Friends mean the world to you when you’re a young adult or teenager. A lot of your growth process, mental state, behaviour, and life decisions are influenced by the company you keep. So, how to make friends as an international student? Especially when you are staying at an entirely new place, away from your home, family, and the familiarity and comfort of what’s known.
In that case, making friends as an international student can be a daunting task, especially if you're far from home. A great way to establish connections is to take advantage of online resources like social media and language-learning apps that make it easier to connect with local students. By taking advantage of campus activities, language exchange programs, cultural events, and social media, you can easily find friends and build meaningful relationships. So don't be afraid to reach out and start making connections today.
Developing meaningful conversations by joining clubs, organizations, or other student-related activities can help tremendously with something concrete and tangible to talk about.
Moreover, having genuine conversations with people who are in a similar situation as you can also be incredibly helpful.
By simply introducing yourself and being open about wanting to meet new people, you are likely to build strong connections eventually. And of course, don't forget the importance of common interests—joining a sports team and attending community events could give you even more opportunities to find friends and participate in your new environment. Here, we have curated some exciting ways to stop struggling to make friends in college.
Firstly make up your mind that you’ve to take the first step, get out of your comfort zone, and don’t shy away from exploring every opportunity you get to talk to people if you want to master the art of how to make friends in college.
Connect with music
Nothing is a more powerful tool than music to connect with people. Start your conversation by asking about the other person’s favorite music, and share your playlists with each other.
Attend musical events, open mics, and concerts with your classmates, neighbors, or whosoever you connect with and share similar musical tastes with.
Talk about BlackPink and Lady Gaga, if you’ve nothing else to talk about because that never goes wrong.
Explore and seek local bands with your pals, and classmates in order to discover new music genres, and develop new favorite playlists together.
Attend college events
Many college and universities host their own campus events for freshers in order to familiarise them with campus life, and give them the opportunity to meet seniors, faculty members, new and old classmates, etc. Attend as many events as you can on your campus, it will also be helpful in networking, and participating in some events also helps you earn extra credits. So, be mindful of that, so that you can make the most of it.
Connect with your neighbors
If you’re living on campus then you’ll have roommates and dormmates to talk to, hang out and connect with. Make the most of it because that will be a great way to connect by being a good neighbor even if you don’t know how to make friends in college if you are shy.
Bond with your roommate, be helpful and actively take an interest in things they like. Give attention to them and take care of each other. It is proven that the majority of people find their best friends in college dorms.
If you’ve decided to live outside the campus; then you’re most likely to meet people of different ethnicity, age group, and interest. This will give you an outstanding opportunity to experience the local life, culture, and traditions of the country you’re living in.
Learn the local language
There are times when you’re the only one with no friends and everyone else around you, although newbies like you, have already made friends. In that case, it is confusing to understand how to make friends in college when everyone already has friends. Don’t be disheartened; in such cases, you need to be positive and change your perspective.
Join a language class if you don’t know the local language and if you do, join to brush up on your language skills and then connect with classmates who are struggling with the new language and place like you. Communicate with locals, talk to neighborhood grocery shop owners, and connect with your hostel guards, etc. This will benefit you in more ways than we can explain here.
Try Backpacking and exploring
You’re in a new country, away from home. This could be your chance to come out of your comfort zone and explore your college life and make the most of it. In college, you do not just learn in the classroom but outside of it too.
Living in a new place or country where you’ve absolutely nobody to fall back to; no family and friends to go to, can be daunting but it can also be exciting if you decide to be a little proactive and believe in yourself to navigate your way through any situation with your wit and intelligence.
It is believed that locals and neighbors make great friends if you only have the guts to initiate that first conversation. Try to make friends out of locals you meet while traveling and involve yourself in their lives and try to know them better. This will help you understand their life, culture, tradition, and beliefs from up and close.
Volunteer with an NGO
This is an excellent way to boost your CV and also contribute to the society you’re living in along with networking and making friends on the way.
It is a perfect win-win situation if you ask. Join your local community, and seek NGOs that work towards common issues that you resonate with. Find out what you think needs to change in society, think about how you can make a difference as per your skills and expertise, discover resources to go about it then volunteer where you can act and contribute to making those particular changes.
Volunteering will put you between like-minded people which makes the situation easier for you to make friends.
Overall, attend campus activities, language exchange programs, cultural events, and social media, you can easily find friends who share your interests and come from all over the world. Put yourself out there and don’t be afraid to make a complete fool of yourself at times because these experiences will only make you stronger, boost your confidence and give you a lifetime of unforgettable memories to cherish.
This concludes our blog on how to make friends abroad, hope the aforementioned tips prove to be helpful for you. So don't be afraid to reach out and start building relationships today!