How well people settle into a new location, is often connected with the new friends, associates and networks that you create.
International newcomers and expatriates often believe that the first thing they need to do is find an expat group. That might be the case in some countries where there are multiple expatriate groups and communities welcoming new arrivals every week, but Australia doesn't work that way. It's just expected that new arrivals will mix with locals and fit into the Australian way of life.
So how do you meet people, find new friends and settle into Melbourne, a city that is regarded as one of the most liveable cities in the world?
The good news is there are now regular events where you can meet and network with people in Melbourne.
A great starting place is the Newcomers Network who host a free monthly event called 'Living, Working and Networking in Melbourne' on the 2nd Wednesday of every month. These events are hosted in Melbourne's CBD and welcome people from Australia and overseas, but locals are welcome too and they often join the group.
These events start casually with newcomers having the chance to chat briefly before discussing their backgrounds and collecting tips and suggestions in an informal group chat.
I have spoken with Sue Ellson, who is the founder of Newcomers Network, and she says "that after hosting over 200 events since 2001, we have learnt that most people want to find out how to enjoy their life here, how to find a job or enterprise to run and how to network and meet other people".
At this event where you will learn: • Seven Best Settlement Strategies – that you can apply with your personal style • Culture Shock – what is it and how to recognise the symptoms • Australian culture – understanding the basics • Job hunting – ways to find the work you want (despite your international background) • Information sources – the most reliable options • Finding the networks you need
People who will benefit from this event are • Expatriates and repatriates (people returning to Australia) • International migrants and domestic relocatees • Locals who would like to meet people from intrastate, interstate and overseas • People from any background, culture, faith, gender etc
Some people arrive in Melbourne alone, with intentions of meeting a new group of friends; others might have their immediate family or even a few friends, but want to establish a bigger or a more varied network of associates. Many who are here internationally, especially students, hope that at least some of those new friends have been born and bred in Australia.
A special Christmas gathering for those without family in Melbourne
Whilst Melbourne is liveable, there is no need to be lonely – so whether you are here for a few months, or a permanent move, make sure you find the best ways to Live, Work and Network whilst you are here!