Making new friends can feel really scary, especially when you’re a newcomer to a foreign country. You may want to cling to your old friends as much as you can, but we assure you keeping in touch with your old friends and making new ones as well will help you to feel less lonely. To make the friend-making process easier, we have provided a few different methods below for making new friends here in Canada!
Here are the best ways to expand your network in Canada as a newcomer!
1. Choose the Right Place
Although you can randomly expand your network almost anywhere, you increase your chances of doing so by picking a good venue. This means somewhere where people are likely to be much more responsive and open to conversation.
Some possible locations could include a festival, market, art gallery, or cafe. These places are generally more relaxed and encourage people to communicate with one another. For example, at a music festival, you could meet someone brand new and bond over your music taste for the rest of the evening. Hopefully, you could then attend a different concert with them at a later date too, or just meet up for a coffee!
There are some places however that aren’t great for making new friends. For example, generally, people using public transit aren’t as willing to strike up a conversation because they are listening to music, have just finished work, or are preoccupied with a book they’re reading. It’s best to avoid making this you’re “friend-making” place.
2. Join an Organization
Joining a club or organization is one of the best ways to expand your network in Canada! Luckily, there are tons of groups you could join across Canada.
For example, you could join a particular place of worship if you’re religious. This opens the door to engaging with others there and possibly even volunteering together! If strong friendships start to develop, you could even invite one or more of your new friends to do something outside of your place of worships events!
Also, if you’re really passionate about something, there’s probably a group for that! For example, if you really care about the environment and are looking for ways to get active in your community, you could join an environmental group. In Canada, there are many options to choose from, from 350 clubs at your university, Green Peace Canada, or Extinction Rebellion the options within this category seem to be limitless. Here, you’ll likely meet like-minded people who you’ll not only work on initiatives with but also socialize with!
3. Use Websites/Social Media to Find Events
Technology has made it even easier to make new friends when you’re new to a country! With certain websites and social media, you can browse local group events and RSVP directly on the website or social media.
One site that is great for finding events is Facebook. Facebook will show you tons of events from people you’re following as well as events that relate to your interests, giving you a wide variety to choose from. Another bonus is the site has a space for ticket links when you create an event, so you can usually purchase the ticket right there! If there are no tickets, just choosing “going” on the event page is likely how you RSVP.
Another site that is great for event searching is Meet Up. This website allows users to view events happening in their area and join them, or create their own event/group! The events on the site could be related to outdoor activities, sports, tech, career and business and much more! It’s here that everyone can find an event that suits their interests.
4. Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
This is probably one of the best ways to expand your network in Canada, but it can be hard to do. But, stepping outside your comfort zone could allow you to met brand new people, and discover activities that you never thought you’d enjoy.
Stepping out of your inner school of friends is important if you want to make more friends and broaden your perspectives. It may be tempting to stick with people who are from your home country, but it’s important to reach out to others. Making Canadian friends could be super helpful for you, as you can get advice from the people who have lived in Canada their whole life.
You should also take a step outside your comfort zone when it comes to activities! Trying new things could not only help you to meet new people, but you could get a new hobby out of it. For example, if you were someone who never hiked much before, try it out in Canada! Canada is famous for having stunning hiking locations, so join a local group and give it a try.
Making friends in a new place isn’t as daunting as it seems. If you follow these methods, you are sure to meet some new people you like. And remember to always be yourself, that’s the best version f you after all!