Starting an adventure in a new country is a thrilling experience. However, settling in to your new home will also mean having to find a new circle of friends – which can be one of the more difficult aspects of emigrating. We share a few tips that could help you settle in.
Meet friends of friends
Before you leave, ask friends if they know anyone in the city or country you are moving to, and if they could connect you via email or online. Most people are only too eager to show a newcomer around their town. Knowing that you have a mutual friend will also make it easier to start a friendship.
Apart from providing an opportunity to meet locals and fellow expats, volunteering will also help you connect with like-minded peers. Whether it’s helping out at a local animal shelter or cleaning up rivers and parks, chat to colleagues or neighbours for ways to contribute to your new community. If you’d like a more structured volunteer opportunity, sites like Go Overseas offer programs lasting from one week to one year.
Get social (media)
Follow people or businesses in your new city on Twitter or engage with local interest pages on Facebook. Chatting online will make face-to-face meetings easier, and more likely, once you arrive.
Go to a local event
Whether it’s a concert, sports game or festival, you’re sure to bump into hundreds of people while immersing yourself in local culture. Don’t know much about polo or what song Sheppard is known for? Asking a question about the event can help break the ice and start a conversation with those around you.
Take a class
Speak a different language than the country you’re moving to? Joining a group language class is a great way to meet other newcomers. Not only will it be more exciting than sitting behind your computer with Michel Thomas, you’ll meet others in the same situation as you. Even if you aren’t yet fluent, practice what you’ve learned with locals outside the classroom.
Language may not be a priority if you’re moving to another English-speaking country, or to one where you speak the language. Why not join an interest-based class? It could be a writing group, dance class or anything in between. Not only will you increase your friendship circle, but you’ll be meeting people with similar interests.