So what can you do after arrival to help you cope? The main advice is to broaden your social circle and networks, develop a support structure and routine, and stay connected to home.
Broaden social circles and networks
This is one of the most important pieces of advice: push yourself to meet new people. Check out local clubs or groups like the GAA, or online Facebook groups and resources like meetup.com.
Explore. Make friends. Join clubs/societies. Anything social to get out and speak with other people.
Join a club, attend ‘meet-up’ groups.
Join as many groups as you can, sports teams etc.
Join a GAA club or other Irish society.
Get involved in some hobby or community where you can meet new people. Push yourself and make an effort with new people.
Join a group or sports club with like-minded people.
Be open to new experiences. Join clubs etc. The first few months can be very lonely and are much easier when you have company.
Irish contacts can be really helpful - but also try and meet locals and people from other countries.
Join Irish groups around the area for support.
Gather support from other Irish within your local community. But also make friends with locals.
Get out and join into group activities. It is a great way to meet new people. Also search out for an Irish Expat group – they are a great help in those early days and you will meet great people who will become friends.
Try to integrate into the area as soon as possible. This can be with Irish based clubs and societies or local ones but try to get into something as soon as you can. It helps to meet people and give a sense of belonging or otherwise you will feel very much a stranger in a foreign land.
Try not to exclusively socialise with people from home. Integrate into the society of where you are living. Hanging out with Irish people all the time will make you think of home more. Socialising with people from the country helps you settle in quicker I found.
Socialise, try to meet other Irish and know ye are all on the same boat. It is hard and it is not just you feeling a whirlwind of emotions.
There are lots of things you can do to help you settle in:
Identify where the Irish community are and attend their events. Also get out of your comfort zone and mix with the people from the country, otherwise you will never integrate/settle down. Get a phone organised as you can phone home.
Invest in good internet speeds for Skype etc. Join a sports team or go to a local ‘meet-up’. Surrounding yourself with Irish can be comforting but unrewarding.
Keep in regular contact with family. Meet up with friends here. Join Irish clubs to help the transition.
It’s important to balance your approach. Make contacts with people from home and stay connected to family and friends. And do things outside your comfort zone as well – meet different people while you have the chance.