Visiting Paris or France at least once is a bucket list item for many tourists. The trip even becomes more memorable when new friends are made in an exciting place like the country. The French are known to be cultured, and they ooze a particular aura that no one else in Europe has. While in France, many activities will get you to mix with different locals from various backgrounds. That is usually the best time to make new friends.
However, making new friends can be difficult. This is true, especially in a country where locals have a reputation for being proud and annoying snobs. But that will be a hasty generalization because not every Frenchman is neither proud or a snob. Also, the French language is somewhat tricky, and there are many cultural differences. This makes befriending new people to be daunting.
Here Is How To Break The Ice And Make Friends In France:
Learn the Language
You are not French, and any effort to be proficient in the language will be much appreciated by a native. Just know that you do not have to be perfect before you can impress. But if you focus on it, people can understand you. That is at the conversational level.
The major thing is to communicate and make a connection. Natives are very proud of their language, and some want it to be spoken flawlessly. They would mostly forgive you when it is obvious that you make an effort to be understood. That is usually the first step to making a human connection.
This will be useful before traveling to France. Everyone is inseparable from their smartphones these days, and you will certainly have friend-making gems on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. You can join a Facebook group of locals who are based in France. Then find related hashtags on Instagram, and you can even check for Facebook events close to you.
Websites and Apps
Apart from social media, there are lots of sites like Meetup and Tinder, where you could meet new people that are potential friends. There are also websites like Lebonbon, which is also good for checking out events and fun things to participate in.
Find Language Partners
Learning a new language can be overwhelming, but having a language partner can make the process a lot easier. The partner is someone that is also learning the language. You can join forces with them, learn together, and exchange ideas.
Language partners are cool because they are mostly patient, as they are going the same process as you. But they can help you accelerate your learning as you can too for them. Also, language partners can become friends. If you spend enough time together, you can identify common interests. You can also speak enough English with them when you want to relieve the stress of learning a new language.
Learning the Local Etiquette
France, like every other society, has its cultural norms and rules. For example, blowing one’s nose in certain cultures is considered rude. Here, when you enter a store, say ‘Bonjour’. Even though you will not quite get most of the norms, ensure you learn the important ones.
In France, local activities are excellent ways to meet new people. There are clubs to join and activities to sign up for. Local festivals usually occur throughout the year, as well as presenting a good opportunity to meet someone new. It could even be a dance class or a cuisine class, volunteer work, etc. Check out activities and see those you find appealing.
Take a Keen Interest In The Area Where You Are
Cultures are fascinating, countries are incredible. And people definitely appreciate the interest when you are into them. Concentrate on things that interest you, whether its sports, business, history, arts- whatever. This is a reliable way to link up with natives and learn about their way of life. Also, it is a great ice breaker, and you never know where the friendship will help you.
Embrace Your Uniqueness
Tourists in France might be surprised to discover that locals want to learn about them. Curiosity about visitors is natural. When you meet someone new who is also interested in you, they will be keenly curious about your culture and every other thing that makes you unique. Sometimes, they might come across as a tad annoying, but that might be because of the difference in culture. Take advantage of your exoticness and use it to meet people and exchange views.
Make The Initial Mood
In France, there will be people who would love to meet you but do not know-how. You might want to take the initiative in that case. You might commence with something not difficult, like inviting them for a cup of coffee or a drink at a café. Alternatively, you can bake some cookies and share them with them. If you are loaded, you can offer them small gifts from your home country.
It might feel awkward because you do not know if you are doing it right. They may be impressed by your gesture, so carry on. When you start the move, you will be amazed at how it all goes.
While You Hope For The Best, Do Not Be Surprised By Anything
You might be doing all the right things, but there might be awkward moments and downs. Maybe you vibed with someone earlier, but it just doesn’t proceed beyond that. When that happens in your country, you let it go. But it is quite more difficult when you are a tourist. You may begin to think- did I do something wrong? Is my French terrible? It is not easy.
Worry Less For Little Things
Chances are, you will make a whole lot of mistakes speaking French. Do not let these downs get to you. Laugh at your mistakes; after all, you are in an incredible country that is on most bucket lists.
Participate In “Fête des Voisins”
Established by a group of friends in 1990, La Fête des Voisins, also known as the Neighbors’ Party, was made to resist isolation in big French cities. Every year various areas and Town Halls join in the event.
Apart from being an opportunity to know your neighbors and become their friends, this setup has taken up various novel goals like sponsoring neighbors who are having a hard time offering services for differently-abled people/job search/daycare.
Participate in University Events
You might be in France to study at a university. University events are nice ways to meet new and interesting people. Do not hesitate to sign up for events and make and attend them. Meeting new people who are potential friends can indeed be tasking. But it is worth the effort.
Frequent a Café
Have a café you will be attending for the most part of your stay in France. The whole country is marked with numerous cafes, and all you have to do is get familiar with one that you always look forward to visiting. Soon enough, you will get acquainted with several people there who can be your friend.
How To Make Friends in Paris and France – Summary
Meeting people and making new friends is a thrilling experience, especially in a country like France. Do not forget that it is equally demanding to maintain friendships and relationships. It requires commitment and sacrifice, sometimes. At the end of it all, it will be worth your efforts.
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