Connecting with awesome people

Imagine you move to a new  country, imagine you know nobody, imagine they speak differently, imagine… How would you feel? Scared? Excited? Probably a mix of everything… It is a natural feeling!

It is not easy to start a new life where you are away from your family, friends and comfort zone. A new place where you feel different, you have no reassuring routine, no control over things. But if you think about it, it is also a chance to discover, to learn and to grow! We are at our best when we have no other choices than ‘fighting’ … don’t you think? and what is best than trying to fit in a new culture?! I recently posted an article about how great and important it is to make new friends when living abroad. People you would have never met if you have stayed in your home country. People that are going to make a (huge) difference in your life. People that are going to blow your mind… All that said the question is: where to meet these fantastic people?

Adelaide Zoo - 092I would be lying if I say that you are going to bump into them at each corners of the streets, while visiting a museum, attending to an exhibition, sitting at a cafe, staying at home…honestly very rare, chances 2%. But in the other hand I am not lying when I am saying it is not that hard to meet awesome people. I am going to save you all the blabla about: having a good attitude, be open minded, be friendly… I think we already all know that!

So in my experience what works best for me is to go to English classes! Going to school and learn/improve your language skills is a necessity to communicate, to fit in your new country and build a social life. The main reason being because you will be surrounded with people from all other the world, happy to be here, sharing the same passion for English, willing to fit in their new city and looking for friends… so it is a good start since you will be on the same page. I have always met my best friends in English classes and I can assure you they are the BEST! Last time I felt this way about school friendship I was 15… I don’t know if it is the fact that living abroad that makes you feel very emotional or what… but it is true I am strongly attached to my new friends ❤ because we understand each other, we feel the same way, we are supporting each other because we are on the same boat!

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Now that I am starting to have experience in living overseas (Australia being my third foreign destination on the list) I also recommend to make friends with locals/natives. Afterall this is the point of your experience here too, you want to feel, breathe, love, act, eat like natives! But I admit it is not the easiest part since locals have already their routine, a busy social life and they speak very fast 😉 Again in my experience what works best for me is to:

  • Bond with the neighbors! Easy since they live next door to you and you are going to be in contact with them nearly everyday (I had absolutely lovely  neighbors when I was living on Murrays Lane in Adelaide CBD, my friend Nasim has also great neighbors). If you are lucky they can become real good friends and teach you a lot of things about the area.
  • Make friends at work! If you don’t have a paid job, you can also look for a volunteer job. Sometimes it is a good opportunity to practise your English but also to be in contact with many people (think about your network!).
  • Enroll to different kind of activities you like! Afterall who said that when abroad you can only  attend to English classes! OK you are here to learn the language but you can also have fun too! Find something you really enjoy and don’t worry about your English.. you will practise it anyway! Actually it will be even more rewarding to discover that you can use your new language skills in a real life situation  with natives! It can be sport, art.. anything you like! Besides English classes, when I was in Canada I took pilates classes, in London I practised yoga and in Australia: Chinese, Spanish and Creative writing! I can assure you that after a few classes, you will be amazed to see that you are already bonding with your classmates and your teachers! Furthermore you will have lot of fun doing and learning something you enjoy!

I hope these few tips will help you to connect in no time with amazing people who will make your experience here inspiring and memorable! Learn the language of your new country and you will have friends for life ❤ Building an enriching social life is the key to your integration and happiness!

Notting Hill Carnival 2014 - 011

Don’t hesitate to share your experiences on this topic, as I think it as interesting as useful!

9 thoughts on “Connecting with awesome people”

  1. I so want to do this more! I just started taking language classes yesterday from a guy that I’m GIVING classes to. I’m teaching him English and he’s teaching me Galician! So fun. Btw, you are an amazing photographer…what kind of camera do you use? À bientot!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a cool idea Ross! Actually, last year in my English class there were 3 Galician girls but now they go to another school! There are also girls from Venezuela and Mexico and sometimes they cook amazing dishes from their home country (you would love this class 🙂 but I try to avoid to speak Spanish with them since they are here in Australia to learn English and I don’t want to slow them down in their practice (so I just speak in Spanish when they are stuck with their English)!

      I wrote this post because I discovered that many of my foreigner friends stayed at home the first weeks/months they arrived here in Australia because they knew nobody and they were afraid to speak English! I think it can be a depressing situation and it can play a negative role in your experience abroad (homesick).

      I hope this article will help people moving abroad to make friends rapidly 🙂 Learning the language of the country with classmates from all other the world is the best!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Thanks for the compliment regarding the pictures! I have to confess I am not a talented photographer, my partner is 😉 Most of the pictures on my blog are his and he is using a Nikon D90 and AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G (for my defense I have offered him this camera 5 years ago for his birthday so I guess it makes it all right to use them) … The ‘average’ pictures are mine lol and I took them mostly with my IPHONE…

      Yesterday and today’s pictures have been taken when we were living in London during the Notting Hill Carnaval ❤ what an exciting moment!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s super cool that you two work together! Actually my fiancee is a photographer and she was wondering what kind of camera to buy, so this helps a lot!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds good to me 🙂 just so you know, this camera (semi professional) was bought 5 years ago so I am not sure you can find the same and it is probably worth nothing now (although it costed me a fortune). Maybe you can find one on ebay for a cheap price (it still makes great pictures I agree!). Anyway with Nikon you can’t go wrong, so have a look maybe at their current offer and don’t hesitate to go in a professional photographer shop to ask for advise! Generally they are very helpful!

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  3. Nice article, Virginie! It reminds me a lot about the different periods of my life I spent abroad. I found that living away from home and sharing the same interests with other people (languages, new cultures, etc.) really brings people closer together. As you say, English lessons are probably the best way to meet those people. Anyways, hope all is good on that side of the world!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks! I am really enjoying my time in Australia and I feel lucky I have the opportunity to meet amazing people from all other the world in my English classes. Connecting with other cultures and other languages is so enriching!
      When you were living abroad, have you meet good friends you are still in contact with? In which country have you been? Did this experience change you and in which ways?
      I wish you all the best and again thanks for your comment 🙂

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      1. Hi Virginie! My mum was in Australia a few months ago and was absolutely fascinated by it, so I can only imagine you are having quite a blast!
        As far as my experience abroad is concerned, I ‘m half Spanish (born and raised in Spain), but I spent some time in the UK (a total of a year and a half, between Bradford, Oxford, Bedford and Cambridge) and 5 more months in the US (in NYC). These experiences where great fun, and I am in touch with many of the people I met over there. I suppose those people and the experiences I lived over there made me a lot more independent, and they broadened my mind more than I would have ever imagined! I got to know many different cultures, great people, amazing food, and I even learnt a few fun (but sometimes inappropriate) phrases in many different languages. I dunno why, but inappropriate phrases are usually the most fun to learn xD. Well, keep having fun! I’ll keep an eye out for your posts from Oz!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. How interesting! Your life sounds really cool and you seem to have adapted easily everywhere you went: making new friends, learning about new cultures and of course learning bad language! You are right I think that rude expressions are fun to remember. My theory is that because it is not in your mother tongue the words don’t have the same value and you don’t feel bad saying them… Furthermore natives have a lot of fun when hearing inappropriate sentences (rude words) pronounced in a different accent by a foreigner… in a way you feel you are part of the group because you managed to swear like them and it is something you will never learn at school only with locals you are bonding with! Laughing with people is a great way to connect with them and what makes people laugh the most? most of the time “taboo” topics and swearing is one of them 😉
    I hope you will have the opportunity one day to travel to Australia, it is such a great country! I am really in love with it ❤ In the meantime don't hesitate to keep an eye on what's going on in Oz world through my blog and feel free to leave comments and share your opinions (it is always interesting to hear about new people). I wish you all the best!

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