If you’re moving abroad, settling into a new city doesn’t have to be a lonely experience. You should be itching to get out and try new things and meet new people! Cities such as London, with a population of over 7 million people, are crawling with potential new mates, so here’s our ten ways to make new friends when you move to a new city.
1. Join a team, class or club.
Whether you’ve got hobbies or want to start new ones, joining a sports team, fitness class or becoming a member of a club is a great way to meet people with similar interests. You’ll be forced to spend time together every week so will quickly get to know each other.
2. Eat alone in public.
You will never make friends by sitting in watching TV and ordering Chinese food, you need to get out there and face being alone in public to begin with. Eating alone will make you easier to approach, and you can ask to join someone else eating alone. Take a book or magazine to make you feel less self-conscious.
3. Never turn down an invite.
Remain open-minded and optimistic about everything, even if someone invites you to something that sounds too boring or too extreme- getting out of your comfort zone will empower you, and you won’t miss an opportunity to meet a really cool group of people.
4. Get to know your neighbors, classmates and colleagues.
These groups of people are the most obvious for foreigners living in a new city, but are too often overlooked. Invite your neighbor over for dinner, go out for lunch with classmates and go for a drink with colleagues to get to know them outside of work. For example, if you’re studying an English Language Course in London, there will be so many other students in the same position so talk to everyone and see who has common interests as you.
5. Become a regular.
Find a bar, coffee shop or restaurant that you like, then become a regular. You’ll get to know the staff as well as meeting other regular customers.
6. Use the internet
Even outside of social media, you will find ways to make friends. There are forums and groups online for expats in almost any city that are in the same position as you. These groups will often arrange open activities and meet-ups for anyone to attend.
Take an interest and find somewhere to volunteer local to where you are living- in a school, vet clinic, nursing homes, anywhere. You’ll get to know some really nice and kind people.
8. Take shared accommodation
By choosing shared accommodation when moving to a city, you will be placed into a house or flat with a few potential friends already. At Polar Choice we can help you to find cheap accommodation in London with shared rooms or a single or twin room in a shared house, as well as allowing you to browse accommodation with male rooms to share in London or female rooms to share in London. It really helps you to make friends straight away.
9. Talk to people
Contrary to what your mother always said, talking to strangers isn’t necessarily a scary thing. If you’re on the tube, in a supermarket or even in the gym, be friendly, positive and talkative. People will like you instantly, and don’t be afraid to ask for an email, phone number or if you can add them on Facebook!
10. Bring the party to you.
When you start to make friends, don’t just ask them to contact you whenever they have plans- you should be the party! Arrange a get together at a bar, have a barbeque or movie night at home, whatever you like. Just invite the people you’ve met and tell them to bring their other friends along, too.
My final thoughts for making friends
If you’re staying in accommodation in London, for example, it can be quite easy to feel lonely even when surrounded by millions of people in the city. But you need to be positive and confident to start meeting new friends, and never be too afraid to step out of your comfort zone.