Talk to someone, make friends

Here’s some helpful advice from other emigrants.

Making friends or meeting new people is one of the best things to do:

Talk! Get out amongst people. Try things you have never done. Go to every event you are invited to. Have fun! Give yourself time, when we moved to Canada, a few very wise people told us it would take us 2 years before we were finally settled! I could not agree more!

Network and connect with people whenever you can. Socialise as often as you can and keep busy with sports or travel etc

Socialise. Always ask for help. There's always someone who is feeling or has felt what you have felt. Stay away from negativity. Always think positive even in the worst and most challenging situations. Always think of it as an experience and it will make you stronger personally and probably professionally.

Reach out, put yourself out there because no one will come knocking on your door.

I'd have to say don't slip into the routine of saying I'll meet people or sort things out later, just jump right in and put yourself out there. Plenty of people out there in the same situation.

Getting to know different people – not just Irish people – can be a great way to feel better and get more out of your experience

Make the effort to try and make the most of it. Recognise that no matter how much you miss Ireland this is another country with its own customs, traits and beliefs and that you need to try an integrate as best you can to get a sense of belonging. You can remain a proud Irish person while appreciating the new opportunities a country has give to you.

Don't isolate yourself within the Irish community. Mix with local people.

Try and meet as many people as you can from the country you live in – it should help with stress and make you more relaxed.

Don't cut yourself off completely from connections with home, but equally try to get involved in life in your new community, don't be in an "Irish ghetto" situation


Just try and do as much prep work as you can before you leave. Save, try have a job set up, have a person to meet at the other side, or join a sports club or something to meet people. Don’t just socialise with Irish whose only social outlet is drinking. Do things you wouldn't/couldn't do at home. Don’t have any regrets. If you don’t like it- go home. Don’t pressure yourself to enjoy it.

Do your research and be prepared for hard knocks, too many expect jobs, friends and a home to be waiting when they get off the plane and are not prepared to fight for a new future

Ensure you have enough money before arriving. Try an arrange accommodation before arriving, prepare cv, research jobs. All this makes arriving less stressful and helps coping.

Do your research on every available service. Be mindful that most rentals come unfurnished in the uk. Very stressful.

Be prepared! Have a plan for work accommodation and contacts to ease the major stress of moving and don't have set expectations as it's not what you may have thought and that's ok.


Keep active, exercise is great for mental health If there is something wrong talk to someone, do not let it build up... They didn’t lock the gates when you left, you can always go back one day.

Throw yourself into the new life and if your spending too much time thinking about home keep busy, including continuous physical exercise.

Keep fit and healthy and also get a good social circle of friends.

Exercise and keep active, one of the best ways to keep mentally healthy.

Need Support?

This website is meant to give you some ideas about how to prevent, prepare for and cope with emotionally challenging experiences involved in emigrating. It is not intended as a substitute for the direct help that you may need from another person or professional. If you are worried about your or another person’s mental health contact your GP or health professional wherever you are living. There is also useful information on this Irish site: www.yourmentalhealth.ie