too!  Music festivals or surf competitions attract a lot of locals, so hit them up.  Facebook is a great way to learn about these events.  Ask your students too!  They are a valuable fount of this type of information.  Something fairly new in Costa Rica is food fests, but boy, are they packed! 

4 - Accept invitations.  Students, their families, or colleagues that are locals will invite you to baby showers, birthday parties etc.  Even though you might feel uncomfortable or completely outside of your comfort zone, go!  Not only will you get to eat great food and enjoy cultural traditions, you'll get to make new friends and of course, practice your Spanish! 

5 - Finally, take the bus.  If you are constantly taking taxis and Ubers, you aren't living like the locals.  Assimilate a bit more and you'll obviously cross paths with more people.  And remove your headphones.  Make yourself available to conversations. 

Follow our tips, and you'll have more Costa Rican friends that you ever could've imagined!  And you definitely won't regret it!   Not yet registered for one of our TEFL courses?  Contact us today!

Top 12 "Tico" Words

How to Make the Best of your Homestay Experience

6 Faux Pas for Foreigners Living in Costa Rica

Don't forget to share this post!