The international students’ community is always a diverse one, with various cultures, ethnicities, religions, academic goals, and age brackets. This diversity is represented in the population of every academic environment.
The quality of education in international universities and colleges is a primary subject of attraction for study abroad education. However, most students who apply to these institutions are equally motivated by other factors which are dependent on the international students’ community.
Connecting with other individuals in the student community, especially for the first time could be a great source of recreation or a chore. This may be dependent on the circumstance you find yourself, the setting, and your temperament. However, it’s an essential, and potentially rewarding activity, particularly when you are in a new academic community.
Helpful Tips for Connecting with your International Student Community
Post-pandemic, most international student communities exist virtually on social media platforms and mobile applications. While this new trend is beginning to gain traction, the old good way of connecting with other community members is still viable and more productive.
Here are some helpful tips to foster the connection to your student community.
- Be open to invitations
Most universities and colleges already have an organized international students community and you can easily become a part of it by accepting an invitation on arrival. You can also look out for welcome parties and dinners for new students. Though simple and usually brief, such a ceremony is a good avenue for you to understand the values of the host society, and decide if it’s the type you would love to be a part of.
- Join a community
There is always a warm, cordial community for every international student. In addition to the big, popular ones, most schools have a handful of more narrowly scoped clubs, associations, and societies you can join. Previously, finding a close-knit community of people with similar values was a daunting task. However, with search engines and university blogs, you can easily find an association of your tribesmen, faith members, and fellow sports enthusiasts within your academic environment.
- Create a community
This sounds pretty adventurous. However, every international student’s community was created by someone else at some point or the other. If you are unable to find a community that adequately represents your area of interest, you can create one. A party, a door-stop, or a simple one-on-one interaction with other international students will expose those who share the same value. And you can create a beneficial community of it.
- Be consistent and always add value
Joining a community and connecting with other members of the said community are two completely different things. To progress to the latter, you have to be consistent and active in the programs of the community; adding value to the group and the life of other community members.
Benefits of Connecting with the International Student Community
Interacting with the students’ community (both internationals and indigenes) of any international university or college is a natural part of living and studying in such an academic environment. However, the degree of connection usually varies from student to student.
A good number of the student population is always actively involved in various international student communities. However, some prefer to play the solitaire card and end up losing out on the numerous benefits that these communities afford their members.
You should connect with your international community. Here are some benefits
Settling into a new environment, especially one with a different culture, weather condition, and language, is not a very easy phase. International student communities provide all the necessary support you may need to effectively settle into your new environment and prepare for studies. In addition, they also offer moral, financial, and academic support and ensure that you are not left behind.
- Global exposure
There are few environments more diverse than an international students community. When you interact with other members of the community and learn about their various cultures, ideas, beliefs, values, and perspectives, you gain global exposure.
- Learn a new language
There are countless mobile applications, online classes, and other resources available for learning a new language. However, the old good way of interacting with native speakers remains the most productive way to master a new language.
Studying abroad offers you an opportunity to learn a new language, and connecting with the international students’ community would be a sure way of easily achieving it.
- Personal development
These communities are always dotted with experts and highly informed individuals. They serve as a hub for social, personal, and academic development. Hence, connecting with an international student community, and interacting with other great minds would largely contribute to your personal development.
- Career opportunities
Being a part of an international students community allows you to stand on the shoulder of giants. When you are connected to a dynamic community, you would have better chances at successfully accessing internship and employment opportunities. This is because other members of the community who had already achieved such feats would be there to guide you.
Connecting with the international students’ community is not always the easiest part of settling into an academic environment. However, it’s highly rewarding and you can achieve this by simply interacting with other members of the university population.