Moving anywhere new can be daunting, never mind the other side of the world! Luckily the UK hosts a large multinational culture so you can expect to make friends from all over the world. The healthcare system in the UK hires internationally so you can expect a welcoming attitude from your colleagues. However, anyone who has moved overseas, or even interstate, knows that even in the most-friendly environments, making friends can often be a challenge.
Here are our top tips for making friends in the UK:
- Give yourself a good 3 – 6 months before you feel like you’ve settled in. During this time, you’ll discover how independent you can be; you’ll be able to find the people and socials scenes that suit you just right.
- Ask if your ward does days/nights out. Many wards will organise social events outside of the annual staff Christmas Party to boast morale; encourage the team to bond and get to know each other.
- Say yes to invitations. Whether it be a ‘team night out’, a chilled drink at the pub or just a walk in the park. You may not enjoy that particular activity but it will help you build a friendship and then you can choose the next activity!
- Volunteer at your local community group, join a local sporting team, introduce yourself to someone in a class at the gym. Whatever your hobby is,find a group that does it, and do it with them.
- Facebook has lots of groups for expats, its easy to search for one that you find interesting.
- Check out Girlcrew.com,it’s an online platform that helps women find friends in their local area. It began in Dublin but now is used globally.
- Bumble BFF.It’s not just a dating site! Lots of expats use this as a way to connect with people and build up friendships.
- https://www.meetup.com/cities/gb/ is a site where you can select your local region and join a group for a local meetup. From hiking to book clubs, there is something for everyone. Can’t find your local region, you can start a new group and organise your own trips or gatherings for hobbies for yourself and locals.
- For those who prefer more “me time”, the UK is ideal as the towns, attractions and shopping are easily accessed by foot or public transport and it’s safe. You will enjoy a balance of doing your own thing plus spending time with new found friends.
- Like any relationship, you need to put in the effort to make friendships and it does take time – it’s almost like dating! You have to follow up with a phone call after the first coffee date. But if you put yourself out there, it’s worth it and you’ll soon have a friend for life!
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