If you’re leaving Nigeria, you’ll need friends to survive abroad.
There are a variety of reasons why you’ll be travelling out of Nigeria. You might be studying or taking a job abroad, or you could simply be curious about the world and wish to learn about other cultures.
Whatever your reason, when you leave Nigeria, you’ll suddenly find yourself in a new environment where you might feel like an outsider. You can end up feeling homesick and lonely—but if you follow these seven tips, you’ll be able to make friends and enjoy your time in your new home.
1. Gym membership
Getting a gym membership is one of the easiest ways to meet new people. When you join a local gym, you’ll immediately find that you have something in common with the other members: everyone there wants to work out. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet others who live in your neighborhood, and you might discover that some of them are parents or students just like you.
These commonalities can be an easy way to start conversations and build relationships.
2. Join a cooking class
Taking culinary lessons at the local community center is one great way to make new friends. You will not only learn how to prepare delectable cuisine, you will also have the opportunity to meet new people who share your enthusiasm for cooking.
3. Go on tours
Taking a group tour of the city is a fantastic opportunity to meet new people. Group tours come in a variety of formats and they can last anywhere from two hours to six days, depending on the activities they provide.
An eco-tour, for example, can involve a bicycle trip through the city’s parks or kayaking down the river that runs through town, while a historical tour might include wandering down cobblestone streets and seeing buildings from centuries ago with an expert guide narrating as you go.
Tours are an excellent way to meet new people because practically everyone on the tour is eager to meet others as well.
These days, there are several websites that will tell you exactly where groups of people with similar interests gather in your neighbourhood. It may be anything from dancing to singing to writing or even birdwatching.
Whatever it is, you can search online for specific groups or topics that interest you and meetup with them. The good thing about meetups is that you will already have something in common with the people you’ll meet there.
5. Volunteer for something
If you want to make new friends abroad, look for volunteer opportunities. These not only allow you to meet local residents, but they are also very enjoyable ways to spend your time abroad.
There are tons of options out there, including animal rights organisations, environmental groups, and welfare organisations. Find a group that interests you and volunteer there.
6. Join a church or mosque
If faith is important to you, finding a church or mosque in your new location can be a great opportunity to meet new people and make friends who share your ideas and values.
Even if you aren’t religious, going to one of these institutions can help you make friends. You’ll get to meet people who know your new area and who might even be in the same situation as you are; perhaps they’ve moved from another state as well, or maybe they’ve been there for years but haven’t yet found a social group. In either case, these places will allow you to talk with people and get advice about how best to navigate your new environment.
Be sure to attend some of their social events, too — you’ll increase the number of people you know and will have more opportunities for meeting someone who could become a friend.
7. Leverage on old relationships
If you have family or friends who live in the same city as you do, ask if they can connect you with their network of individuals and organisations. You can ask them to introduce you to their friends and coworkers in the city. This is one of the easiest ways of making friends when you travel outside Nigeria. All it takes is a simple introduction.