When I first moved to Guangzhou in 2010, I came to a totally new place on my own. The only person I knew beforehand was a Finnish guy who had posted about this experience on a message forum. Besides that one person, everything else was new.
I spent my first 1.5 years in Guangzhou with other exchange students which meant that I got a new bunch of friends every six months. I had a few local friends, but they didn’t evolve into deep friendships, though I’ve been occasionally still in contact with one.
In 2011 I started my bachelor degree and was so happy to have the same study group for 2.5 years! We became close and spent a lot of time together, often speaking in Chinese as our common language as we came from all different continents.
During these years I met some long term foreign friends, who like me had made Guangzhou their new long term home. Later our bond deepened when we started to set up our families.
Unfortunately when I graduated almost all of my classmates moved back home or to other parts of China. Our group loosened and once again I found my self without too many friends to hang out.
During my masters I was again very happy to have new friends both Chinese and foreigners as we studied together for a year and then kept in touch during the next year while finishing internships and master’s theses.
At this point I had gotten married and our daughter was born, I jumped into a very new pool of mommy friends who become very important to me while handling the new situation of being a parent. Me and a few other moms, who were also married to Chinese men, formed a strong group where we could be our selves and talk about anything we liked.
After my graduation I experienced yet another group of foreigners – the expats who come for work and move to a new country usually every 2-3 years. Even I’ve been living still for the past 9 years, many people around me have been coming and going.
Now after almost a decade in China I have a few great close friends and many acquittances I’m lucky to have in my life.
Through the years I have noticed the importance of friends to your overall happiness. Those who, besides family and career, make meaningful friendships, they will enjoy their time abroad a whole lot more.
Would you like to make new friends in Guangzhou?
My company Expat Chinese is organizing an event together with Global Friendship to bring women together in a meaningful way. Come and join us for a fun evening out while discussing the topic of being a leader in your life.
Join us this Saturday! Scan the poster with WeChat or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org