It has been almost three months already since I arrived in Hamburg and started working at bab.la. The first article I wrote for Lexio was about tips on how to learn a language abroad, as unfortunately it still requires a lot of effort despite the constant immersion. In this article, I briefly mention language tandems, which I write about in more detail here. Now that I have been here a bit longer, and my German has become considerably better (partially due to the considerable number of tandems I have done), I have become a bit more confident in my language competence and started craving more spontaneous activities. With German people, of course.
Now if you move to a new city/country, there are a number of ways to find fun people to hang out with on the internet. Just find a Couchsurfing group or an Erasmus group on Facebook for your city, and you are sure to find some events and people to your liking. Personally, I am not a huge fan of either. With Erasmus the problem is obvious: it is very international, so it is mainly good for meeting other foreigners, who also don’t tend to stay in the city for over a semester. And to be perfectly honest, I don’t party as hard as Erasmus people anymore either.
Couchsurfing is also very international, though you are perhaps more likely to find German people/events. I do have a personal taste issue with the CS site’s layout though…
Having tried these two already during my Erasmus in France, I was hoping to find something a little different this time, and a friend of mine pointed out the Facebook group Neu in Hamburg. Now, I don’t know if there is such a group for every city, I know there is a Neu in Berlin for sure, but if you find one for yours, it’s definitely worth checking out. First of all, there are mainly German people who have recently arrived in Hamburg, and are looking for new contacts and stuff to do. Some are looking for sports buddies (running, cycling, climbing, etc.), people to go to concerts with or just to go and grab coffee, some are organizing barbeques or game nights, and some of the older generation are even organizing playdates for their kids in the park. There is literally everything there, and if you can’t find something you need, you can just make a suggestion yourself.
So far I’ve joined a movie night (the Reservoir Dogs in German – thank God I’d seen it in English before!), and I may join some people for The Knife concert this weekend. We will see. Anyway, good luck with your search, whatever you are looking for.