I'm a software engineer and I relocated last year to Berlin. I'm learning the German language and I'm trying to understand the whole new world.
But my problem is that I discovered that I'm depressed, deeply depressed. I go to work then I'm at home. Days after day, I'm not doing any thing beside my job. I'm not playing guitar any more, I'm not developing my open source projects any more. I find it is really difficult to do anything.

During the weekend, I can't go out with my friends in the company because they already have their social life. I can't impose myself upon them.

Add to that, I'm not sure how I can meet a girl. Why that girl that I like would be interested in a non-citizen that isn't even able to talk with her using her mother tongue?

Any tips and advices how to overcome this?

closed as off-topic by Karlson, Dirty-flow, Mark Mayo, choster, Vince Mar 11 '14 at 8:29

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    Typical home sickness symptoms.. you still in your first year as an expat, you will be fine in time... – Nean Der Thal Mar 10 '14 at 19:38
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    @MeNoTalk Actually, I finished my first year here. – Chiron Mar 10 '14 at 19:40
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    Welcome to travel.SE. This will be a great question to ask on the new Expatriates site – Karlson Mar 10 '14 at 19:40
  • In the meantime you might want to have a look at toytowngermany.com I know some folks there organize meet-ups in Berlin from time to time. – Relaxed Mar 10 '14 at 19:55
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    re girlfriend: don't underestimate the "exotic bonus": to many, many girls you will in fact be more interesting than a compatriot of otherwise similar characteristics. – Michael Borgwardt Mar 10 '14 at 23:20

I started as a comment but it grew too big. The answer is everyone's experience is different. In my job I met a lot of people who relocated, sometimes from very far, to my city and each adapted differently. The vicious cycle is, if you feel down you lack energy, but the best way to beat it is to keep busy...which require energy. It's tough, but there's hope !

  • You say you're taking German classes, try to meet someone at the school/institute
  • If you play guitar or have other hobbies, try to find some local group/club/meetup and be around people who share your interest. (Online guitar forums ?) And practice what makes you happy
  • Try to meet other expats, surely someone from your corner of the world just moved to Berlin and is feeling the same way. I know some consular sections organize events for their citizens abroad.
  • I would try to "impose" on your colleagues (I know this sounds awful) at least once until through them, you meet someone new with whom you can hang out separately after. If you don't want to impose, why not organize your own thing and invite some people (evening at your place, birthday, lunch together etc)
  • Physical activity and sunlight help immensely. Even just walking, if you can get a dog for example.
  • Visit home if you can, even for a little while, or invite family/friends over. It can give a much needed morale boost. Same goes for finding some good food from your home country in Berlin.
  • Getting a girlfriend and expanding your social circle through her friends. Don't be put down by the language barrier, Berlin is a big city and there are many foreigners who are probably just as intimidated by their German as you are.

source: these are all things I've seen people do, and I've been to Berlin a few times

  • +1 for the German classes alone - I've been living in Berlin three years now and had the same hard period. I made lots of good friends through class. And having at least conversational German really makes meeting people much easier. – David Hall Mar 10 '14 at 21:36
  • @DavidHall how long did it take you to get over that period mentioned by the OP ? – blackbird Mar 10 '14 at 22:06
  • For myself it was maybe 6 months - very similar situation where I was working as a software engineer and not pursuing dance performance, which was the original reason for coming. But with learning the language and finding some theatres and dance classes to make home, it really did shift quickly. – David Hall Mar 10 '14 at 22:40
  • Oh, and for the physical activity - I've been swimming in the pools here recently - a bit expensive, but very nice. And come summer there are the lakes :) – David Hall Mar 10 '14 at 22:41
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    @happybuddha well that's largely out of your control anyway, all you can do is try. Then again, there is more than one place to take lessons in Berlin – blackbird Mar 11 '14 at 2:44

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