Answer by Peggy Tharpe:
How about looking through the town/city’s local paper or magazine for a conversation partner or language exchange? I did that in Rome. I read through a local magazine directed at visitors or expats, and found a local person looking for an English speaking conversation partner. He helped me with Italian; I helped him with English. It was really nice!
Or place an ad in the paper yourself, if you’re going to be in one place for a while. Many towns have a free magazine—you can often find them in boxes along sidewalks in busy areas of town.
Another idea is to look for a meet up on the website meetup. here’s a link:These can be people meeting up to do art, or practice languages or learn yoga, or go for walks. Find the meetups in your area, sign up for one that sounds interesting, and give it a try.
Universities and colleges usually have people studying different languages—maybe there’s a language club. And people living in university areas are often more open to people who speak other languages and come from other countries.
Many communities offer ESL classes for people who want to improve their English. If you’re going to be around for a while, and have the money, this can be a good way to meet people. ESL teachers are usually very friendly and supportive. And community English classes are cheaper than university courses.
Good luck. Don’t forget to relax and smile!