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How can I make friends with the locals?

Hi all,

I've found myself in a situation whereby I'm not able to communicate well with the locals. Reason being is because whenever I talk to them and they seem to be not interested in what I'm trying to say. There is no flow in our conversation and every question that I've asked just stop with a short response and full stop. The conversation ended very shortly and we remained silent (it's kinda awkward situation).


I admit that I have a poor communication skills and I'm trying to improve myself on that. Besides that, is there a way or technique that can make me communicate well with the locals? I'm looking forward to make friends with the locals to understand their culture so that I can blend in accordingly.


I would appreciate your kind advice and it would be great if we can be friends!




Re: How can I make friends with the locals?

Hey Branson - not sure I understand. Are you living in a foreign place? Can you explain a bit mroe, have you just moved somewhere new??

Regardless, some of this info might help:

Does anything in those factsheets sound like something you can try?

Online Community Manager


Re: How can I make friends with the locals?

Hi Sophie,
I'm sorry for the confusion.
Yes, I have recently migrated to Australia and thanks for the information. The sites provide useful information. Apart from that, is there any social community that I can join in order to get to know more people in Australia? I guess I need to talk more to people in order to improve my communication skills. Thanks!

Re: How can I make friends with the locals?

Hey @Branson,

Welcome to Australia! Smiley Happy Australians are fairly informal, so I hope and expect you won't have too tough a time meeting people locally. It's quite ok here to say hi to people, whether it's the petrol station attendant or the person selling you bread at the bakery. You can say hi and ask how their day is going, which will allow you to start meeting locals and get you practicising your social skills if you're feeling like you want to get better at that.

Definitely try googling meetup groups in your local area - maybe find a group which shares a hobby you enjoy? Great way to meet people and you have a hobby in common so you know you have something to talk about when you get there.


Good luck!



Re: How can I make friends with the locals?

Hey @Branson 


Welcome to ReachOut and Australia! It's great to see you on here looking for ways to meet new people. Don't stress too much about conversations that feel a little bit awkward. I think it's like that for most of us when we meet new people! Just keep doing what you're doing. The more you get to know someone, and the more you talk, the easier it will be come. You're doing the right thing.


Have you ever thought about volunteering? That's a great way to meet new people. Depending on your age, you might also be able to go to a local youth centre. They often have lots of young people and they are free to access. You can usually find out about some youth services through your local council or community information centre.


Let me know how you go Woman Happy


Re: How can I make friends with the locals?

Hey @Branson 


There are plenty of of social groups out there its just a matter of finding them.

What types of things are you interested in?

Maybe look into joining a sporting team, an environmental group, volunteering, a study group, a church group??

Theres local YMCAs as well and local community centres that over social groups. 






Re: How can I make friends with the locals?

hey @Branson 


There's some great stuff posted here already but I just wanted to echo @lanejane 's suggestion regarding volunteering.  It can be a great experience and opportunity for you to meet new people. If you have any particular hobbies or things you're interested in, you can also try googling for groups or clubs with people who share the same interests. You might also find that when you share interests with people, conversations might flow more easily as you have some common ground. 


Try not to stress too much about things being a little awkward right now.  You mentioned that you recently migrated to Aus to it might just take a little time for you to become comfortable!


Feel free to let us know how you go Smiley Happy


Re: How can I make friends with the locals?

Hi Branson! It's nice to meet you. I have social anxiety and cannot seem to get along with the locals either, but I was born here lol. Yesterday I was approached by a random person and we had a conversation, first time it has ever happened to me and it made me so happy. Usually I try to approach people but they don't seem interested in what I have to say, so it was nice to be approached by somebody who obviously thought I was interesting enough.


What I'm getting at is to keep trying! And have the courage to approach strangers. Even if you get snobbed (I hope not) it's good practice for communication skills. Perhaps take up some sort of study, or volunteer work as I think someone suggested. I have found that working and volunteer work has helped me build my communication skills a lot, but I still need practice.


Other things you could do are just small things like dine in at a restaurant instead of take-away or online ordering, or calling instead of emailing someone, these are seemingly insignificant things but they all add up to improve your communication skills (this coming from someone who is terrified of phones haha). Good luck!


Re: How can I make friends with the locals?

Hi @Branson! It was nice to meet you.


I have just recently moved here in Australia too. Like you, I found it hard to communicate with the locals and almost of the conversations ended in an awkward situation like what you have mentioned. I also have poor comunication skills because of the limited vocabulary that I have Smiley Very Happy Aside from that, I can't understand some of the words/sentences that they're saying because I am not used to their accent and  speed of how they talk. I found it easier to talk to the Asians like me whose first language is not English too. I think it's because we speak slower than the locals Smiley Very Happy  Despite of my difficulty in communicating with the locals, I still keep on talking to them. I believe that practice is what we need.


I found the previous posts helpful and maybe this might also help you. These are the things I'm doing to improve my English listening and speaking skills:

  1. I listen to local radio stations, tv channels or podcasts everyday.
  2. My sisters and I speak English almost all of the time. We usually end up laughing because of wrong grammars or speaking in our native language because we don't know how to say it in English. Hahaha Smiley Very Happy I think that's OK at least we're able to practice and correct each other's mistakes.
  3. I watch Youtube videos of Aussie slangs and try to imitate them.
  4. I attend a free workshop in uni about English grammar.

As for knowing their culture, I search them on internet and I am attending a workshop in uni wherein we share the differences of the cultures where we came from.


Cheers! Smiley Happy