How to meet people in a new city

So, after thinking long and hard about it, you’ve decided. You’re moving to a new city! First of all, well done, it’s a brave but smart decision. Moving to a new city can bring with it all kinds of brilliant experiences both personally and professionally. Whether you’re moving abroad or swapping cities within your current country of residence, your new city is bound to offer you a huge variety of fresh and interesting things.

Right about now is the time you’ll be turning your attention to how to meet new people. Although your decision is definitely a positive one and you should absolutely be excited, it can be a daunting one as well. The difficulty is knowing where to start, but once you’re up and running in your new city, you’ll have more friends and plans than you know what to do with!

With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of top tips on how to go from wondering what to do with your Saturday the day before, to having to book your plans a month in advance because of your chock-a-block calendar!

Friends of friends

This is a great place to start. Announce your big move on Facebook or in your biggest WhatsApp groups and ask if anyone knows anyone already living in your new city. Even just knowing one person who can take you out for a beer or coffee and show you the ropes can really help you get off to a good start. And you never know, if you really hit it off with a friend of a friend, they’ll introduce you to their friends and you might not even need to use any of the other tips!

Play lots of sport

The brilliant thing about cities is that there are so many people, whatever your level or whatever your choice of sport, you can always find someone or a team to play with. Plus, it’ll bring you all sorts of advantages in the process, it’ll keep you fit and healthy, get you out of the house and help keep your spirits up.

Like all things to do with moving, the hardest part is knowing where to start. There are all sorts of ways to find your sport and your level. You can start by asking colleagues at work or even flatmates if they fancy a game of tennis or if they know any football teams you could join (or whatever your sport of choice is). If that fails, which sometimes it does (at least to begin with), then it’s time to get out the apps. The best for this is Meetup, this will sort you out for cities across the world. Whatever your sport is, they’re sure to have something. 

The MeetUp app is a great way to find people to do sports with

Learn a language

If you’re moving abroad and you don’t speak the language, this should be top of your list. Firstly, you’ll meet great people likely to be in a similar boat to you in your class. Invite them for a coffee to go over your past tenses or, as you’re new in the city, ask them to be your sightseeing mate.

Secondly, the sooner you can speak the language of your city, the sooner you can start signing up to things without worrying about whether or not it’ll be in English. While you can survive in most places speaking English, learning the language will enrich your whole experience no end, that’s a reality.

Even if the above doesn’t apply to you and you’re going to a city where you speak the language confidently, the advice remains. Sign up to learn a new one, you’ll still get to meet your classmates. It’s a great setting to meet new people and you’ll all start off with at least one common interest.

Be a yes person (at least to start with!)

Meeting people in a new city is as much about having a positive attitude as it is about anything else. If you get off to a slow start it’s easy to get into a bit of a funk and stay at home with Netflix every night. It’s important not to though. If your new flatmates ask you to go for a beer, say yes even though you’re tired after work. If your work mate asks you to go for lunch, say yes even though you brought in your own food.

Before you know it people will be inviting you to parties, dinners and brunches left, right and centre. Once you get to that point, it is of course fine to relax the yes rule and if you’re tired and fancy a night in with Netflix, then go for it!

Get out and about

At the start of your big move you’re bound to have a few tough moments of feeling a bit lonely, we all go through it, and that’s fine. It’s really important to keep your spirits up though to make your big move a success. So, if you find in the first few weeks that you’re spending more time than you’d like home alone, go out! Embrace doing things alone, if there’s a cafe you really wanted to try, or something you wanted to see in the city, just go. 

You can't meet new people if you don't get out of the house
Getting out of the house will make you feel infinitely better and you're almost certain to meet new people in the process

You’ll see, getting out of the house will make you feel infinitely better, and as you’re in a new city, you shouldn’t be short of great options. You never know, you might even meet a few people in the process.

Choose the flatmates, not the flat

Last but certainly not least, if like most people you’ll be flatsharing, you should consider the flatmates as much as the flat. If you can find flatmates that you share common interests with, you won’t have to look too far to meet new people.

Badi can help with this. Check out the in-depth profiles of your potential flatmates, see what they’re interested in and what they like doing with their spare time. If you think you could be a good match, you’ll automatically have a flat full of friends as soon as you move.

That takes us to the end of our list. Hopefully your big move has gone from daunting to exciting after reading this, or at least from daunting to a little less daunting. Just be positive, proactive and open right from the start and your move will be plain sailing. So, get out there!