In this month’s student blog, the Upper Intermediate class has written their insights on how to meet people whilst living in London. We all understand that living in a new place, especially London, can be stressful at times but one way to help with this is by meeting new people and possibly even making new friends. Read through each students experience and their suggestions on how to make friends in London.
As a new foreigner in London, it’s quite natural to be excited but anxious at the same time. Well, take it easy, you just need to make new friends. Let’s get down to meeting up with new people.
Here are three tips for you:
First, keep your eyes open when you walk around the streets. There are plenty of posters on the shop / club windows, doors of churches or action centres or leisure centres you very probably come across, now and then.
They might be volunteer jobs or gathering activities provided. As long as you pay attention to them, you will get access to join for fun. I even got a scooter for free!
Furthermore, once you enter a church or centre, take part in one activity, it means you begin to know people there, well, try to join the society there. People will introduce you to their friends, and gradually your friend-circle will be broadened.
Take myself for example. I usually took the train from London to Bracknell the first whole month. And London Waterloo is my terminal station, so I walked around it very often. One day, I noticed there was a volunteer recruitment on the door of Waterloo Action Centre, so I entered and applied. The reception gave me a form to fill in, and the lady in charge contacted me the next day, informing me about the timetables of their engaging activities that I could join anyone for free if I was interested. I certainly appreciated and accepted. Day by day, two months went by. I attended their sewing, dancing, singing and even gardening classes. I learned a lot, not only did my English improve, but I also learned more about the British culture.
For example, I once had coffee with a French lady I knew there. I ordered three cups of coffee and I had to drank them all. 😅Because the lady couldn’t drink
the first two coffee (both with milk) and the third one which was not decaffeinated.😂
It’s my fault, but she felt sorry too, so she asked many friends to help me with my accommodation in London, and she made a card for me. I’m very grateful for that ☺️
So don’t feel shy to ask what you don’t understand, or what you really need to know. I once asked a coach (green line 702) driver to get information from Bracknell to London. Guess what? I got a big surprise that I only need to pay 2 pounds for a single journey now (which was £7.5 before)!
Last but not least, try not to stay at home or keep talking with your family all the time, because you will lose your chance to meet new people, and possibly new friends. Right? Enjoy London.
Nowadays the world has become an era of internationalization especially in London. We can meet various people while living in London. But how can we meet people in London where different people live. I am going to introduce a few ways in which I want to do it.
First of all, in my case, it could be a bit special, because I have a partner, I can meet many people through my partner. But even if it is not your case, you can meet people by being introduced to other friends through your friends. I think it will also help to develop your social skills and it will help a lot to adapt to London society.
The second suggestion is to take up a hobby. In my case, I did crossfit in London and Korea. It was very good, and I could meet many new people. I felt especially awkward doing small talk with people in London, but as I talked to people little by little every day on CrossFit, I got used to this more and more. So, I think taking up a hobby would be an opportunity to meet people and learn more about London.
In conclusion, I recommend that you try both of the points I suggested, especially I recommend starting a new hobby. I think there you can meet people with common hobbies and it will be easier to talk to them. And you can make friends beyond just meeting people, right? I'll leave a link to the CrossFit I went to for those who are interested! Anyone interested, please check it out: https://crossfitaldgate.com/.
Nobody can deny that moving to another country is always a great stress, even if it had been planned in advance. Many people travel to different countries for study and work. Being a foreigner is usually tough, especially when you don’t know anyone in another country. It is very easy to feel lonely, in such a big city as London. Human beings are social creatures, so it is important to know places where you can meet new people who share your interests.
I’d like to begin with acceptable methods of communication in the current age. It is important to note that we all live in the digital world, it simply means that the most convenient way to search for anything you like is possible through the internet. For instance, all you need to do is to organize search in the right direction and use different resources namely: Afisha London as well as some social media. If you are interested in art, I would also recommend checking some events related to this subject. For example, you can type in the search box the word ‘London museums’ and you will see lots of links. Furthermore, in London you can meet people who study or work in the art field. Perhaps, the best way is to visit university websites and find a group that matches your interests. In addition, you can try communicating in forums, where people discuss art and go with them to exhibitions.
Another option to consider is passion for food. To be more specific, I mean different activities regarding this topic. One good example is cooking classes, where you are likely to meet new people who share the same interests as you. Moreover, this activity will bring you fun and new insight into cooking. Also, based on my personal experience, in London you can sometimes find national festivals. Recently I visited one event called “first ever Uzbek culture festival in London” and it was about the national food and traditions from Uzbekistan. This kind of event might help you to meet people and more importantly you will more likely meet your fellow citizens, which is great pleasure. It is understandable that in a foreign country people can start to get homesick.
To sum up, fortunately you can use a lot of different sources in social media, which might be very helpful and work for you. I hope that you will find this article useful.
2. Fever up
Have you ever felt like chatting with somebody you don’t know and making new friends? I don’t think that is easy because you might be shy and normally people are busy to do their business, but I think you can make a new friend easily in specific circumstance.
Going to club is one option. If you go to a club, you will see many people enjoying drinking and dancing. In that situation, you can talk to many people easily also making new friends because they are relaxed. In my opinion, people in clubs like encountering new things because the club play music loudly for dancing and listening and that is not usual in our real life, so it makes me think they have strong interest in new things unlike people who go to pubs.
In my case, I had never been to a club until I came to the UK. But when I went clubbing with my friends for the first time, I met many people and had many conversations. It was good experience for me, and I still keep in touch with some of those I met then. Clubbing might sound a bit weird for you, but I think it is worth a try.
Another option is using hostels as your accommodation. If you use hostels, you will meet a large variety of people there. That will be good experience for you. The reason is hostels are used by the rich and the poor alike, also by different nationalities, I mean everybody uses them. That means you can listen to many interesting stories from distant places. And most of them are used to communicating with people who do not speak the same language because those who use hostels usually like travelling and getting to know you. And the biggest merit to staying in hostels is you can speak to them for a long time until it’s time to go to bed. I used to stay in hostels before, and I met one Chinese person there. I really enjoyed listening to her story and we are still in touch and sometimes we meet up to have a chat. So, you might be able to find a good friend there.
In conclusion, many people believe meeting people and making friends may be difficult. It’s simply because people just don’t know how easy it is to make friends if you use some facility or attend some events. So, if you want to meet and chat with somebody who you don’t know, you had better take advantage of these and then you will never feel lonely.