Having never considered myself an ‘international woman’, I was a little reticent to join a group like this when I first arrived in Germany. However, since I had zero friends, more free time than I knew what to do with and a desperate needed to be around people who actually understood what I was saying, I paid up and joined. Little did I know that I was going to spiral down a rabbit hole of boozy lunches, bitchiness and life long friendships.
International women’s clubs can be a gateway to an international community, a well established group will have enough roots to support you until you find your feet. If it’s way out of your comfort zone, consider it, odds are moving abroad was out of your comfort zone too and you’ve survived that. Many groups have events which are open to prospective members, a good way to see if the group is a good fit without shelling out for membership.
Making friends as an adult is weird.
– Everyone there understands the weird awkwardness of trying to make friends as an adult.
Making friends in a country where you don’t speak the native language is hard.
– The language spoken is English, but others are in use too!
Making friends who will become your confidante, safety net and surrogate family is completely necessary.
– They get it. Whether you are in the country for 2 months, 2 years or permanently you’ll find others who understand the ups and downs.
Whilst these clubs are marketed at female accompanying partners and/or mothers you’ll also find working women too, roughly a 60/40 split at clubs I’ve been to, though I assume in other cities or countries the split is very different. What this does mean, is that events are planned for daytime, evenings and weekends, something for everybody? maybe 😉
Meeting people. Real people. Getting out of the house and making new connections can provide you with opportunities you never would have found alone.
Regular events. Book club, coffee morning, girls night out, English speaking tours, baby groups and volunteering opportunities, to name but a few.
Community involvement. Clubs generally have connections to the local area, so you aren’t limiting yourself to just the international community.
Leadership. An opportunity made for the accompanying partner. Use, and don’t lose those valuable skills from the workplace.
Age appropriate. Many groups have a large number of women in their late forties and cater for that demographic. They are however generally very open to new ideas, make yours known.
Cliques. Unfortunately this playground behaviour persists in some people, a sad fact for women worldwide.
Cost. A fee for membership will be generally be payable, somewhere between 20-45 euro, though you can find discounts if you join later in the year. Usually this means that some events will be subsidised so if you make use of the club you’ll get your monies worth.
Limited numbers. In clubs which have over 400 members an event with 10 spaces fills up fast, prepare to be disappointed if you aren’t quick.
If you want to find out more about clubs near you I’ve linked to some (there are plenty more out there) below, if you have any you’d like to be added please let me know.
Clubs like this are just one way for women to connect and expand their social circles, they are most certainly not the only way. I hope that these clubs evolve to include the increasing numbers of male accompanying partners needing a new social circle too.