As an ex-pat this topic is always going to be relevant, finding a social circle while necessary, can be a little bit awkward and I have noticed that finding the right social circle goes through a constant evolution. Many moons ago, I did an article for Western Union, called how to become an EXPAT (which had this as one of the questions), while they selected only one answer from my long list – we did keep the entire Q bank as an ex-pat resource – linking up that article here.
Today on the blog I have the wonder woman who rocks, Julia Peters who describes her experience when she moved to Zurich. I hope you will get some ideas from our diverse but somewhat similar experiences between the 2 cities!
“Due to certain personal reasons, I started to spend time in Switzerland and one of my biggest challenges was to make new friends. I managed to find a few solutions very quickly.”
Looking for contacts in Zurich I realized that, although this city is very rich when it comes to events, many people are missing socializing. The reason is quite obvious: there are tons of ex-pats, who come here for work. They are very dedicated and passionate about their job, but completely lost when it comes to their free time.
Highly skilled professionals are mostly over 30, and at this age, let’s admit it – it becomes hard to make new friends. Therefore, I created a Facebook group Good Friends in Zurich. Its goal is to bring people closer and helping them to find new friends. Together we arrange Meetups and parties such as Coffee breaks, Lunches, Language Swaps, Karaoke, Cinema visits, Food tastings, Dance classes, Escape room games, etc. All our members are equal, and anybody can propose or arrange the event as long as it’s free.
We’re also trying to offer our members some benefits – such as discounts, free drinks, vouchers, etc. At first, it was supposed to be a small group, but today, after a few months, the group has 1250 active members – and this number keeps on growing. To become a member of our community the person must send a Facebook request and answer a few entry questions. The group is open to all people who want to socialize and each one of us on the group volunteers.
Today I can enter any bar or entertainment center and ask for special conditions; many owners gladly offer us a place for our events. And even though I will never get paid for this, I will keep this going. Monetizing this initiative was never my intention, the intent was bringing people together and that is happening. The warm words of support and encouragement constantly make it worth my hard work!
My second source of getting some amazing and like-minded connections is my Instagram page. It gives me the possibility to share news, thoughts, and positive energy with many people. I keep on meeting very interesting personalities online, and quite a few acquaintances that have transformed into a real-life friendships. One of the best examples is cooperation with the beautiful owner of this blog, Pragati.
If you want to make new friends, you can start online. Facebook and Instagram will help you even if you really shy. Just be active and positive! Good luck!
Julia Peters is 36 years old, she was born and raised in a beautiful Ukrainian city Odesa. She is an independent journalist and media publisher. Her professional career began when she was only 20 – at first, she became the editor-in-chief of a magazine about billiards, and then she went on to establish her own magazine about motorsport. At the age of 25, she moved to Austria and spent over 10 years there. She has published 3 books about immigration and created her own magazine about Tirolean tourism.
Join her tribe on IG, she is a very popular influencer – https://www.instagram.com/_antimodel_/
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