If you are naturally extroverted, you would have likely made friends in most offices you walked through while preparing to study abroad. Therefore, making new friends in your academic community won’t be a problem. However, finding acquaintances in a new environment could be strenuous for many. Not to talk of nurturing friendship. Therefore, this article will share practical and unusual ways to make friends when studying abroad.
Settling into an academic community in a new country, with unusual weather conditions and a culture alien to you, could be challenging. While it comes with a generous dose of excitement and the thrill of achieving a giant step towards your academic goals, you should also expect cultural shock, boredom, and various day-to-day challenges that you could easily navigate with the help of a friend.
Unusual ways to make friends when studying abroad
Make acquaintances before traveling
Preparing for international education is rigorous and could keep you detached from everything else besides it. However, endeavor to check out the school’s social media communities and try to interact with other community members. Acquaint with them and arrange meetings on arrival to get to know each other.
Start a conversation with a stranger
You can do this on the university campus, in your apartment building, neighborhood, or anywhere else you find people you believe you will connect with. While your purpose is for studying, you should equally explore new bold things, including talking to strangers. So start the conversation, ask questions, and have an open mind. But, of course, the person might need a friend too.
Universities organize various events for students. While most of them are official, there is always time before and after the event to meet with other students and faculty members, interact and possibly spark a friendship. Also, other organizations like religious bodies, social clubs, and various student associations put together events where you could meet new people and make friends.
Join a club
One highly effective way to make friends anywhere, including when studying abroad, is to join a smaller group in an organization. Whether on campus, in your worship center, resident’s association, or any other organization you’ve identified with, take an extra step by joining any of the smaller groups it houses. This could be a study club, religious society, tribal group, or fitness club.
Offering help to someone who needs something you already have is an effective way to spur friendship. This help could be to a student who arrived much later than you did and needs to settle down before starting academic activities quickly, another one who needs guidance to become fluent in the languages you already speak, or any of the many others. When you find someone who needs your help, don’t hesitate to offer it.
If you want to make friends unusually, you would have to go out of your way often to let the people you meet know about the things you find commendable about them. You automatically create a friendly ambiance and an ideal atmosphere for starting up one by complimenting someone.
Throw A Party
This is as effective as it is unusual. Whether a new student just getting to settle in or a returning student, you can attract a diverse group of people by simply throwing a party. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant ball or a robust get-together. A simple party with drinks, a sound system, and anything else you can afford could make way for new friends. However, ensure that you won’t disturb the neighborhood or attract the wrong company or police with it.
Like in your native country, studying abroad could be daunting, overwhelming, and boring, especially if you don’t have friends. Friends are people you can rely upon for moral support on challenging days and celebrate wins during happy times. To make your international education experience more fun while building lasting relationships, endeavor to explore one or a combination of these unusual ways to make friends while studying abroad.