How to make new friends in France?

Published on 08. May 2024 from Ines Sachs

How do you get to know people in your new home? Are you planning to emigrate to France? Or are you already in France? And now you’re wondering how to find new friends in your new home? A few suggestions from me and a collection of contact options. I ask you to diligently complete it!

The friends in your home country may all promise, “We’ll stay in touch,” “We’ll visit you,” etc., but you’ll notice very quickly that nothing much will come of it. Maintaining friendships at a distance is difficult and is only possible with really good friends. You will have to replace one or two of your acquaintances with new friends. But how and where do you find them? That’s how it’s done:

The apéritif

The apĂ©ritif is a wonderful opportunity to get to know your new neighbours. You meet a neighbour on the stairwell, talk to him/her, briefly introduce yourself and invite them to an apĂ©ritif. “ Prendre un verre ” is the classic term, or directly “ apĂ©ro ”, then it is clear to those invited that the event takes place before the meal, lasts about an hour, and you have to leave before the meal. Just enough time to sniff around and see if you want more. The return invitation should not be long in coming.

By the way, the apĂ©ritif is also mentioned extensively in my book: APÉRO AT NOON – THE ADVENTURE OF MOVING TO FRANCE. As you can see, it even made it into the title. And what this apĂ©ritif at noon is all about, well, you’ll have to read it. 😉

Clubs

Have you ever done any sport or hobby alone? No matter, from now on you look for a club where you can do that. Many places hold the “ FĂȘte des associations â€ once a year, where you can look at all the local clubs. Find out when it takes place and then
 definitely go!

Regulars‘ table

Yes, I know, you would rather meet French people. But sometimes it’s nice to exchange ideas with other immigrants in your native language. Ask around, search on Facebook. There’s probably a regulars‘ table in your city (or the next larger city).

Meetups

Check out https://www.meetup.com to see if there are meetings in your area that interest you. There is more of an international audience here.

Onvasortir

In my experience, it’s more for singles, but there are also a few things there for people who aren’t currently looking for a partner. Take a look here: https://www.onvasortir.com

Neighbours Day

There is this FĂȘte des Voisins every year in May (the next one is on May 24th, 2024). Comes from European Neighbors Day, so it’s not a French invention. Many cities provide materials for organizers. Ask around and see if anyone in your neighbourhood is organizing something. If not, do it yourself.

Facebook

Last but not least, there is this strange thing called a face book…

Search for “Americans/Britons in [your location]” or simply “English-French”. Here I have a few points of contact for you (please complete them diligently; I’m sure I’m a bit southern-leaning):

Ladies in Business in France (https://www.facebook.com/groups/LadiesInBusinessInFrance/)

Living in France (https://www.facebook.com/groups/213417019209295/)

Friends in France (https://www.facebook.com/groups/frenchfocus/)

Balades en Pays Catalan ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/1793432420874405/ )

P-O Life (Mediterranean Pyrenees) (https://www.facebook.com/groups/polifemag/)

Pyrénées-Orientales : Soyez les Bien venu(e)s chez nous ! ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/641533929277854/ )

Occitanie Languedoc-Roussillon, Sud de la France ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/Occitania.languedoc.roussillon/ )

LIL – Ladies in Languedoc (https://www.facebook.com/groups/LILS34/)

Long Duck Ladies (https://www.facebook.com/groups/LongDuckLadies/)

Expat Life in France ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/explatlifeinfrance ) and its subgroups “Strictly legal France” and “Strictly fiscal France”

And last but not least, my Facebook page “Life in France” ( https://www.facebook.com/LifeInFranceJourney )

And now I ask you once again to add diligently by using the comments!

As a precaution, I would like to point out that this list can only be a snapshot. One or two links may no longer work tomorrow. It is actually only intended to serve as an inspiration.

APÉRO AT NOON - The Adventure of Moving to France (by Ines Sachs)

A book for all Francophiles. And a rich treasure trove of experience for anyone who, like the author, wants to turn the dream of moving to France into reality.
LEARN MORE !

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