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How to Meet Locals in the UK

Have you ever wanted to form friendships with local people in the UK? And get to know all about their culture and habits? One of the great things about studying abroad is having the chance to meet people from all over the world and practice your English with them. However, actually getting to meet local people can often take more effort than you expect.

So, how do you meet locals when travelling in the UK? Read on to hear our tips on meeting local people during your trip.

How to Make Local Friends in the UK

1) Sign up to ‘Meetup’

Meetup is a platform for finding and building local communities. You simply join an event which is set up in advance by an organizer and take part in various fun activities. So why not, for example, pop down the pub on a Monday evening and play a game of werewolf with locals? Meetup can be downloaded as an app on your smartphone.

2) Start a new hobby

How can a hobby help you meet local people? Well, a hobby gives you something fun to do during your leisure time and gives you access to a whole new range of people with whom you have a shared interest. Team sports are best for this and the top three most popular sports in the UK are football, cricket and rugby. If sport isn’t for you, how about joining a book club or attending an arts and crafts workshop?

3) Take up volunteering

There are many personal benefits of voluntary work. Working in a team of people who have a different ethnicity, backgrounds and views is always a valuable experience. Not only will you be giving back to the community, but you also will have opportunities to get to know lots of new people and practise your English.

4) Hang out in local pubs and bars

Try to avoid touristy places and focus on finding pubs and bars where the locals are. Once you found some places to go, try to get over your fears of talking to strangers and just go for it. The more you do that, the more you get used to this nerve-wracking process and feel comfortable talking to strangers. When you visit the same pubs and bars regularly it will be quite easy to get to know locals who hang out there frequently.

5) Live with a host family

Living with a host family is the best way for you to truly master English. You have no other options but to speak English every day. Your host family will teach you a lot of idioms and slang that are used in daily conversation. Also, there is no better way to experience the British way of life than involving yourself in it as much as possible. By living like a local, you’ll get to know the culture without even stepping out of the house.

6) Get a part-time job

Do you want to study and earn money at the same time? Getting a weekend job, for example, is a great way to interact with local people. Pubs and bars, restaurants, bookshops, coffee shops are all great places to look for work and find like-minded people.

7) Visit local museums

Who doesn’t love to learn more about local history? Don’t you want to know how your city looked thousands of years ago? But the truth is that the museum is not only interesting but also a great place to get to talk to people. You might even find a friend who would go to museums with you on a regular basis.

8) Join a Language Exchange

By using sites like Meetup (mentioned earlier) you can find Language Exchange events in your city. These are great opportunities to meet other people who want to practise their languages. Who knows you might meet a native English speaker desperate to learn your language?

Still not sure how to meet locals while studying in the UK? If you take an English language course with British Study Centres, you’ll get access to our diverse social programme and get the chance to visit a number of exciting local hotspots in cities around the UK.