Moving abroad is challenging, but moving abroad during a pandemic adds a whole new level to the experience! I have often thought about how different things would be if I had moved abroad within the last year; how I met new people then and how I would go about meeting new people now. After collecting some ideas with a friend who moved abroad just before the pandemic, here are three tips for meeting new people when social distancing is a must.
1. Your living abroad profile
Use Instagram to show others who are living in the same place as you that you’re there! You can either create a new profile or update your current one by making sure your bio says where you live, where you’re from and when you moved. Upload photos, stories and captions so that people can see if you have similar interests. Follow others who are doing something similar, and slowly build up your network. It’s worth asking people why they created their account – to meet new people, to share their experience with others, or maybe just as an online diary? Remember that different people will have different intentions 😊 Don’t forget to use hashtags!
2. Be brave, write the post
Don’t be afraid to post in Facebook groups. I find Facebook to be super interactive and there is so much positive feedback. If you fancy going on a walk, then it’s likely someone else does too. And if it doesn’t work out the first time, who’s to say it won’t work out when you post the second or third time.
3. Respect boundaries
Everyone has different social boundaries and preferences – pandemic or no pandemic. While it’s great to chat on social media, people may be more hesitant about meeting up physically. Bear this in mind, be empathetic and remember that patience is a virtue.
For me, meeting new people was an essential part of the process when I first moved to Frankfurt. Making friends when you move abroad is always a bit hit and miss, but if you can meet just one person who you click with, I’d say it’s worth the effort!