Ways into the expat community in Milan

Ways into the expat community in Milan

Ways into the expat community in Milan

If you’re heading for Milan on assignment and worried about making new friends and business contacts, you’ll be more than happy to find there’s a good number of expat clubs and associations of interest.

Milan as a city is a mix of international flavours and typical Italian lifestyles, bound together by the need to be the best city for life and business in all Italy. Don’t expect to be lonely, as the English-speaking community is large and well-established, with many of its members having lived and worked in the city for decades. Regular events are held, ensuring new arrivals get all the help they need during their settling in stage.

Milan’s expat community isn’t just there for men, with its women-only Benvenuto Club welcoming both newcomers and old hands to its regular get-togethers for fun, cultural exchange, friendship, travel and conversation.The club meets every Wednesday morning at the Martini Bar on Corsa Venezia 15, and there’s a Facebook page for notifications. It's been active since 1967 and now has 220 members from across the world.

Expats arriving from Scotland will be welcomed at Casa Scozia, the home of Scots culture in Milan. It’s an association supporting initiatives by Scots in Italy and hosts everything from Scottish country dance lessons to a St Andrew’s Day Dinner Dance, a Tartan Night and Scots Whiskey Day. For millennials or younger expats, there’s the CouchSurfing Group, aimed at young travellers spending time in Milan and including English-speaking locals. Everything from huge annual events, pyjama-clad pillow fights to a no-pants subway run attract those looking for fun, friendships and maybe more.

For shy expats in Milan or those who’re far more comfortable online than ‘in your face’ there’s always the Online Community of English-speaking Residents. It was a part of the English-language EasyMilano magazine, sadly now defunct, and now helps organise big events as well as introducing newcomers to survival techniques in this very Italian mega-city.

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