The Best Forums to Join for Expats Moving to Different Countries
The internet is a wonderful resource, full of helpful articles and advice from people in the know. It’s also rife with myths, rumours and absolute nonsense, so you should take everything you read with a pinch of salt.
If research is playing a heavy role in your preparation for a move overseas (and it definitely should be), you don’t want to sift through the rubbish. There’s going to be a lot to learn about your new country and the relocation process, so you need to get straight to the good stuff. That’s where this list comes in…
We’ve handpicked the best expat forums from the thousands available online. These forums are well-established, popular with other expats and full of the kind of advice you can only get from people who have done it already. They will help make your relocation as smooth a process as possible, and you’ll make lots of friends along the way!
Not restricted to any particular country, person or topic, these forums are as general as you need them to be. You can ask practically any question related to relocation and someone, somewhere will provide an answer.
With more than 1.5 million members, covering 197 countries and 500 cities, Expat.com claims to be the biggest expat help and support network. The community is highly active and friendly. You can search by country too, which helps filter out any unnecessary info. As well as forums, there are blog posts, a classifieds section, and job and housing boards.
Another huge online community, although this one only covers 390 cities worldwide, InterNations is strictly members only. The site offers advice and support, provides detailed destination guides, organises and promotes expat meetups and more. The aim is to provide ‘everything in one place’.
One of the biggest forums on the web, this site is host to more than 175,000 members. Not only are there dedicated forums for specific countries, there are also hundreds of helpful articles in the Expat News section. This website is vast, and may be slightly intimidating for people completely new to forums.
A website specifically for women, it offers advice and support to female expats of all nationalities. There’s a highly active forum, covering an almost endless array of topics. In short, it’s a very supportive network of women, for women.
The first website we’ve found with a ‘global forum’ – as well as country forums, of course – where you’re actively encouraged to discuss anything. ‘Off-topic’ subjects (e.g. sports, parenting, politics etc) are welcome, so this is a great site for just connecting with like-minded individuals.
The following forums are either specific to a country/region or focus on a particular topic. Useful for seeking detailed advice, rather than general information.
British Expats – Unsurprisingly, this is a website for British expats. Not so general in the sense that it covers most countries and topics, but it is specifically for British expats and thus comes under “specialist”.
Irish Abroad – Much the same as British Expats but yep, you guessed it, for Irish expats instead!
Shanghai Expats – This is a community for English speaking expats relocating to or currently living in Shanghai. It also provides local news, events listings, a job board and a dating site.
Singapore Expats – An information directory and forum for expats and would-be expats to Singapore.
Expatica – An ‘international media company’ and forum based in The Netherlands covering 10 European countries and South Africa.
The German Way – “A discussion group for expats concerned with daily life and the cultural and language aspects of the German-speaking world”. It covers Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
Philippines Expats – A discussion board for expats to the Philippines.
BaliPod – These forums cover everything you need to know about travelling or relocating to Bali.
Hong Kong Asia Xpat – Comprehensive and active forum for ‘living, working and playing in Hong Kong’.
Complete France Forums – The website and forums of France Magazine, Living in France Magazine and French Property News Magazine.
Living in Indonesia – Advice on expatriation to Indonesia, covering schooling, housing, politics and much more.
- Living in Vietnam
- Expats Portugal
- Hangzhou Expat
- Expat.Ru (for expats to Moscow)
- Gringos.com (covering Latin America)
- Expats.cz (for Prague and the Czech Republic)
- Spain Expat
- Poms in Adelaide
- Yucatan Expat Forum
We think you’ll find chatting with fellow expats to be a very helpful experience and hope you’ll check out some of the forums on this list. If you think we’ve missed anything out, let us know!