You’ve done it! Moving to a new city is a huge accomplishment that takes a lot of courage.
Once you’ve visited all the top tourist attractions, found your new favourite coffee spot, and started to get a hang of commuting, meeting new friends is the most important step to make your new city feel like home.
You’ve got friends at home, but it’s important to meet new friends in your area to help you feel fulfilled and happy instead of lonely or homesick. But how do you meet people in a new city?
Connect with other expats and new arrivals
Chances are there are other transplants in your new city who are eager to make friends too.
For example, Brisbane is the fastest growing city in Australia, with new inhabitants flocking to the city from all over Australia and all over the world. The latest census shows that over a quarter of those living in Brisbane were born overseas.
There are a few ways to find others who are in a similar position to yourself. Look for Facebook and Meetup groups using keywords like “New to (new city)” or “Expats in (new city).”
If you’re missing home or want to connect with people from your area of the world, you might find Facebook groups like “Australians in Berlin”, for example.
These groups host social events, such as excursions and festivities, where everyone is eager to make new friends. You can even post a fun introduction to yourself in the group to spark conversation and start making plans with fellow group members.
Join local interest-based groups
Bonding over a shared interest makes making new friends much less scary, as you’ll already have something to talk about and do together.
Again, social apps like Facebook and Meetup have local groups for all kinds of interests. You can search based on your location and your hobbies, like photography or hiking. These groups host activities that promote socialising based around your shared interest, such as a hiking daytrip or a photography walk.
You could also search online for local groups, teams, or classes, like a local community sports team, a book club, or a yoga or dance class.
Ask your current network
Sometimes the old phrase “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” can ring true.
The world can really be a small place, and you never know which of your friends may know someone in your new city.
Reaching out to friends with a “Hey, I’ve just moved to (new city), do you know anyone there that you could connect me with?” could result in new friendships that help you integrate into your new city.
Volunteer within the community
Volunteering is a wholesome way to meet new people in your city and to get to know more about your new home. Statistics show that 75.7% of Queensland’s adult population participated in volunteering in 2020. Volunteering events will allow you to meet other kind-hearted volunteers while making a meaningful impact.
Volunteers are always needed in settings like homeless shelters, animal shelters, and aged care. If you aren’t in a position where you can have a pet, volunteering in an animal shelter can fill that pawprint-shaped hole in your heart. Volunteering with the homeless or in aged care will help you feel more connected to the community, and you’re sure to hear important stories and make beautiful memories.
Post a TikTok
TikTok shows you videos it thinks you’ll be interested in based on a variety of factors, such as your age and your location. As a social media platform, it can help you meet new people.
You can try posting a short video introducing yourself, saying you’re new to the city and looking to make some friends. You could say where you’re from and list some of your hobbies.
Let TikTok work its magic in connecting you with like-minded locals.
As always, practise internet safety and be sure not to give out personal details.
Reach out to your neighbours
Sometimes it’s fun to be the new kid on the block.
Introducing yourself to your neighbours can help you feel more at home in your new city. “I just moved here from X” is an easy icebreaker.
After you’ve started to settle in to your new home, you could throw a housewarming party or a potluck dinner to invite your neighbours to.
Moving to a new city is a huge transition, and it’s normal to feel nervous or anxious. Our team is here to help you work through your feelings and find solutions. You can learn more about our counselling service here, or call 1300 364 277 to make an appointment.
We offer some more helpful advice on making friends as an adult in this blog post.