How to meet friends in a new country

Few things in life are more emotional than moving to a new country. Between the stress of packing, the excitement of starting over, and the tears welling up, it was a whirlwind of emotions. However, when you move alone, it’s easy to feel isolated, small, and like an outsider who isn’t alone in your new home. But having friends by your side can help make the transition easier. That said, like most things in life, finding a new friend is often easier said than done. Stepping out of your comfort zone and meeting and interacting with new people is scary AF.

If you’ve recently moved to a new city and don’t know how to make new friends, don’t worry. Despite what you might think, your relationship doesn’t have to suffer just because of moving to a new place. In fact, with these 15 tips, you can start making friends in a new city and build a new friendship group.

How to meet friends in a new country

1. Use your current country

Take advantage of the fact that everyone (really, everyone) is saying, “Oh, you’re moving to ___? You’re going to meet ___!” This is not the time to show interest in a blind friend. One of the best places to start when moving to a new city is to get the resources you now trust for friends. Your roommate’s second cousin’s girlfriend can be a useful email, even if all it leads to is a recommendation for a good hairdresser. You have to start somewhere, it’s best if you start with people you know. In the mobile and ubiquitous world we live in, don’t underestimate six degrees of separation from your new BFF.

2. Develop a schedule

I often think of the scene from Under the Tuscan Sun when Diane Lane’s character says: “The trick to overcoming buyer’s remorse is to have a plan. Pick one room in the house and do it.” to be yours.” I really think this can be applied to any transition period in life. When you are tired, start small and one thing. Make it your own. Your daily schedule is a good example. Could it be SoulCycle after work? Is bread baked at the bakery every Sunday? A trip to the dog park on the weekend? Creating a schedule will get you out of the house faster than your social calendar, which will help you get used to your new city. You may even have more confidence to introduce yourself to people who can do the same. After all, you have nothing to lose—and maybe a new friend to gain—by ​​having a friend.

3. Join a club

Joining a club is one of the best ways to start meeting new people. You will connect with other people with similar interests, and you will have something to talk about. So, be sure to check out the flyers at coffee shops, markets, etc. to find out more about the group in your area. The book club is great for avid readers and offers a laid-back vibe that both introverts and extroverts can join, while the sports team is great for those who love exercise and a little friendly competition. .

4. Take a class

In addition to group-oriented activities and activities, classes are also a great way to meet new friends. Think about something that interests or inspires you; it could be painting, pottery, yoga, or learning a foreign language. Once you know what you want to learn more about, sign up for that class. No matter what you do, you will be surrounded by like-minded people, which will give you something to connect with and help keep the conversation going.

And yes, exercise classes count too. Whether it’s a sports club at the gym, your local running club, or a hot yoga studio with the best reviews, friendships can blossom where people gather for exercise. Pay close attention to magazines around the studio or gym, too. Many will advertise special workshops, guest lecturers, or other social events.

5. Volunteer in the community

Moving to a new city is a good time to think about what really makes you happy. A clear public calendar means you don’t have a million tasks to distract you from following it. Take time to give back by volunteering in the community. This could be raising money for an animal shelter, cooking or helping old clothes at a women’s home, or helping out at a local soup kitchen. Volunteering will also surround you with like-minded people who are easy to connect with – it’s natural, a good place to start.

6. Join the local Facebook group

Don’t underestimate the power of social media. Joining a local Facebook group is an easy way to connect with others in the community from the comfort of your couch. Start by searching for the name of your country followed by a buzzword. You can try phrases like “new people”, “transplant”, or the name of your area. You can get more details and search for things you love like “book club” or “Golden Doodles”. From there, you can request permission to join the group, but follow these instructions and don’t be afraid to attend one of their meetings.

7. Check the accommodation

To meet the locals, you have to go where the locals hang out. Be sure to check out the places in your new town—be it bars, coffee shops, libraries, museums, etc. Find the one you like the most, and start visiting it regularly. Employees and regular employees will begin to recognize you and understand that you are now part of their community, which can motivate them to start a conversation with you, welcoming you to the area.

Source: @one place

8. Say yes to everything

As you begin to put yourself out there, keep “Maybe next time” or “Thanks for the invite, but…” far from your speech. Moving to a new city is a time to say, “Of course!” and “That’s great!” take any invitation that comes your way, even if it’s something you wouldn’t feel like doing. This isn’t about pretending to be someone you’re not, but about opening yourself up to opportunities to interact. Maybe the gallery space isn’t your thing, but over the bar you’ll meet the sister of an artist who went to your school. Perfect! Maybe you’re terrible at beach volleyball, but you go to any lengths to keep score and laugh. You might surprise yourself with this!

9. Participate in community events

Participating in community events is another great way to make friends in a new city. Stay connected with everything that’s happening in your area through social media, newspapers, or local newspapers. Community events happen more often than you think, and they are the best time. Participating in local theater and TV shows, block parties, or nights out is a great way to meet new people.

10. Visit local parks and beaches

Not only do parks and beaches provide great beauty and entertainment, they are also hot spots for making new friends. If you have a dog, visit your local dog park and start a conversation with other pet parents; you will be able to bond over fur babies and exchange funny stories. Take a lunch break or have your morning coffee at your local park, then head down to the beach after sunset for a leisurely stroll. Going out will be great and increase your chances of meeting other people, which is a win-win.

11. Find a friend

Meeting friends is one of the fastest ways to expand your social circle, meet new people, and make new friends. If you have close friends who know people in your new town, ask them ahead of time for introductions to help you get your feet wet. Likewise, don’t cut off friendships with your coworkers and accept invitations to happy hour (especially in the beginning). Making new friends isn’t always easy, but if you have a few people around you, it’s a lot easier.

12. Use tools

There are apps for everything and there are plenty of apps to make friends that will come in handy when you move. Striking up conversations with strangers and building connections IRL can be scary, but getting started online can make things easier. Whether you want a serious platonic date or a group meeting, signing up for a dating app with your needs in mind is sure to expand your social circle and remind you that you’re not alone.

13. Host a hot party at home

Most people won’t turn down the opportunity to enjoy delicious food and drink, so get yourself out there and invite your neighbors over for a warm, home-cooked party. This will allow you to connect one to one and give them a chance to get to know you better. Spending time with your neighbors will make you feel more connected to the community, and in turn, you will feel more comfortable putting down roots and building a life for yourself there.

14. Don’t be isolated

It’s easy to let your work consume all of your time, especially if WFH is doing something you love. But try not to isolate yourself because you are afraid to put yourself out there, trying to make connections, and make new friends. If you’re doing WFH, try working in a coffee shop or bookstore from time to time. Likewise, accept an invitation to happy hour or a meal at a neighbor’s house. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be scary, but it will be worth it in the end. Once you create a circle, you will completely forget why you were afraid in the first place.

15. Be honest and patient

There must be a time when you just can’t do it anymore. No more right swipes. No more MeetUps. No more high-level conversations about work, travel and the weather. You have to go through this whole transition thing and you have to spend all your time Netflix-ing and checking flights to your old city. And that’s good; important, even. Building a new life takes time. Don’t let the mountains stop you from treading that path. Also, don’t be afraid to be honest and share that you are having a really hard time. Almost everyone can relate to a new emotional moment, and sometimes taking a leap to get to the heart of where you are can take an ordinary coffee to a soul-warming conversational level. -next. You just have to open it first.

In the end, the best friendships are slow. By moving, you’ve already allowed your story to begin a new chapter, so stay tuned for the unexpected that’s still ahead. It won’t help to compare where you’ve been to where you are now, but it’ll be comforting to know that you’re still getting things right. Just use the new zip code.

6 (Quick) Ways to Make New Friends