When people move abroad what do they miss the most? Is it their family, friends, local shops or favourite food? All is new and it can be overwhelming to become accustomed to the new culture. So what can be done to make the most of their new life in this country?
My advice is to join a community may this be social, professional, cultural or interest-based. Community is the essence of what we do at FOCUS and no matter how much the needs of expats have evolved over the past several years, it does remain a constant.
London offers a myriad of organisations that can provide the network that newcomers need but it can be challenging to find the right one that matches people’s requests and style. Moreover, there is some sort of resistance in joining a club or society unless it is introduced by somebody we know and trust. And this is particularly true for Italians for which the right “conoscenze” are key and part of the way we socialise.
At FOCUS we like to think of ourselves as a hub that connects and points members in the right direction. If we know that members enjoy strong ties with fellow nationals we would put them in touch with the many nationality-based clubs; if they are more interested in professional networking we would refer them to professional bodies and societies; if they are looking for a faith-based group then the choices are vast, likewise if they are looking for like-minded individuals.
It is very important to be part of a community, to know you belong somewhere, especially when your previous network is no longer available. Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you but go out and search for the right group and you will be surprised how quickly you will feel part of it!