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We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people and recognise any other people or families with connection to the lands of the ACT and region.

Six ideas to make new friends

The most important thing to remember is to show up – in real life – and stay open to all people and all encounters.

Making friends requires time and a bit of effort. But, if you’re smart about it (which you are) you can use the places you’re already giving time and effort to as moments of possibility.

Work places, tutorial groups and student residences are terrific environments to slowly build connections with people. It sounds simple but showing up regularly, being present, and staying open to new things will give you the best chance of turning a companion, colleague, class mate or team member into a life-long friend.

Here are a few ways to surrounded yourself with people and create opportunities to connect.

Join a sporting team

Participating in sports is good for your physical and mental health, and a great way to meet people with similar interests.

  • Urban Rec Canberra offers 11 different sports to choose from. Their mission is to make sport more fun, accessible and social. 10-week seasons gives you plenty of time to bond with your new team.
  • Chafe Chasers is a social running club. This group of young runners meets up weekly mornings and evenings to go for a run. All fitness levels are welcome to join.
  • Look into the sporting clubs your institution offers. There will be a lot of different sports on offer which will be a great way to meet people from your own campus and college.

Sign up to student-lead clubs and societies

Your first port of call is the Student Association. A wide variety of student-lead clubs and societies exist on campus, covering all sorts of interests. MeetUp is also a great website where you can find groups of like-minded people and, well, meet up! From philosophy to film fanatics, you’ll find groups and people with similar interests.  

Living on campus

It is not a simple thing to do – live with people you don’t yet know well – but once you’re settled in, living on campus can be a fun and rewarding way to broaden your friendship group and your interest areas. Your dorm-mates will become like a family, and you’ll make lifelong memories.


Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, and a great way to spend time with people and learn more about your new home. There are so many interesting and rewarding opportunities when it comes to volunteering, including on-campus activities, charities, and community events like the Multicultural Festival. Volunteering ACT is a good place to start.

Taking up a hobby

What better way to meet like-minded people than by learning something new together? You’ll find a broad range of student-led clubs and societies right on-campus. Further afield, Canberra’s community has a wide variety of groups and classes to attend no matter what takes your fancy.

Check out events.canberra.com.au for heaps of awesome classes, activities and events happening throughout the city.

Attending on-campus events and activities

For new students, Orientation Week at the start of semester one is a must. A quick search on your institution’s or student association’s webpage will reveal a selection of events and activities right across the year. Don’t be afraid to attend other campuses either – the University of Canberra Hub almost always has live shows you can attend no matter where you study.

Related Pages

How to meet people in Canberra

Easy ways to meet new people in Canberra – both on and off campus

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10+ annual Canberra events not to miss!

Canberra’s calendar is packed with festivals and fun for you to explore!

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Making friends

We love to welcome new people to our town. With lots of activities and events to choose from, you’ll find it easy to make friends.

Read more

Interested in studying in Canberra?

Contact the Study Canberra team for information and advice