How do you feel by the end of the day. Are you sad because you’re on your own. Follow these tried and tested methods for making new friends.
Now that you’ve arrived in Canada, read up on culture shock, researched local customs and activities, you may be thinking ‘what now’? You want to get out there and meet new people, but you don’t know how. I have compiled a sure fire list of ways to make new friends.
1. Go out and do things alone – You’re never going to meet people sitting home alone. Pick yourself off of that couch and get out there! Eat alone in public, read a book on a local park bench, or go for a walk by yourself. When you are alone rather than in a group of people others will feel more comfortable approaching you. They are less likely to feel that they are bothering you or intruding on a conversation.
2. Talk to strangers – If you see someone eating alone in public, reading a book on a local park bench, or walking alone, be sure to strike up a conversation with them. They may be using the same tools that you are to meet new people. I know that you may be feeling a little shy or hesitant to just start a conversation but remember what do you have to lose? Don’t worry about being embarrassed; this person will either be completely receptive to you and you will gain a friend, or they may be completely dismissive and you will never have to see or hear from them again!
3. Introduce yourself – After you have started the conversation be sure to introduce yourself and ask to exchange information this way you will be able to contact them after that conversation.
4. Invite potential friends to do something with you – If you do exchange information with someone, be sure to contact them! Don’t let this potential friend slip through the cracks. Invite them out to coffee, or for a beer at a local pub. Even if you aren’t sure that you’ll hit it off, give it a shot. You may be surprised by how much you have in common.
5. Find a support group – Many cities have support groups specifically for expat networking. This is the perfect place for meeting potential friends as they are there for the exact same reason.
6. Join a team or club – Take up a new hobby or continue an old one from home. You will automatically be introduced to people who have similar interests to yourself. This is a great way to make friends as you will see them week after week at that activity.
7. Volunteer – In every community there will be many avenues for which you can volunteer. You may be able to help clean up a park, serve at a soup kitchen, campaign for a local politician, or coach a youth sports team. Whichever you choose you will meet people who are likeminded to you.
8. Accept every invitation – If someone asks you to hang out, you should always say yes! Don’t turn down a chance to make a new friend. Don’t hesitate. It may not be a movie you wanted to see, or you may be tired and just feel like going to bed. Shift your attitude and look at is as an opportunity to try something out of your comfort zone. After you’ve made more friends you can become choosier!
9. Connect with your alumni association – This will work best if you are relocating within Canada rather than too Canada. Nonetheless it would still be worthwhile to contact your school’s alumni associate and see if they’re able to compile a list of other graduates that are living in this same area.
10. Smile – Smiling will make you more approachable. People will more likely come strike up a conversation with you when you appear happy and confident.