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Those first few lonely weeks abroad

Tonight I’m leaving for my Interrail tour that will eventually bring me to my new temporary home of Toulouse. Since I spent a semester 1.5 ears ago in Canada, I’m bringing some survival strategies with me this time.

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The first one is to participate in the events the host university organizes. There’s two ways this can go: either those events are great and you meet amazing new people while having loads of fun. The alternative is that those events suck and you all exchange numbers, facebooks and instagrams and create your own adventures. Either way, you’ll meet many people who are in the exact same situation as you and many of them will be happy about new friendships.

The second thing I’ll do is to organize my own fun. Inviting a big group over for dinner is a great way of meeting and further getting to know people even if it is a lot of work. Hiking trips, a weekend by the sea or just a plain ol’ night at the local bar are usually good, too.

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Even if you do put a lot of effort into making new friends, don’t overdo it. I made that mistake. When one particular friend group was forming I thought I just needed to be more active until I gave up (because it exhausted me) and later found out that I had been excluded on purpose for all that time. It all turned out ok in the end, I had and found some amazing people that I’m still friends with to this day (and travelling with from tomorrow onwards), but a different attitude would have saved me a lot of emotions, time and brain space. So just don’t do toxic friendships and keep in mind that not everyone can like everyone, but some people make a sport out of it.

 

Don’t fall into the FOMO-trap. If you don’t like an activity or you’re tired just stay home. You need time to recharge for everything else on your list. Your priority should be to enjoy your time and not to put a check mark on any facebook event you happen to come across.

And lastly, don’t be afraid to do some activities alone. When you go home you’ll be glad you did it and restricting yourself because other people’s tastes are different is never a good idea

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