How to Make Friends in a New Country

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Mom friends having coffee and talking. Many people move into the country, especially Westchester County because there are so many international companies. When you move to a new country with your family, it can be hard to make friendships and settle in. I moved to New York from Europe in early 2019 with children aged 5 and 1 at the time and it wasn’t easy. Moms living in a new country need to connect with other people and feel a sense of community since their friends and family are so far away.

To make it easier on you as a newbie to the country here are my top recommendations for meeting new mom friends, which will depend a lot on your personality and what you are comfortable with doing. 

1. Manage your expectations.

Depending on where you are moving from, chances are life is very different and what worked there will probably not work here.

2. Make sure you are on the classroom list to be asked to participate as a volunteer.

Your kids’ friends at school are a great way to meet new friends for you. Be as active as you can in their school. It might be hard to get into the group of moms who always participate but PUSH your way in.

3. Get to know your neighbors with children in the same school as yours.

If they take the bus, send them by bus and meet with them every morning and afternoon. Ask them questions and tell them about yourself and where you come from. They could help connect you within the community.

4. Invite children (and moms) over for playdates.

Inviting the mothers for a coffee while the kids play is perfect for getting to know someone new. Look for the other foreigners in class, they are more likely to accept and are more open to new friendships. 

5. Get involved in things you like doing.

I love writing, so blogging was a great way to meet people with similar interests (that’s how I came to meet this fantastic group of Westchester County Mom contributors!). I also love painting, jogging, yoga, etc., so I’m always looking for meet-up events. 

6. Check out your local Facebook groups.

You can always start a conversation in a thread and meet someone new.

This is what worked for me as a mom in a new country. I made several friends and got to meet people and socialize. I guess a lot depends on luck, your personality type, the place you live in, and many other factors but after several times, I tried and failed, and that’s ok. Eventually, I found some amazing new friends that make me feel at home. 

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Marcia is a Mexican woman, wife, and mom of a boy and a girl, who has been recently relocated to the USA due to her husband’s job. Together they have been living abroad since 2011 and expect to continue doing so in the future since they love traveling, making friends, learning new cultures, and exploring the world. She is a former elementary school teacher who is certified in TESOL and has many interests not only including education, multiculturalism, and bilingualism. She enjoys working on crafts with her children and as a hobby, she loves crochet, painting, cooking, and baking, for which she is also certified.

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