It is very normal when moving to a new country, or even just a new city, to be apprehensive and find it difficult to settle in. You’re unsure of where things are, you don’t know many people there, and there’s often the added pressure of having lots of people from home telling you how wonderful the experience is going to be. But it doesn’t need to be difficult. Here are a few tips on how to get to know your new city:
Get to know your workmates: A great place to start when trying to make connections in a new city is with your colleagues. You see these people every day at work, so it’s important to get on well with them. Plus, if they are local they may be able to show you around the city, or even just give you a few tips on where is good to go.
Find a café close to your work or home: Everyone likes to have a coffee/tea break, so take some time to find a nice, friendly café close to your home or work that you can go to for a quick respite in your day with a coffee and a cake. You may even get to know the café owner if you go often enough, and having that friendly face will help you to feel at home.
Get out of the house on weekends: Whether it’s a trip to the park or the beach, or just going for a walk around town, getting out of the house during the day and getting some fresh air will make the world of difference. Not to mention that wandering around the town like this will subconsciously help you to find your way around better!
Go to social events: You may feel like the last thing you want to do on a Saturday night is to go out and try to make new friends, but it could be the best thing you decide to do! Find groups like SPEAK on Facebook or Meetup whose events interest you and go join in! You will meet lots of new people in similar situations to yourself, and who knows, you may find yourself joining a new language course! 😉
Keep in contact with those from home: Finally, although it is important to get yourself feeling happy and comfortable in your new city, having support from back home from family or friends can make a huge difference. They will be wanting to know how you are getting on just as much as you want to know what has been happening at home!
SPEAK is organising events in your area this September! We will be hosting Language Exchanges in Lisbon on 20th September, in Coimbra on 22nd September, in Porto on 29th September and Leiria on 4th October. Visit the Portal for more info and to let us know that you’re coming! Join us to practise your language and meet other SPEAKers in your area!