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Different ways to meet new people in Cologne

Making friends and feeling part of a community can make a difference when you move to a new country. Sometimes you have to be the one to take the first step. Here is what I usually do.

Fear of rejection and how to overcome it

We all have different personalities and fears, but certainly, the fear of rejection and embarrassment is quite common. Above all, it is normal. However, if there is one thing I have learnt, it is that these fears are only in our heads and we often think too much about what others might think of us. A city with a university community, such as Cologne, is open and diverse. This means that you are often surrounded by people who, like you, want to get to know each other and make new friends, but are too shy to take the first step. So why don’t you do it yourself?

Sun shining in a street
Sun shining in a street© Roberta

Not just sports or university

If you think that taking the first step means organising events or doing things on a large scale, think again. Often very little is needed. I will give you some examples of what I do to meet new people and make friends.

As a student, the perfect place to start is the university. Going to class and asking for help or chatting with someone is the best way. Another way is to get involved in the events the university organises, especially the sports and activities it offers. For example, the University of Cologne offers many kinds of sports (water sports, dance, fitness, yoga and meditation) free of charge, with a few exceptions.

Another example is if you live in a student dormitory or other student housing complex, you can try to start a group or ask if one already exists. In my case, I created a group for all the people who wanted to create a family environment in the residence and there are currently sixteen of us!

Of course, Facebook groups and meet-up groups are not to be forgotten. Depending on your interests, you can always find people who have the same hobbies as you.
We all have the desire to meet new people and make friends, and it often happens that we have to be the ones to take the first step. I assure you, it is worth it. It may seem difficult and strange at first, but the result will surprise you.

The fear of not succeeding at something should not stop you from doing it. The most common thing people say to me when I take the initiative is: "I always wanted to do something like that, but I never had the courage". This reminds us that we all have fears, but we also share the desire to make new friends.


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