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Making friends as an international student

As an international student studying abroad, making friends can be a daunting task. Being in a new country, far from home, can be overwhelming, and the cultural differences and language barriers can make it challenging to connect with others. However, making friends is essential for a successful and fulfilling study abroad experience. Regardless of how it may seem, you are not alone in wondering how to make friends at university. In this blog post, we’ll explore some tips and strategies for making friends as an international student. Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, there are plenty of ways to build a support network and form lifelong connections while studying abroad. So, let’s dive in and learn how to make friends as an international student.

  • Participate in orientation week events.
    Participating in orientation week events is an important aspect of starting college or university life. Along with providing an opportunity to meet new people, make friends, and establish connections with fellow students. It provides new students with an opportunity to become familiar with the campus and its resources. You can learn about academic departments, student organizations, clubs, sports teams, and other activities on campus. You can also discuss your academic goals and plan your coursework in academic advising sessions with faculty members. This knowledge can help you feel more comfortable and confident navigating your new environment.
  • Join clubs or organizations.
    One of the easiest ways to make friends is by joining clubs or organizations on campus. This can be anything from a sports team to a cultural club. Often, such clubs and organizations are composed of like-minded individuals, but you will not only meet like-minded individuals, but you’ll also have the opportunity to participate in events and activities that interest you. Whether you’re interested in hiking, cooking, or gaming, there’s likely a club or organization that caters to your interests. Joining one can provide an outlet for your passions and allow you to pursue them with others who share the same enthusiasm.
  • Attend social events.
    Stepping out of your comfort zone and attending social events, such as parties or dinners, can be a great way to meet new people. Look for events hosted by your school or student organizations and make an effort to attend them. It may be intimidating at first but remember that everyone is in the same boat and looking to make friends. Attending such events allows you to meet new people and expand your social network, and it can help you build confidence and self-esteem. Social events provide opportunities to practise your communication skills, whether it’s making small talk with strangers or giving a presentation to a group.

    Do also attend cultural celebrations such as new year’s festivities; during such occasions, it’s easy to break the ice, meet people, and develop new connections. In warm, festive environments where greetings are shared, not only is it easy and fun to connect to new friends, but it is also a great opportunity to learn about your hosts’ culture. Whether it’s taking part in traditional celebrations or making some new dishes together, participating in such activities helps to break down cultural barriers and establish stronger connections. It becomes easier to connect across cultural barriers once you try to actively immerse yourself in the environment.

  • Volunteer
    Volunteering is a great way to meet people while giving back to the community. Look for opportunities to volunteer on campus or in the local community. Not only will you meet new people, but you’ll also have the opportunity to practise your language skills and learn more about the local culture. For example, volunteering at a hospital may help you develop better communication or empathy skills, while volunteering at a non-profit may help you develop project management or fundraising skills.

    Be open-minded.
    Being open-minded means being willing to learn from others, even if their views or experiences differ from your own. This can help you broaden your knowledge and gain new insights into different cultures, ways of thinking, or areas of expertise. Finally, it’s important to be open-minded when making friends. Remember that people may come from different backgrounds and have different beliefs and values. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and try new things. Embrace the opportunity to learn from others and expand your perspective. An open-minded approach can also foster creativity and innovation.

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