Far from home and your traditional social circle, you may feel lonely but withdrawing into yourself will not put things right. Everyday is an adventure that you should make the most of. So get out of your comfort zone to make your stay a real adventure!
Here are some tips to socialise and make friends in Dublin.
1 – Have a look on meeting platforms
Don’t worry, I’m not talking about romantic encounter platforms. Thanks to the Internet, we have plenty of options to meet people. During the past few years, lots of platforms such as Meetup, Internations or OneRoof were born, besides traditional social medias like Facebook (of course, you can also use that!).
The principle is simple: to help you find and integrate into communities wherever you are – knowing that they are abundant in Dublin. Then you’ll be able to go out, do some collective activities and share your experience. What is great is that you can look for communities according to your country of origin, your interests and even the neighbourhood you live in. So don’t be shy and get out there!
Here are a few examples of meetup groups in Dublin:
2 – Use language exchange platforms and apps
Still in the digital category, you also have all the platforms and apps which allow you to practice your languages. And again, there are plenty. Even if the main objective isn’t meeting your language partners, nothing prevents you from doing it and making some friends.
Incidentally, I’ve started to use this kind of app before going abroad, and you know what? Not only did I meet local people, but I also had a to-do list before I arrived in Dublin – which is quite useful when you know absolutely nothing about the city you’re going to live in.
Here are examples of language exchange platforms and apps you can use:
If you’re not a big fan of digital, let’s see some more spontaneous options.
3 – Participate in a conversation group
Along the same lines as the previous point, there are physical linguistic exchanges. They’re open to everyone and are perfect to meet people from all over the world while practicing your English. The difference is they take place in friendly spaces.
Those meetings are usually held weekly in libraries and local cafes so you should inquire about them. For instance, Dublin Central Library has one. Will you ask for more information by making a call? Actually if you’re interested in it, you should ask in person because there’s nothing on the website.
Here are the contact details of Dublin Central library: https://www.dublincity.ie/residential/libraries/find-library/central-library
4 – Try new activities / join a club
As I said above: if you want to meet people, you must get out of your house. Sometimes you need to seize the opportunity and sometimes you have to create it. Wouldn’t it be the time to try something new? If you’ve ever dreamt of learning cooking, playing an instrument, or hiking…whatever. Just do it! It will help you meet people.
5 -Take part of your company social life
Don’t be surprised if your colleagues offer you to have a pint of beer, that’s what we call ‘afterwork’. It’s very common and popular here. It would be a shame not to try Guinness at the pub, wouldn’t it? I’m joking, if you don’t want to drink beer, of course you won’t be excluded. But you should go out with them and enjoy the moment. It’s good to know our co-workers in a more relaxed and informal way.
6 – Take part of NED College social life
Obviously, I saved the best for last! Life at school does not only consist of taking courses…we want you to have the greatest experience that you can have! That’s why we often organise all kinds of activities, starting from your first day at school (‘Welcome Tour’), and all through your studies.
You won’t be the only one discovering Dublin and its surroundings. Actually, you’ll all be in the same boat, with comparable fears and expectations. So you must take advantage of it to establish links with the rest of the students and enjoy your new life.
Now pop out and buy an address book because you’ll need it.
Article by Mélanie Audbourg
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