Monday, 5 August 2013

Getting involved in the local community…

One of the best ways to really become a part of the local community is to get stuck into the popular local activities. Whilst in cities there will be a wealth of clubs and activities to get involved with, moving to smaller towns can present an additional set of challenges.

In the UK for example, village life is often still centered on the parish council which will help to keep you up-to-date on local issues and upcoming events. Elsewhere in the world, towns and villages may well have their own versions of these institutions or other community opportunities too for those who are keen to get involved.

 Picture source: wikicommons

Join the sports club

By joining the local sports club you can play and so get to know people who share a common passion or, equally, the frustrations of a missed goal or putt with you! Team sports offer an opportunity to join in the camaraderie with like-minded individuals. The other great thing about getting involved in sports such as football or soccer is that on match days, the whole family can come and watch and get chatting to others on the sidelines. If you don’t already play a sport then don’t let that put you off. Learning a new skill with others in the same boat can be a unifying experience too. 

Meet the parents

If you have children then being very involved in their lives can help you to meet new people too. Picking them up from school offers an opportunity to chat to other parents at the school gates. Equally if you take them along to other activities, such as swimming lessons, there are likely to be other parents sat waiting for their kids too, and offer a chance for you to meet other mums and dads.   

Live like a local
Picture source wikicommons
By adapting your life to run in time with that of the locals you can create a more natural and relaxed way of meeting others. If there is a thriving local market for instance why not go along? It is likely that the same people, both punters and stall holders, will be there week on week. Try and get chatting to them whilst you shop. Also why not look through local magazines and community notices? These often advertise local groups and publish information about when and where they are meeting.


Help out

Picture source: wikicommons

You may also want to consider volunteering at a local charity. Volunteers are usually very friendly outgoing people and charities always appreciate another pair of willing hands. This is a real win-win situation- not only are you doing a good deed, you are also likely to make new friends whilst doing so. 


Find the expat hub

Most expat communities are friendly and willing to show new arrivals the ropes. The embassy can offer a community base for expats in some nations and so they are worth finding out about.

So whether you want to immerse yourself in the local community more generally or the local community of expats, going along to community events and activities can be a really great way of doing just that.  

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