Moving to a new country is no easy thing. Leaving friends and family behind, not necessarily knowing anyone in the country you are heading to, having to look for a house or apartment, meeting new people, trying to get used to a new climate, as well as food, cultural, and social habits… and the list goes on and on. Well, fortunately there is a group of people that can help you out in these and many other matters on this new adventure you are about to take, or are already taking.
InterNations, the world’s largest expat network with 1.3 million members in nearly 400 cities across the world, including Peru, is a non-profit organization that helps expats settle in in their ‘new’ country by facilitating encounters with other expats who are in a similar situation, locals who want to meet expats, or people who simply want to expand their social and professional networks.
The local Lima Branch organizes regular social events in Lima through its good-will Ambassadors where large numbers of people – member and non-members – are invited to attend; all you need is to sign up on the web or to show at the place where the event will take place and pay a sum of money (the amount depends on your membership status). I have attended a few of their events, and they are fun, relaxed, and give you the chance to meet new and interesting people. They also take place in well-chosen venues where you can enjoy good food and drinks.
Next week, InterNations will be celebrating its 7th year anniversary globally. The Lima branch has organized a big party to celebrate this, and invites members and non-members to come and join the group. The event will take place at the discotheque Bizarro in Miraflores and it sounds promising, I must say!
But InterNations is more than sipping a good Pisco Sour, chatting with friends, and staying out all night. There are a number of organized groups (Activity Groups) that organize all kinds of activities such as a cultural visits to the latest art exhibition in town, fun get-togethers to enjoy an old classic movie or the latest movie release, a hike in the mountains near to Lima, a night out of food and wine tasting, or an organized picnic with family and friends. There are plenty of activities to choose from.
For those who want to improve their language skills – English, Spanish, or even German – there are specific activities that you may be interested in joining, and those that want to expand their professional networks may want to be on alert for their next breakfast or after-office gathering.
InterNations has also put out a number of tools and tips that will make it easier for the newcomer to adapt to the city or country where his or her new life will start. A Peru Guide and Lima Guide with all the basics are on the web for you to see. You can also communicate with other members through the Lima Forum in case you need some advice on where best to rent out an apartment, buy a bicycle or whatever it is you need.
You may also want to take note that all these facilities, similar and other activities are also organized in 390 cities around the world. Much will depend on how active your local Ambassadors and members truly are. Fortunately in the case of Lima, I can say it is certainly an active community and very much alive! Oliver Stahman, one of the Lima Ambassadors, tells us that the community has increased from 600 members in December 2011 to nearly 8,000! At least three events are organized on a monthly basis and each one very well attended. If you want to check whether this is true or not, I suggest you join the InterNations community this 11 September and check it out yourself. See you there!