Finding Friends After Moving Internationally
If you are relocating overseas by yourself, whether for your job, or to fulfill a lifelong dream, you might be worried about finding new friends once you get there. Companionship is an important aspect in anyone’s life, as it is important to have someone to lean on and communicate your desires and fears to, so you will not feel like you are alone in the world. For some people, making friends is very easy. They have no problems striking up conversations with a stranger, and are friendly enough to continue that relationship. But if you are not a social butterfly, there is no need to fear. There are still ways that you can find new friends in a foreign land.
The first steps you can take actually occur before you even move. It is always important to do a lot of research before moving to any country. You need to know the lay of the land, the local laws, and the steps you will have to take to actually live there. While you are searching for that information, look up the way of life for the people that live there. See what the locals like to do for entertainment, and make sure that it is in line with how you like to live your life. One great way to do this is through social media. You can always connect with people in the area, especially ones that have transplanted there from the country that you are from, and see what it is like to live there. If you have a good enough conversation, you may have already made a friend before even setting foot in your new land.
Another thing to think about before you move, is the language that the locals speak. Chances are strong that they do not speak the same language as you, so make an effort to learn as much as you can. At the very minimum, you should learn some key phrases, important questions, and typical answers to those questions so you can communicate with the residents of your new land on a basic level. The more you learn, the easier it will be to make friends. You could always apologize for your dialect or pronunciation, but chances are they will appreciate that you are making an effort to assimilate to a new culture.
Steps to Take After Your Move
Once you have arrived in your new country, there are still more steps to take to meet new people. It is important to get yourself out there, and put yourself in situations where you will have to talk to others. Social clubs or organizations are great places to start, but you can also go to a local bar or restaurant and see if you can find someone that you are comfortable with. Just remember, you probably will not find a best friend overnight, so do not be discouraged if you do not find a new friend immediately. Keep finding ways to talk to new people, and try to connect with as many people as possible.
Above all else, make sure that you keep a friendly attitude. People feed off of other people’s emotions subconsciously, so if your demeanor is sour, there attitude toward you will reflect that. Confidence, eye contact, and a nice smile will go a long way toward having a positive experience with a potential new friend. Do not be afraid to ask someone for directions, or recommendations for new restaurants or fun bars to attend. People will often recommend the spots that they themselves enjoy, so you never know, they may end up joining you. If you are finding it hard to keep a positive attitude, try contacting your friends back home. More than likely they will put a smile on your face and reassure you that it is only a matter of time before you make new friends.