<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
Just £2 per issue Subscribe to one of our France Magazines click here

How to make new friends when you move to France

PUBLISHED: 16:40 18 April 2017

Cafe in Place Francois Rude in Dijon

Cafe in Place Francois Rude in Dijon

Archant

Moving to a new country can be daunting and feel lonely, but follow our tried and tested tips for making new friends in France and your social calendar will soon be packed

Get out and about

Make sure you shop at your local stores and markets as well as the big supermarkets and visit the local cafes, bars and restaurants. Be friendly with the waiters and owners and chat to other shoppers/diners and you could soon have friends for life (and your favourite type of baguette waiting for you every morning!).

Meet your neighbours

Go for a stroll around your village and say ‘bonjour’ to your new neighbours and people you meet and you will soon strike up conversations. If you’re feeling brave then invite your new neighbours round for an aperitif or dinner – it’s always useful to be on good terms with your neighbours and hopefully they return the favour and introduce you to their friendship circle. This is also a great way to improve your language skills.

Join a club

Ask your neighbours, at the mairie and look online for clubs and associations in your area – you will soon find one that suits your interests and this is a great way to meet like-minded people. Kate Stear moved to Charente a year ago and has quickly found a number of clubs to attend: “Since I arrived last July I have met some lovely people who enjoy similar activities to those I enjoy. In my immediate area alone there is a gardening club, a sewing club, an indoor bowls group, a writing group, a book club, a walking group and there are various workshops offered to learn new skills. My husband joined a group of amateur beekeepers to learn what is required in order to keep bees and enjoy some locally produced honey!”

Volunteer

Working a few hours a week as a volunteer can be highly rewarding and a great way to make new friends. There are many charitable organisations to get involved in, from local sports clubs, historic tourist attractions and animal shelters to local fundraising events. Expat Kate Stear says: “I am involved with Cancer Support France, a national charity that offers support to the English-speaking community in France. Our branch, Charente Plus, is busy raising funds to train active listeners and purchase equipment for the local hospital. At the end of the summer, we held a boot sale hosted by one of our members. It was a warm, sunny day and the local English-speaking community came out to support us by buying books and cakes that had been baked by our members. We had a tombola with prizes donated by our kind supporters. A very successful day for the charity and some new friendships were made too.”

Connect with other parents

If you have children then join in with local groups and school activities to meet other parents. Take your kids to swimming sessions, reading groups or sports clubs and consider joining the Association des parents d’élèves, the equivalent of a parent and teacher association in the UK, to help organise events and go on school trips. Encourage your kids to invite their new friends round and maybe suggest outings with the children and parents.

Get online

There are plenty of online social networks that can help you meet other people. Try joining Facebook groups focused on your local area to find out about events and connect with people or try expat forums and websites to speak to other people who have moved to France and get their advice.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Complete France visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Complete France staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Complete France account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Living in France

Tue, 17:39

In French towns and villages your neighbours will be an invaluable help to you in a number of ways, so it is worth making friends with them

Read more
Mon, 10:28

Diane married a Frenchman and moved from New Jersey to the Loire Valley and she reveals her experience of buying a property and living in France as an American

Read more
Expats in France
Friday, July 14, 2017

Your phone and broadband can be a significant monthly expense but here are 9 ways you can save money on your phone and broadband costs in France

Read more
Wednesday, July 5, 2017

All you need to know about the different electricity suppliers and tariffs in France and how to set up the electricity in your new French property

Read more
Monday, June 5, 2017

You might be booked up for the peak seasons, but how can you make money from your gîte or B&B during the quieter out-of-season periods as well? By knowing your audience and effectively tailoring your marketing, you can turn your French property into a thriving holiday let all year round!

Read more
Running a business
Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Is it better to buy a holiday let in an established tourist region or in a less well-known area? We take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of both options

Read more
Running a business
Thursday, June 22, 2017

Seperation, divorce, illness or outliving a spouse results in many women struggling financially in retirement. Don’t rely on your partner to support you in retirement, start planning for your own retirement now!

Read more
Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Don’t fall into the trap of paying huge charges on your investments – use these tips to help you save money and increase your returns to maximise your pension and savings

Read more
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

It seems unlikely that, after Brexit, British expats living in France will enjoy the same healthcare rights as they currently do, so what will change?

Read more
Brexit
Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Finding the right mutuelle (top-up health insurance) in France can be enough to make you feel ill. But considering these points will help you make the right choice

Read more
Healthcare in France

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

France Forum

Questions about France? Visit our free France forum to get help and advice from thousands of other Francophiles and expats. Topics include: property, tax, law, travelling, pets, education, healthcare and much more.

Join the forum

Most Read

Join us on social media

France magazine
Living France magazine
French Property News magazine

Enter our competitions

Win books, DVDs, travel and even holidays in France in our great competitions! Take a look at our latest competitions…

Enter now