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How to Make Friends in a New City

Meeting People When You Are New in Town


Moving to a new city can be exciting. After all, you are starting from scratch with a new place to live and work, sights to see, and of course, potential new friends to meet. While connecting with new people isn't always easy, you can do it, and these strategies will help.

Turn Your Solitary Pursuits Into Group Activities

Book Club
Olivia Barr/Getty Images

Find groups in your area centered around an activity you would normally do by yourself. If you enjoy reading, bookstores and libraries have free book clubs you can join. If activities like knitting or scrapbooking are your pleasure, look up craft groups at places like your local community center or hobby shop.

If you like to work out, get healthy while you meet new friends! Join a gym, but don't just work out and then go home. When you register, ask the attendant to introduce you to some of the regulars. Also, find out if the gym has any leagues or groups you could join. For nearly every hobby, Meetup.com can help connect you with people who share your passion. If there isn't a group that matches your needs? Start one yourself.

Meet New People by Volunteering

Meet New Friends Through Volunteering
Photo: jomeriano

Volunteering is the perfect way to get acclimated to a new city. You'll feel good donating your time and you'll get to meet people as a bonus. Sites like Volunteer Match, Serve.gov, and Get Involved, can help connect you with organizations who need volunteers in your area.

Habitat for Humanity, for example, often needs various levels of support, from building expertise to marketing. For an organization like the American Red Cross, 96 percent of their work force is made up of volunteers. As a result, there are several opportunities to get involved, from donating blood to teaching swimming or CPR.

Let Others Know You're New in Town

Tell the people you work with or the baristas behind the counter of your favorite coffee place that you are new in town. Make a point of asking for the best place to eat, shop, or see the sights when you're out. When people hear you are new to the area they will usually go out of their way to help you find places to go, which in turn gives you more opportunity to meet potential friends.

Join a Business Group

Join a Business Group to Make New Friends
Photo: Celal Teber

Sites like Linked In and Yahoo offer several online forums that can help expand networking opportunities. You could become friends with someone though one of the online discussions and then meet in person later.

To join a Linked In group, go to the top of the screen and click on "groups" and then "groups you may like." Linked In lists several groups it feels you might enjoy based on various things you've indicated on your profile. Get involved with the groups that meet in person with things like business book groups, networking events, or social mixers.

To join a Yahoo group, click on "groups," then "business and finance." Type in the name of your city in the search screen, and scroll through the list of local groups that appear.

Be Open to the Experience of Meeting New Friends

With any of these activities, be sure to smile and remain open to meeting someone new. Keep your body language open so people will feel comfortable walking up and talking to you. Always give people you meet the best impression you can.

It can be difficult to be the new person everywhere you go, but rest assured that will only be the case for a short while. By using a few of these strategies, you'll have plenty of new friends in no time.

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