Some of us want to move for career opportunities, while others consider moving overseas to study. Love is sometimes the force behind an international move, usually romantic love but sometimes love of adventure or love of a particular culture. Whatever inspired you moving overseas (or wherever your home is) it isn’t all easy. It can be fun, exciting and rewarding – but after the initial excitement it can also be frustrating and lonely.
Culture shock and a language barrier can leave us feeling out of step in a new country. It gets easier with time, but you can also take some steps to make yourself at home in your new location.
The key thing is to meet other people. Knowing other people from Ireland will help you feel less alone, but making friends who were born and raised where you live will help you really feel at home and understand the culture. Having a few of your belongings with you can help you feel less homesick and connected to your loved ones back home. Personal shipping is an affordable option that allows you to take a little bit of your ‘old’ life with you, even if you are moving overseas.
However, it is key to invest in making new, meaningful connections in your new city. Work and school are great places to make friends, but you’ll learn more and have more support if you branch out. Here are a few ideas on how to make yourself at home by connecting with local people where you move overseas.
4 Ways to Meet the Locals
Getting out there to meet people takes some effort and energy. It’s also good fun and very rewarding.
1. Volunteer: The options will vary depending on where you are, but most places will have opportunities. Animal rescues need people to clean up and walk dogs. Environmental and community groups organize litter patrols. Retirement homes often welcome volunteers to visit with isolated, elderly residents – who can offer great insight into the culture. Is there a cultural festival in the area? They probably need volunteers.
2. Join a Group: What do you like to do? Are you active? Join a walking, jogging or cycling group. Knitting groups are a nice chance to chat. Are your language skills good enough for a book group?
3. Take a class: Not all classes are academic. A class in traditional cookery is a good way to learn about the local cuisine. Dance instructors have to demonstrate moves, so you don’t need stellar language skills to follow along and have fun. If you’re the creative type, arts and crafts classes can be a fun way to unwind and meet others too!
4. Try Meet Up: Meetup.com has groups around the world. You can find groups focused on specific interests or age groups, and you can also find groups that explore the local area. It is not a dating or singles site, but a way to connect with people who share your interests by meeting up in person in your local area for activities.
Settling in a new culture is tiring. It’s important to get plenty of rest and take care of yourself – and it is equally important to make yourself get out there and meet new people. From Argentina to Vietnam, when moving overseas you are sure to find new friends who share your interests if you make the effort and persist in getting out there to socialize.