How close-knit is the expat community in this area? How do I get involved with it?
The expatriate community is very close-knit. The easiest way to meet with the expatriate crowd would be to join one of the common expat groups, such as:
OWC - Overseas Women’s Club Madras
BBSC - British Business and Social Club
IWA - International Women’s Association
Madras Hash House Harriers
Beside expat groups, what is the best way to make social connections outside of work?
Chennai has a large expatriate community. There are a few good clubs in the city where membership is restricted. It is easier to obtain a corporate membership rather than an individual membership, which costs a lot of money and involves a long wait. The clubs also offer temporary membership for as long as six months in a calendar year. The Madras Club is one of these.
The most common channel for a female expatriate to start networking is the OWC (Overseas Women's Club). One has to be a foreign national or an Indian national who has been out of India for over 10 years to qualify for the OWC membership. Coffee Morning is held at the Park Sheraton Hotel every second Wednesday of each month from 10 a.m. - 12 noon. They offer various activities, such as a children’s playgroup, book club, crafts group, tiffin group, bridge, mahjong, etc. Additionally, they organize an annual ball, Christmas bazaar, Halloween, 4th of July and other more European festivities. Most events are organized for charity.
There are a few fitness clubs in Chennai that have classes, weight-training equipment and cardiovascular equipment. It is also possible to use the fitness clubs in several 5-star hotels.
If the timing of fitness classes is inconvenient, it is always possible to find personal tutors who will come to your house to teach yoga and other sports activities.
All the bigger hotels in Chennai have bars that are very popular within the expatriate community. There are virtually no pubs or bars outside the hotels in Chennai.
Where can I meet other singles in this city?
Bars and nightclubs located in expensive hotels
Are there any unique networking opportunities for accompanying partners?
The types of activities available in Chennai are many and varied. In fact, many expatriates find that their problem is not how to spend their time but to limit their activities to a manageable number.
There are many opportunities for those inclined toward various forms of arts, be it dance (Indian or Western), music (vocal, instrumental, classical, western), languages, martial arts, painting; name it and you have it. It is possible to find a personal tutor, or a place where classes for the same are being conducted.
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