The prospect of studying abroad can bring about a range of emotions. On one hand, it’s a new and exciting adventure that will propel you on the path to your dream career. Then again, it has always been challenging for humans to leave familiar places and people and ease into life in a new country.
To help you manage, this article address one of the biggest concerns that students often ask us about; making new friends. For some, this can be a challenge no matter where they are, while others are social butterflies that attract friends with little effort. Or perhaps you fall somewhere in between… but whichever it is, don’t worry. Take it from us, making friends as a student is easier than you think.
The Importance of Friendships
Building a supportive social circle when studying abroad is like having a safety net and a bundle of joy wrapped into one! Friends can help you beat homesickness and navigate a foreign land. They can be great study buddies, adventure pals, and a shoulder for support. Your time at university offers the chance to discover who you are and what you like, and along the way you will be likely to find like-minded peers on similar paths.
Embracing Cultural Differences
As an international student, you’ll experience incredible diversity, which allows you to break stereotypes and create an inclusive atmosphere that celebrates cultural differences. Start friendly conversations by showing curiosity about others’ customs and traditions. Even if you don’t always agree, try to understand different perspectives. Show you care by learning a few words in their language and using gestures, even if you don’t speak it fluently.
Orientation and Campus Events
As an international student, diving into orientation programs is a fantastic way to kickstart your friendship journey! Get ready to make buddies from day one by participating in campus events and joining student clubs. Not everyone will be familiar with the place, so this commonality provides the perfect opportunity to bond with fellow students. Universities also have resources dedicated to helping you socialize and connect with others, so be sure to explore them.
Joining student organizations and clubs is a goldmine for forming friendships with people who share your passions. Whether you’re into sports, arts, or something else entirely, there’s a club waiting for you. Sports and recreational activities are also a blast for meeting new friends, so don’t hesitate to get active. Who knows, you might find pals who enjoy your hobbies and interests as much as you do!
Language Exchange Programs
Language exchange programs allow you to connect with language partners who want to learn your native language, while you learn theirs… imagine that! You’ll bond over language practice, share cultural tidbits, and create lasting connections. Find language exchange partners on campus or online, and don’t worry about language barriers – they can be the stepping stones to amazing friendships.
Peer Support Groups and Mentorship Programs
Sometimes, we all need a little extra support, and that’s where peer groups come in handy. Seek guidance and comfort from peers who’ve been through similar experiences – they’re like your friendly cheerleaders. If you’re looking for some seasoned advice, connect with upperclassmen mentors who can show you the ropes.
Volunteering and Community Engagement
Engage in community service and join volunteer organizations while at university. By giving back to the community, you can connect with locals and discover the heart and soul of your host country. Building friendships through shared passion for doing good? Now, that’s truly rewarding!
Get yourself out there and participate in cultural festivals and events, visit local landmarks, and indulge in traditional cuisine where the locals eat. Embracing the local lifestyle opens doors to new friendships, where you can embrace the spirit of your host country with great company.
Social Media and Online Platforms
Connecting with friends has never been easier, thanks to social media and online platforms. Jump into the fun by joining international student groups on social media. Networking through online forums is another way to connect with like-minded individuals from around the world. Also keep a lookout for platforms which facilitate local meetups and gatherings in the country you’re studying in, such as meetup.com.
Coping with Homesickness and Loneliness
Feeling a bit homesick or lonely? You’re not alone – it’s a natural part of the adventure! Stay connected with friends and family back home to share your ups and downs. Universities also offer counseling services and support networks to lend a helping hand and make you feel better in no time!
Ready to Study Abroad?
Embarking on a study abroad journey opens the door to a world of incredible opportunities, and making new friends is one of the most rewarding adventures you’ll ever experience. So, don’t wait any longer! Take the first step towards your dream university by browsing through our platform, exploring programs, and applying to your desired universities. If you need guidance or have any questions, book a free call to speak with one of our student advisors.