Developing a social network in Brussels

Developing your social network in Brussels
Updated 2023-09-29 13:49

As Brussels is home to such an international crowd, there are many ways newcomers to the city can make friends and develop their social network. On any given day, there will be an international meet-up of some sort or another, and as everyone is in the same position, it is simple to meet new people. To help you out, here are some ways to broaden your social network in Brussels.

While Belgians are generally quite accepting and open to foreigners living and working in their country, it does take a while for them to open up and invite you into their social circle. This is because they most often stick to socializing as a family or as part of a friendship group they made at school or university. It may be quite rare to meet a Belgian in Brussels; therefore, you are most likely to make friends with other internationals and expats, as there are many ways to meet people in the city.

Meetups in Brussels

Brussels is full of exciting and friendly people to meet; you need to know where to find them. Every day of the week, a plethora of small groups meet around the city, sometimes for a general chat and mingle, other times to focus on a specific interest of the group. There are loads of different groups online, and a quick search will undoubtedly throw up a couple of various events being organized in Brussels, which are free for anyone to turn up to. is one of the most popular places to look, and there are specific groups for almost anything imaginable; you can always start your own if you haven't found what you're looking for. So, if, for instance, you're interested in table tennis, yoga classes, coding, music, or anything else, it's a perfect place to start developing your social network. Couchsurfing also has some events that take place in the city each week.

Language exchange groups or language classes in Brussels

Regarding language, Brussels can be confusing as you never know whether to greet someone in French, English, or Dutch. As it is a very multicultural place with people from all over the world residing in the city, there are loads of language classes and exchanges, and they are a great way to meet people and make new friends. Huis van het Nederlands, for instance, offers cheap Dutch language classes, and you can often get these subsidized either by work or through the local commune. Alliance Française is a popular option for French, although you'll find other French classes in your area if they're a bit far from where you live. If you want to practice your language in a more informal setting, many language groups are around the city.

Embassies and Facebook groups in Brussels

You might wonder what these two things have in common. Well, some of the embassies in Brussels are very active in organizing events that show off the rich cultural heritage of their country. For example, the Polish and Brazilian ones are always organizing art shows, music events, film showings, or poetry recitals. As most people who attend these events have some connection to that particular country, it is a beneficial and easy way to meet people from back home if you're looking for people who speak your language and understand your culture.

Most nationalities in Brussels also have a Facebook group that acts as a forum for people from that country living in the city. So whether you're Portuguese, Bulgarian, Danish, or Indian, there are active groups for you to check out, and if you've got any questions about living in the city, people will be sure to help you out. These Facebook groups also point out exciting events that people from their home country might be particularly interested in.

Talks and lectures in Brussels

Brussels is the city of conferences, and there will be some talk or other going on each evening of the week. Whether it is hacking and politics that you're interested in or meditation and sustainable living, these talks are a great way to meet people who are interested in the same things. After meeting and getting on with someone, it is up to you to follow it up and make sure you see them again in the future!

Sports clubs in Brussels

There are loads of sports clubs in Brussels scattered around the city for you to join. While some are very informal and are for casual sportsmen or sportswomen, others are more serious, with regular training sessions occurring over the week. A lot of the sports clubs in Brussels again have a very international mix of people, but they are also one of the places where you are more likely to meet Belgians, depending on what type of team or club you join. So whether it is badminton or tennis that you enjoy playing or football, rock climbing, or taekwondo, there is a group out there for you to join, and it's only about finding the perfect one.

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