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It’s easy to find your world getting smaller after retirement, as you are no longer in touch with colleagues or work contacts who help to keep you up to date and share your views. But you can avoid the boredom and loneliness arising from this change by making good use of your time to make new friends and widen your social circle.

Here are some tips about making new friends. You may wish to go travelling, join interest classes, cultural activities and recreational activities, enrol in educational courses, or join volunteering and charity activities. You can stay connected with society by engaging in activities that matter to you. In fact, this will also bring you into contact with people who are nearer to your heart and can widen your exposure.

Travelling

Travelling overseas is one great way to see the world and meet new friends. Some tours are organised with specific themes - photography, gourmet expeditions, soccer matches, etc. – bringing together people who are most likely to become friends based on their enthusiasm for shared hobbies or interests.

Here in Hong Kong, many places of interest await your call. You probably have not seen these places before because you just could not find the time. A wide variety of options are offered: your housing estate or local travel agency may run trips around Hong Kong for the family. There are also interest group excursions to choose from - hiking, photography – you name it.

Please visit our “Travel” page for details about places of interest around Hong Kong and some tips about travelling.

Interest Classes, Cultural Activities and Recreational Activities

You can now afford to spend more time in your favourite hobbies or anything that interests you or brings you pleasure. The Leisure and Cultural Services Department and other organisations run a wide array of interest classes, cultural  activities and recreational activities: Tai Chi or swimming classes at the club house; classes in Cantonese opera appreciation, Chinese calligraphy or Chinese painting from community centres; classes in dancing, photography, cooking, gymnastics, beauty and make-up, feng-shui or palm reading from various organisations; exhibitions and public talks at shopping or cultural venues; or classes in knitting or baking run by neighbourhood stores. All of these may offer opportunities for you to meet and make new friends with people who are drawn together by common interests.

Visit our “Leisure” page for details of interest classes, cultural activities and recreational activities offered by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and other organisations.

Educational Courses

When Hong Kong had only two universities, not many people were able to study there. In those days, some even had to give up higher education, as they had to support their younger brothers and sisters through university. It is time for retirees to fulfil their ambitions of going to university while making new friends at the same time.

Degree by distance learning programmes are offered by various local and overseas universities. In Hong Kong, some institutions run a special school for people aged 50 or above, where credit courses are offered along with an Intergenerational Matching Exchange Programme for seniors and undergraduates. The Programme issues a certificate of Intergenerational Solidarity in recognition of any pair of young and senior participants who complete the training together and also engage in teaching at secondary schools. Seniors are able to brush up their knowledge, make friends with young people, and also contribute to society through teaching.

Under its “Elder Academy” programme, the Government runs some 130 Elder Academies at post-secondary institutions, primary or secondary schools all over Hong Kong. Seniors are encouraged to continue learning and remain active through these programmes, stay connected with society, and get to know aspiring young teachers and volunteers.

Visit our “Joy” page for details about educational courses.

Volunteering Activities

Retiring from the workplace does not mean you are no longer full of energy. You can still be active in your community, making good use of your profound experience and knowledge to serve others. This is where volunteering fits in. Grasp this opportunity to find real joy in helping people. Before long you will start to wonder why you have so many friends who share your passion for volunteering.

Visit our “Joy” page for details about Volunteer.

Charity Activities

At home or abroad, there are always people and good causes needing our support. Seniors can contribute in cash, in kind or as volunteer helpers in such efforts through NGOs and charities, including fund-raising, charity fairs, donation campaigns, educational events, community building, free medical consultation activities or child sponsorship. You will find your world gets bigger and the people around you are full of enthusiasm and love.

Stay Connected with Society

Stay connected with society – continue with your habit of viewing daily news or tracking new developments in areas of interest via web searching. You will find yourself comfortably picking up conversations or sharing your views even with people whom you have just met for the first time!

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