International Mobility #hobbies#leisure#sports

Expat life: pursuing extracurricular activities to help with integration

For anyone who has just moved to another country, acclimatising can sometimes be difficult. However, pursuing extracurricular activities is an excellent way to instigate meetings and promote integration into the new country.

Far from their points of reference and friends, expats must build a new life and, above all, a new social circle. It is a vital step for integrating as smoothly as possible into the new host country.

Within the company they have just joined, expats will meet people in an effectively automatic fashion. A conversation during break over coffee, a case you have questions about… New colleagues will be there to share their knowledge, professional or otherwise. Invitations to go for a drink after work, if offered, are an excellent way to make friends.

However, beyond professional relationships, it is also important to establish a circle of friends outside of day-to-day work so that you can create a new social universe for yourself. Meeting people who have similar interests and shared passions will facilitate discussions. Locals are often delighted to share their insights with new people who are trying to integrate. You should never hesitate to approach others, regardless of linguistic and cultural barriers, even if this may seem complicated at first.

Moreover, signing up to extracurricular activities or pursuing your favourite hobby is an excellent way to meet people.

Getting to know the local culture

Language and culture classes are available in every country. If you feel completely uprooted and detached from the local culture, learning the basics of the language and discovering the foundations of a new culture help not only to know more about the country and its inhabitants, but also to meet people in the same situation.

If you want to immerse yourself in a new culture, cooking classes are also a fun and rewarding activity for those who like to know what’s on their plate when they eat at a restaurant or who want to discover how to use ingredients they hadn’t heard of before.

Visiting museums provides opportunities to discover the history of a country and its nation and therefore better understand what it is built on. Knowing more about the country you have just moved to helps understand the behaviours and habits of the new hosts. Moreover, guided tours are a chance to talk to people who may one day become close friends.

Meeting people who share the same hobbies

If you have just moved abroad, it is crucial to continue pursuing the hobby you devoted yourself to in your home country. Sport lovers can find a club or gym, a golf course, a tennis club, or a swimming pool nearby that they can join to keep up the skills that contribute to their balance and development. Moreover, sharing a passion for the same sport undoubtedly creates a bond; it helps you meet new partners and thereby form a new social circle.

Expat circles

If despite all these attempts to integrate into the new population you do not manage to become acclimatised or meet new people, expat circles may help you feel less lonely. They are a way for expats to meet people in the same situation and of the same nationality or from another country with whom they can share their feelings.

Specialised meeting sites

Often ignored, meeting sites are designed for foreigners who simply wish to meet new people. Operating according to the same principles as dating sites, meeting sites are intended for friendly meetings and in some cases can be an excellent way to get to know new people.

Arriving in a new country is an unsettling time. It is crucial not to feel isolated and to create a new social circle for yourself. There are many activities that can help with this—you just need to find the right one for you!

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