14 Jun 2020

Sonia on Sundays: Making New Friends in Newfoundland and Labrador

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.
– Dale Carnegie

Meeting new people can be very intimidating at first, especially for somebody who is from a different country. When you first arrive in Newfoundland you will learn that the accents here are pretty different from any other place on Earth. It is also a close-knit community where people know each other from school, work or neighborhood. This might seem challenging to break through at first, but I want to assure you that there are ways to go around it and make fantastic new friends.

Sonia Krajewska is the ANC’s Community Settlement and Integration Counsellor (Permanent Residents).

Here are some things that might help you (or your family members) to get out there and meet like-minded individuals.

Outdoor activities

Newfoundlanders love being outdoors and staying active. During the summer there is a lot of hiking, kayaking, BBQ-ing and bonfires at the beach. During the winter months you will see that people go snowshoeing, playing hockey or ice fishing. Don’t be afraid to join them!

There are number of groups who get together because of their mutual interests. You can use social media apps to find out when those groups are meeting. Use Facebook to see events happening near you or join Meetup.com. You’ll easily be able to meet like-minded people who enjoy similar things to yourself.

Community groups

It’s worth mentioning that Association for New Canadians has a number of social groups which you are more than welcome to join. We have a Men’s Group, Women’s Group, Stay-at-Home Mothers’ Groups, Conversation Circles and more. Just reach out and let us know what groups you might be interested in and we will sign you up. We would be delighted if you could join!

Because of COVID-19 outbreak and physical distancing rules, our face to face meetings are currently on hold, but we continue to organize online meetings if you are interested in that.

St. John’s Farmers’ Market

Another way to network is our local Farmers’ Market in St. John’s. Farmers’ Market is held on Saturdays. Local vendors have their stands set up and sell homemade food from different countries as well as their handmade items (gifts, jewelry, soaps and so on). Definitely check it out! There’s a live entertainment every weekend and when you’re there you certainly feel like you’re a part of a wonderful community. Perhaps you could open your own stand and sell goodies from your homeland?

Farmers’ Market has been closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but they decided to re-open on the 13th of June 2020, with modifications such as no interior dining and enhanced health precautions. Once you go, ensure you are maintaining physical distancing and it’s a good idea to bring a face mask with you.

Meeting people at work

We all spend a lot of time at our workplace. If you are employed ensure to make an effort with your coworkers. Meet them for lunch and chat about their interests. Find out if there’s anyone in your work environment who could become your friend.

Community volunteering

You might also join volunteer groups. Do you like animals? SPCA would be a perfect place for you! Maybe you want to join the Gathering Place and assist the vulnerable population of homeless people. Finally, it’s important to mention that you can volunteer with the Association for New Canadians and meet people who, like yourself, are newcomers to Canada. Reach out to one of our representatives and let us know you’re interested. I recently wrote an article about volunteering options in our community. You can find it here: Sonia on Sundays: Volunteering.

Take it easy!

Just give yourself a little bit of time and be open to new people. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians will be curious about your different accent and they will ask you to tell them your stories. They will gladly share a coffee with you and gab your ears off. Just don’t close yourself off; enjoy getting immersed in this beautiful culture.


Do you have any questions or need assistance with settlement in Newfoundland and Labrador?

Contact me at skrajewska@ancnl.ca

Read all of Sonia’s articles here.