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scott pett

do the locals and British expats bond well?

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As others have said, the key to making new friends is to get out and join in. I imagine many people haven't thought through how they made their friends in the UK - and many will realise that these friends are people they went to school with, or in some other way grew up with. It isn't going to be like that in a new country - it will be much more like going away to university (for those who have done that), or moving to a new part of the country - and if you haven't had successful experiences of making new friends in those situations then you may not have the social toolkit to thrive in a new country (one couple I know of failed to settle because they couldn't adapt to the big city having grown up in a small village, with their entire social circle made up of locally resident family and people they had grown up with in the same village).

 

But it is not hugely complicated - join in with something on the basis of a shared interests or other common factors. That can be sport, religion, hobbies, politics, books, films - whatever - but that hockey club, amdram group, school fete committee, Greenpeace branch or church is going to be the beginnings of a social network. Sometimes it won't work and you'll have to try another route, but you will get there. Having said that, I met my best mate (and through him his wife, who is my wife's best mate) by talking to him at the bus stop, as we caught the same connection into the city every day. So in one sense you can be lucky, but you also have to make your own luck by starting those conversations with strangers.

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Having done this a few times in the UK in my life, home to Uni in Yorkshire, then to Manchester, then out to Wigan, I've always met new friends/mates/social acquaintances etc., so this doesn't hold fear for me. As a sportsman, a hockey player, when I move I join the local hockey club, and if it's a nice bunch of people, you just do make friends easily that way. The Aussies are a sociable bunch from my experience and reports, so Werriibee hockey club look out when I finally get my visa.

 

Specific to this debate though, I guess what I'm saying is that if you get involved in activities locally with other people, then I think you will make friends. The couple of years when I first moved to Manchester when I didn't play hockey were the toughest for me, as I only knew people through work, had no money to go out anyway, so was largely a hermit. Joined Sale hockey club, instant group of mates, some of which I keep in touch with regularly to this day. So, I'd say to get involved with something, anything, that interests you locally and just do it. Nothing comes to you in this world, in Aus or anywhere else. Go get it, or you'll never have it.

 

You made friends in Wigan? Respect to you my friend...

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You made friends in Wigan? Respect to you my friend...

 

This made me laugh. I worked in Wigan for 13 years and I have to say the place is not normal. Some very odd people at my work (biggest employer in town) with knuckles dragging on the floor and sloping foreheads. Also, I come from less than an hour away on the better side of the Pennines, but still couldn't properly understand the accent even by the time I left.

 

Not everyone was like that of course and there's some lovely places around and about the local area.

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This made me laugh. I worked in Wigan for 13 years and I have to say the place is not normal. Some very odd people at my work (biggest employer in town) with knuckles dragging on the floor and sloping foreheads. Also, I come from less than an hour away on the better side of the Pennines, but still couldn't properly understand the accent even by the time I left.

 

Not everyone was like that of course and there's some lovely places around and about the local area.

 

I spent a year in my youth doing voluntary work in Leigh, just down the road. If I say that Wigan seemed a tough place even compared to Leigh, you'll understand. One of the scariest places I ever spent an evening was Wigan's roller skating venue, in a former mill, complete with jutting walls and pillars. Bonkers. But I agree, there are some lovely people and places there too...

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Lots of good advice here but it's much easier to get out and meet people if you are a bloke (for pubs anyway), or single, or part of a couple with no kids. I am neither of these, and my husband works shifts, so most weekday evenings I am at home looking after the kids whilst husband is either at work or asleep because he has to get up early the next morning. That doesn't give many opportunities for joining clubs unfortunately. I do meet other parents through children's activities but these tend to be acquaintances rather than friends. I'm not religious either !

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You made friends in Wigan? Respect to you my friend...

 

Absolutely, some very good friends. I am actually a big fan of Wigan, I love it there.

 

This made me laugh. I worked in Wigan for 13 years and I have to say the place is not normal. Some very odd people at my work (biggest employer in town) with knuckles dragging on the floor and sloping foreheads. Also, I come from less than an hour away on the better side of the Pennines, but still couldn't properly understand the accent even by the time I left.

 

Not everyone was like that of course and there's some lovely places around and about the local area.

 

The accent is a source of constant amusement and banter, for a Southerner like me. It really isn't the most intelligent sounding accent though, even if the exponent of it is sharper than me.

 

I spent a year in my youth doing voluntary work in Leigh, just down the road. If I say that Wigan seemed a tough place even compared to Leigh, you'll understand. One of the scariest places I ever spent an evening was Wigan's roller skating venue, in a former mill, complete with jutting walls and pillars. Bonkers. But I agree, there are some lovely people and places there too...

 

If you think Leigh is nicer than Wigan, I'm never going to trust a word you say ever again. I would go to Leigh more often, but I don't own a stab vest.

 

Oh, and it wasn't Trencherfield Mill was it in Wigan?

 

Lots of good advice here but it's much easier to get out and meet people if you are a bloke (for pubs anyway), or single, or part of a couple with no kids. I am neither of these, and my husband works shifts, so most weekday evenings I am at home looking after the kids whilst husband is either at work or asleep because he has to get up early the next morning. That doesn't give many opportunities for joining clubs unfortunately. I do meet other parents through children's activities but these tend to be acquaintances rather than friends. I'm not religious either !

 

Are there things you can do with a group that interests you on a weekend though? My hockey team for example would train one night a week admittedly, but the games are on a weekend.


IELTS average 8.5 (Sept 2013) L:8.5, R:8, W:8.5, S:9, ACS skills assessment submitted 17/12/2013, positive result on 17/3/2014. EOI submitted 17/3/2014, 75 points. Invite 23/3/2014. 189 Visa application made 24/3/2014. Medical 27/3/2014. PCC 10/4/2014. DIRECT GRANT May 13th. Moved to Wyndham Vale September 12 2014.

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