Moving to a different country implies many challenges. Leaving a safe shelter of homeland, facing a new job, looking for an apartment, and, last but not least, making new friends.
When you decide to move to a new country it might be based on the fact that some of your friends or family members has been already living there. That gives you a pleasant feeling of having a familiar face around you. That person can show you the neighborhood, help you to settle and also, introduce you to people who can become your friends, too. What if you don’t know a single pair of eyes and you suffer from the lack of social life?
First of all, don’t be afraid to rebuild your fellowships. Building a new circle of friends is challenging. It is also adventurous a strenghtening, though. New people give you new opinions, new lifestories, moves your life to a new dimension. Besides, if you make it you will know you can start again anywhere in the world, in case you would like to try living in another country one day.
Many people come to a new country with their partner who got a job or was born there. In the early days of living abroad, you stick together, exploring the new enviroment and enjoying your new expat life. But sooner or later, you need to spend your time also with somebody else. It’s natural and wonderful having each other to enjoy upcoming adventures but it’s not healthy to be dependant on your partner. Don’t lose your independence just becuase you’ve changed a country. If you feel isolated, lonely and bored at the time when your partner is at work just rush out to the street and meet new souls!
Follow your interests
Do you like handiwork? Do you go to concerts? Did you play any sport before you left your previous home? It‘s not necessary to give up on your hobbies in a new place. You can always join some local groups and teams. You have something in common with those ones – isn’t it a great way how to start a new friendship? On the other hand, there might be something you have always wanted to try. Sewing, dancing, riding the horse. Stop only thinking about it and begin doing. You can choose from a wide range of classes and workshops advertised on the internet or in local newspapers and magazines. Plus, if you have moved to a country where the native language is different, attending a language class is one of the best starting points for creating active and fulfilling social life for yourself.
Facebook comes in handy
Social networks are great helpers in finding new friends. In the first place, Facebook has become very useful. You can just search for groups of other expats living in the country, get in touch online and then join them for a beer or a trip. There is a MeeUp event organized by Foreigners.cz every month! Follow us on Facebook and we will keep you updated ;-)
Talk to strangers
Don’t be afraid to touch base with people you see for the first time in your life. Are you waiting for a tram? Getting groceries in a local shop? Start casual conversation on the street. You might find common ground or get interesting information.
Dog owners community
Czechs are popular for having a dog. Early in the morning, when some people are rushing to work since others are still sleeping, you meet many people walking their four-footed pets. If you have a dog too, you are home and dry. Dog owners just love sharing their experience!
Who is your neighbor?
In some countries people don’t even know who lives next door. Czechs usually try to keep good relationships with neighbors. They say hello to each other when they meet, they exchange small talks about weather, sometimes they knock on the door to ask for salt, flour, or a tool. So, you can introduce yourself to your neighbors when you move in. This courtesy brings you a face you recognize, if not a new friend.
Stay in touch with old fellows
It takes a lot of time to settle in a new home. You might be overloaded with immigration issues, furnishing your new apartment, learning a new language etc. But you should never give up all your old life, including your family and good mates back home. Even if you are busy, make sure they know you are alright and you miss them. And, you can invite them to visit you. Wouldn’t be nice to show your new headquarters to your close relatives and long-time friends?
Smile always works
It might take a while to find new social groups, especially if you are an introvert. Be patient and proactive, but not too eager or aggressive about forming new relationships. Go to places you want to go and you would enjoy anyway, and the new contacts you make from it treat as a bonus. And if you feel like not communicating with words just smile. It’s the best way how to feel good wherever you are, alone or surrounded by society.