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Many people long to move to another country but are worried that they will feel lonely and struggle to meet people. This is perfectly natural but surprisingly easy to overcome when you arrive so you shouldn’t let it stand in the way of your new Canada job or plans to study in Singapore.

There’s no deep secret to making friends – you simply have to meet enough people and spend enough time with them that you can learn about them and become close. One problem many people face is that they don’t have enough reasons to go out of their house and talk to strangers and it can be scary to do so. However, the results are often very worthwhile and many immigrants say that the people they meet are the best thing about their new life.

While it’s entirely possible to strike up a conversation in a shop and become firm friends, this is not everyone’s cup of tea. Knowing that you’ll see the same people regularly makes it easier to get to know them. For this reason, we recommend trying any of the following:

Take a class:
it could be a language class or work class or something just for fun. As student visa consultants, we know that studying together is a great way to get to know each other.

Join a hobby group:
share your interest with others, or try something new. Meetup.com covers groups in many countries.

Arrange a language swap:
if you want to learn a new language, local websites like Gumtree.com can put you in touch with a conversation partner.

Join your local library:
in many countries are community centres with information about classes and groups.

Make time for your religion:
even if you have to travel, knowing you’ll be able to share your faith with people who understand can be refreshing for the soul.

Join a sports team:
particularly in Europe and North America, amateur sports teams are an excellent way to socialise. You don’t have to be any good and can try something new. A job opportunity in Canada will also let you try snow sports, like skiing.

Go online:
Websites aimed at new immigrants often post social events, which range from a trip to the cinema to a big party. You may also find groups on Facebook.com

Hang out in a pub or cafe:
every country has public areas where it is easier to meet people. If you migrate to Australia or Britain, the local pub is a good place. In other countries, it’s often a coffee shop, like Starbucks.

Get a job:
work colleagues can become friends and many companies encourage their employees to socialise.

At the school gates:
children quickly make friends, and you can meet their parents. For pre-school children, there are many groups where parents can chat while babies play.

Go shopping:
when you’re out and about, see if you can strike up a conversation with the people at the till. This is particularly valuable if you are working on learning the local language.

Volunteer:help the elderly, raise money for charity or perhaps clean up the environment. Volunteering is good for the community and a great way to meet new people.

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