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How to survive emigrating on your own

Autumn brings with it a sense of ‘newness’; new school year, a new season, new wardrobe, a ‘new you’. All exciting changes that promise a glossier, more polished future.

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However, what if this autumn brings a completely different new into your life, one that involves packing up your belongings and travelling cross-country or even across the globe? It is a scary prospect – moving to a new city or country without the safety net of family and friends – but it can prove to be one of the most daring and thrilling experiences. Here is Debut’s guide to making the leap and how to prosper from it.

Choose your neighbourhood carefully

Before moving scout-out the different neighbourhoods in your new city. Chances are many cities have smaller communities with events such as weekly farmer markets, local community centres, and cultural hubs such as art galleries or live music venues. Not only are these great opportunities to get out and explore your new area, but they also lead to meeting your new neighbours. Love reading? Perhaps there is a local book club. Want to get fit? Maybe there is a local running club. If not then take the initiative and create your own club or society, put up flyers around your area and spread the word via social media – chances are there are plenty of other people itching to join.

Look for flat shares

Worried about making new friends in your new home? Try a flat share. Yes, it is possible that you may not get on with your new flatmates as well as your friends at home, but having a small network of people at home helps starve off any feelings of loneliness. It is important to choose carefully though – cleanliness, reliability and friendliness are key.

Thanks to social media there are plenty of flatmate search apps out there to try. Roomi is like Tinder but for flatmates; listings are verified, users can describe themselves (using words such as ‘clean’ or ‘non-smoker’) making it easier for you to whittle choices down, and you can message potential flatmates without giving out personal details.

Another great site is Roomster, one of the first flatmate search tools that covers 192 countries and currently has over four million users.

Don’t shut yourself away

This one is key. Simply put, shutting yourself away in your room with a takeaway pizza and Netflix is a guaranteed way to ensure you won’t make any friends. If you are flat sharing, a closed door instantly signals to others that you don’t want to make effort with them. Buy yourself a doorstop, prop your door open while you work and get ready to chat with passers-by – you never know what friendships you could start through a simple ‘hello, how are you?’.

Social media saviours

So, you’ve moved in to your new flat/house, not getting on great with your flatmates and stuck when searching for friends. Again, social media offers a great way to meet new people, here are our favourites:

  • Meetup: Meetup works across hundreds of cities worldwide, bringing together groups of people with similar interests.
  • Bumble: You may have heard of Bumble as a dating app (which it is), but Bumble also offers users the opportunity to meet people as friends. Easy to use and a great way to connect to new people.
  • Nerdify: Nearify not only updates you on events happening near you, but also lets you see which of your friends is also interested.
  • Nextdoor: If you want to get to know people in your local community better Nextdoor allows you to join a private, neighbourhood social network where you can share information and chat to your neighbours.

We hope this guide helps you in your move, comment below or contact us on Twitter (@debutmaguk) or Instagram (@debutmaguk) with any stories or tips for moving to a new city or country.

Words: Esther Newman

Twitter: @estherbnewman




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The UK's first Career & Lifestyle Magazine for women in the Creative and Media industries.

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