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Making friends while studying abroad
Starting university is a challenging experience for anyone, but starting in a foreign country can be terrifying. However, with the right group of friends, studying abroad may be one of the best experiences of one’s life. Friends can help you cope with cultural shock, homesickness, or other health problems. They may also assist one in adjusting to and comprehending a different cultural background, and they are people with whom one can explore their new surroundings. Here are some tips for making friends abroad and making the most of your unique university experience.
Be open and friendly
Approach each day with a positive attitude and be open to meeting new people. Smile, make eye contact, and be approachable. People are more likely to be drawn to someone who seems friendly and welcoming. Don’t let your perception of your ‘type’ of friend keep you back. The university is full of people of varied backgrounds, and you should refrain from making fast judgments about anyone before getting to know them. Friendships can form in the most unexpected of environments.
Join orientation activities
Participate in orientation activities organized by your university or program. These activities are designed to help students meet each other and are an excellent opportunity to connect with fellow international and local students. Working with other students, whether in study groups or on collaborative projects, is one of the most enjoyable aspects of university. Nothing brings everyone together like an all-nighter in the library with munchies. When assigned a group project, don’t just pair up with other international students; attempt to locate some local students to collaborate with. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to talk, brainstorm new ideas, and celebrate your accomplishment over a casual get-together.
Engage in extracurricular activities
Joining clubs, sports teams, or other extracurricular activities is an excellent way to meet like-minded individuals with similar interests. Look for student organizations that align with your hobbies, passions, or academic pursuits. Nothing strengthens friendships like a nice party. And if you want to get together with a large group of individuals, this could be the ideal occasion – as long as it’s not against the restrictions of your lodging. Joining forces with your roommates is the best approach to meeting many new people. Of course, students adore freebies, so consider bringing some snacks or drinks. Watch for social gatherings, parties, or get togethers on or off campus. They often provide a relaxed and informal setting to meet new people and build connections.
Use social media and online platforms
Utilize social media platforms, such as Facebook groups or university forums, to connect with other students studying abroad. You can ask questions, find potential roommates, and even arrange meetups. Be bold and reach out to your new students and friends on social media. It’s a terrific way to see what others are doing and enjoy the fun! University Facebook sites and Twitter accounts can help you learn people’s names while informing you of upcoming events so you can make sure you have time in your (now jam-packed) calendar!
Explore your host country and culture
If you are familiar with the language and culture of the country where you will be studying, you can adapt to your new surroundings more quickly. Learn as much as you can about the destination country’s lifestyle, culture, religion, history, and weather to prepare for your trip.
Explore the area’s customs, attractions, and culture while you have the chance. You can check out monuments, museums, or taste regional cuisine. Your horizons will be expanded by participating in local activities, allowing you to meet people and make new friends.
Language exchange programs
Studying the native languages is the best approach to meeting people there. Nothing can establish a connection with locals more quickly than a greeting in their native tongue and a grin. People will still notice your effort even if you have trouble communicating, and you’ll have lots of exciting things to tell them about your experiences. Therefore, If you’re studying in a country where the primary language differs from your own, consider joining language exchange programs. These programs provide an opportunity to meet native speakers interested in learning your language while you learn theirs.
Be proactive and initiate conversations
Feel free to strike up conversations with people you meet in class, at the library, or in other social settings. Ask questions, show genuine interest in their background and culture, and be a good listener. Taking the initiative can lead to meaningful connections. Just keep in mind that you’ll be more inclined to converse with strangers, hear about their experiences, and occasionally even adopt some of their practices while you’re among them. Therefore, participating in some activities will help you make friends with new people.
- Remember, making new friends in a new country takes time, so be patient and persistent.
- The most excellent way to make friends there is by learning the language (local) spoken there.
- If you are familiar with the language and culture of the country where you will be studying abroad, you will be able to acclimatize more quickly.
- Take your time with initial setbacks or rejections. Keep putting yourself out there, and soon enough, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a diverse group of friends.
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Q1. How difficult is it to make friends when studying abroad?
Ans. One of the most exciting aspects of studying abroad is meeting new people. Meeting new people is more challenging in a different country but possible.
Q2. Why is it beneficial to meet people from foreign countries?
Ans. Making friends from another country promotes multiculturalism, which makes you more accepting of others, regardless of religion, skin color, culture, or philosophy. There are numerous things we take for granted or believe are standard worldwide.
Q3. What advantages come from establishing relationships with people of different cultural backgrounds?
Ans. In terms of balance, a cross-cultural relationship may allow you and your family to benefit from the best aspects of both cultures. You and your partner are free to adopt the values you want from each of your backgrounds, giving you the chance to consider what is truly essential to you for your family life.