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September 1st 2023

How to Connect with New People in the U.S.: A Guide for Newcomers

Learn how to connect with new people who have shared professional, social, or cultural interests after moving to the U.S.

Moving to a new country is an exciting but challenging endeavor. The United States offers immense opportunities for immigrants, but it can be overwhelming to navigate a new social landscape. 

As a newcomer, connecting with people is essential not only for building friendships but also for creating a support network that can help you thrive. In this guide, we'll explore effective ways to meet new people in the U.S., ensuring that your journey is as smooth and fulfilling as possible.

Explore Community Events and Local Gatherings

One of the most effective ways to meet people is by participating in local events and gatherings. Many communities in the U.S. host festivals, fairs, and cultural events that celebrate diversity and bring people together. 

These events provide a fantastic opportunity to interact with locals, learn about American culture, and share your own cultural background. Look out for flyers, community boards, or online event listings to discover what's happening in your area.

Engage in Hobby Groups and Classes

Do you have a hobby or passion that you enjoy? Joining hobbyist groups or taking classes related to your interests can be an excellent way to meet like-minded individuals. 

Whether it's a sports team, a book club, a cooking class, or a painting workshop, these leisure activities provide a common ground for starting conversations and forming connections. Specific websites like Meetup.com and Eventbrite can help you find groups that align with your interests in your local area.

Use Social Media and Online Platforms

In today's digital age, social media and online platforms can play a significant role in helping you connect with new people. 

Facebook groups, for instance, are a valuable resource for finding local communities, events, and discussion groups. Check out the “Community” tab of our U.S. Arrival Map for a list of diaspora-specific Facebook groups (i.e. “Indians in Houston” or “Brits in LA”), in addition to a list of popular nationwide community event platforms.

Additionally, there are platforms designed specifically for newcomers where you can seek advice, share experiences, and even find potential friends before arriving in the U.S., like Expat.com, which also provides an Expat Guide to help you find all the information you need.

Volunteer for a Cause

Volunteering not only allows you to give back to your new community but also provides an opportunity to meet people who share your values. Whether you're passionate about environmental conservation, animal welfare, or helping underserved populations, there are numerous organizations looking for volunteers. Engaging in volunteer work not only helps you connect with locals but also adds meaning and purpose to your life in the U.S.

Attend Religious or Spiritual Gatherings

If you're religious or spiritual, attending local religious services or gatherings can be a way to connect with people who share your beliefs. Places of worship often hold community events, study groups, and social activities that can facilitate interactions with others who have similar values. These connections can provide a sense of belonging and support as you adjust to your new life in the U.S.

Network Through Professional Events

For those who are pursuing a career in the U.S., networking events can be invaluable for making professional connections. Industry conferences, workshops, and seminars offer opportunities to meet professionals in your field, exchange ideas, and even discover potential job openings. Networking not only helps you advance in your career but also introduces you to a diverse range of individuals.

You can find these events by searching on LinkedIn, Eventbrite, and MeetUp, or by searching for terms like “[your industry] networking events” or “[your industry] happy hour” in your city and field of work.

The takeaway

In the United States, meeting new people is a doorway to a world of opportunities and experiences. As a newcomer, you have the chance to create a support network that will help you thrive in your new home. From community events to online platforms, the avenues for connecting with others are diverse and abundant. 

By embracing these opportunities and stepping out of your comfort zone, you can build lasting relationships, enrich your cultural understanding, and make the U.S. feel like a true home away from home. So, take a deep breath, put on your friendliest smile, and go out there to meet the wonderful people who are eager to welcome you into their lives.

Did you know?

You can use your foreign credit history to apply for a U.S. credit card

Credit history used to stop at the border—until now. Your existing foreign credit history could help you get credit in the United States.

More from Nova Credit:

How to check your USCIS case status

How to read the Visa Bulletin

How to build credit after moving to the US

How to get a social security card

How to get an apartment with no credit history

No credit check cell phone plans

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