As an international student, it may be challenging to make new friends. International students usually study in a diverse environment that has many other students from diverse backgrounds. Accepting this environment is a very crucial element, because an international student may feel difficulties integrating with the locals. However, without friends, they may not excel or perform effectively. In simple terms, one should go and meet different students, bravely and confidently. For example, when I was trying to make friends at uni I applied for a buddy to help me with my electrical engineering internships, and we ended up being great friends for years. But there are many different methods for finding friends, of course, and that’s what I’ll break down for you today.
So, here are some ways for international students to make new friends:
Most universities have clubs, societies and student groups. Remember that there is no one club, society, or group. You, as a student, may join any group that sounds like fun, and that aligns with your interests. It can then become a “base” for meeting other like-minded students in the university. When you have similar interests and tendencies it is much easier to become friends. Therefore, joining a club may be an excellent way to start making friends.
Participate in University or College-hosted Events:
Colleges and universities arrange events for different reasons and for different occasions. It could be, for example, a national event such as a national day, or an institution related event such as a recruitment day (that usually when you can go on a job- or internship search in Australia). In both cases, the university will normally promote participation from students, and ask them to take an active part in these events. My experience is that these events involve different student performances, trying new food and drink options, joining competitions etc. These events improve the collaboration between students, and it’s easy for participants to make friends through these events. If you don’t participate in these events, you cannot make friends easily.
Be open to new experiences:
As an international student, you should not make up your mind about the locals too quickly, without substantial facts. If other students are not treating you as a celebrity, that does not mean that they do not want to become friends. An international student should keep an open and positive attitude that invites and encourages others to start a conversation. Such behaviour is also helpful in student accommodation, which is a very convenient place to make friends. In student accommodation, many students live together. It becomes a great place to get to know each other and share mutual interests.
Inviting Others on a Party:
Holding your own events is another very useful way to make friends, because other university or college fellows think it very important. Inviting others gives them respect, and it changes people’s perception about you. Any event should have a purpose that may be for enjoyment or any other reason (such as a club meeting). Like university events, these parties also work well, and they may prove to be even more effective in making friends.
Making Different Friends:
To avoid being too clingy or spending too much time with the same person, you should try to build out a network of friends. Remember that intimate relationships and friendship are two different things. A loving relationship – where you only want one partner – is different from friendship. Friendship is a genuine and open relationship where you both practice enjoyment and fun simultaneously. As an international student, you should try to find a diverse pool of friends so that you do not rely just on one or two friends all the time (leave this job to your boyfriend or girlfriend).
Using Social Media:
The use of social media lets you open up and speak bravely, and believe it or not, but people tend to find it easier to get closer to a person who speaks openly. Self-expression wins the heart of many. If you openly show who you are, others will get attracted to you. Social media also contain groups and pages where university fellows connect. Therefore, this is a great opportunity to make new friends.
In short, making friends is an art – but it is not complex. If an international student is open-minded and participates in different activities, he or she can make many friends. Being extroverted and welcoming are vital to find many new friends, but it can take a bit of time getting used to. So start by joining one or two groups on campus, and then you’ll be sailing through your university years like a social butterfly!