Sweden is a bit peculiar when it comes to meeting new people… In many other countries, you just need to go out on the street and start talking with strangers… But here, that doesn’t work very often! It’s just not really part of the culture to meet people that way. In fact, it is often perceived as kind of weird to just starting to speak with someone on the street.
From what I can observe, people here in Sweden generally stay within their already existing social networks that were formed at an early age in school and family reunions. And they usually meet new people from connections via their social networks and via common friends. For that reason, many foreigners feel that it is really hard to get to know new Swedish people.
However, the good news is that once you get introduced to them, Swedish people are usually super nice, respectful and fun to hang out with. So, how can you meet new people when you come to Sweden and haven’t yet developed your social circle and friendships? Here is what I think works the best:
Meetup is an website (online social networking portal) that facilitates offline group meetings in various localities around the world. Basically, there are hundreds of events of all types that you can attend, wherever you live. I often go on many of the events listed there and have a great time meeting cool people and doing cool stuff (and sometimes learning super interesting things). And the best, it’s free. I would definitely recommend everyone to check it out!
2) University sport activities and societies
Most universities organize a wide array of sport activities and other cultural activities. No matter what you are into, you will be able to find something for you and meet awesome people while at it. Only last week I went pole dancing, climbing, tried out crossfit and squash, all for free. 🙂
3) Common friends’ parties
Ask some of your classmates when the next party is happening and just show up. You’ll most likely meet some really cool people that you can hopefully stay in touch with. Remember to take their phone numbers or Facebook!
4) Doing your favorite activity
This last one is a bit of common sense, but one of the best ways to meet like-minded people is actually to go and do what you love doing! So if you love jogging, go out there with some good tunes and don’t be afraid to talk with other joggers… You’ll have something in common to talk about and you could even go jogging together on a regular basis. As for me, I used to like training in the gym, so I made many friends there that I would hang out with and talk about gym stuff.
I hope that this post gave you some good ideas on how to meet new people in Sweden! I might have painted a gloomy picture of how hard it is to meet Swedish people… But in reality, it is pretty easy if you understand the basics of the social culture (meeting new people through friends). I can guarantee you that you’ll find some awesome new friends! 😀