Making the Most of Your First Summer in a New Country
Summer can be one of the nicest times of the year — warmer temperatures, a calendar full of social events, and, hopefully, lots of sunshine and ice cream. But if you are new in a country, everything can seem overwhelming at first and well, very foreign. Even more so, if you do not know many people it can also feel a bit lonely at times. Many locals, especially in Europe, take long, extended holidays over the summer period which may leave someone who has not yet established both a routine and a social circle with not so much to do.
However, summertime can be one of the greatest times to start to establish new friendships, get to know your new city better, and get a head start on learning more about your new job or industry. Here are some suggestions on how to make the most of your first summer abroad:
Hang out in the Local Cafés or Biergarten and Do Some Reading
The summer can be an ideal season for a more relaxed pace, and having a lazy day that involves sitting around accompanied by a cool beverage of your choice. Especially in the German culture, spending a long afternoon outside at a Biergarten is an ideal way to pass the time and a perfect opportunity to ask someone to come along or meet other locals. This can also be an opportunity to spend some time on your own and do a bit of reading. Maybe you want to catch up on learning a bit more on the industry in which you are working, or just reading for leisure — all while taking in the sunshine.
Take a Walk around the City
On days with mild to warm temperatures, taking a stroll around town can be an enjoyable experience, and it can help you remain fit and keep active. Explore what your new city has to offer! Do you see some restaurants you would like to try out? Make note of these places to return to and bring another expat or a local along. Once you get to know the city better, it will also help you feel more grounded and more like a local. Soon, you will be able to lead other new expats around town!
Attend the Local Festivals
The summer season is full of all sorts of festivals, centered around music, wine, or different cultures. These social events draw a lot of people who also tend to be more relaxed and social on these occasions. This can be a good opportunity to meet and connect with some more people or simply to enjoy the music. Look in the newspapers or on social media, or ask around to find out when and where these events are taking place.
Organize an Outside Get-Together
As the weather is often the nicest during the summer season, people usually want to spend their leisure time primarily outside. Take this opportunity to try to get to know your acquaintances a bit better. Organize a barbecue if you have the equipment or backyard to do so. If your city has a nice park, a picnic lunch can also be a lot of fun. If preparing food is not really your thing, and you want something more casual, you can also suggest going to pick-up some drinks and sitting in a park or by river.
Venture out of Town
When many people are packing up and leaving for the beach or the countryside, big city life tends to quiet down. If you like to visit cities when they are less crowded, this can be the best time to do so. However, if you feel like you need to escape from city life and venture out into nature, book a weekend trip to the mountains or a nearby lake to get refreshed and regenerated. Accommodation can be completely booked during the summer season, so try to plan ahead.
Whatever suits your interests the most, utilize the beauty of summer to become more acquainted with the city and observe the locals, make some new friends, and enjoy your new expat life!