It’s safe to say that life without friends would be meaningless and empty. No matter where you are, making friends is an essential part of your life. If you’re a student who’s studying abroad, getting to know people and turning into a social butterfly can be a bit more complex.
Nonetheless, this barrier shouldn’t stop you from attaining friends, and to help you get on the social path we’re sharing tips and tricks that are going to launch you into friendship world.
Start Off with Roommates
If you are lucky enough to share a room or an apartment with students who are in the same boat as you, start off by mingling with them. You’re spending a lot of time together anyways, so start off by getting to know the people you are living with. The fact is, you’re going through the same experience of studying abroad, so you have something in common right off the bat. If you’re really busy during the day, find some time during the evening to do some activities together. Watch a movie, go for a walk or simply talk about your day over a cup of tea.
Get in the Club
We’re not talking about nightclubs, although if you have time and that’s your scene, go right ahead. Just make sure you don’t go alone and that you do your research when it comes the places you are going out to. But in this case, we’re actually talking about joining a club that suits your interests. Think about what you like doing and find a group that has similar interests. There’s no better way of making friends than joining a group that already thinks like your or likes doing the same things as you do. It can be any kind of club, just as long as you are into it.
Participate in Program Events
Programs that offer students a chance to study abroad, usually enable students to participate in events and activities organized by the same program in order to get all the students together. These gatherings can be fun, relaxing and a great chance to mingle through the crowd, talk to people and stumble upon like-minded souls. Not only do you get a chance to meet all people who are studying abroad just as you do, you get to grab more information on where to go and what to do on your free days.
Go to Local Hangouts
But be safe about it. Once you’ve met your roommates, why not venture outside? Find out what the local hanging out spots are, coffee shops, restaurants, parks, libraries or galleries and frequently visit those places. Meeting the locals is a great way to get to know more about the culture, the people and the country itself. Even going to the gym, if you’re the sporty type, can enable you to meet people who like exercising as well, and there’s nothing like a great gym body to get surrounded by a group of friends to hang out with.
Learn the Customs
Each country has their own lifestyle, and specifically ways that they socialize. Make sure to do thorough research, to find out all the dos and don’ts before you go out and start talking to locals. You don’t want to disrespect anyone or get in trouble by saying or doing the right thing. It’s usually the simple things that will get you started off on the right foot. Do research on how they greet each other, what you shouldn’t say in your wildest dreams, and how they like to hangout and meet people. It will aid you in approaching people and being at the right place at the right time, without coming off as strange. The fact is, not all countries are equally welcoming towards foreigners, and there’s always that scare factor when it comes to meeting new people who aren’t from the area. So be gentle when approaching, and do your homework!
Go Out and About
Sure, you might have a lot on your plate when it comes to your education, but studying abroad is doesn’t mean you are confined to your room and your roommates. Talk to your roommate and make it a habit to go out as much as you can. It doesn’t have to be to a nightclub, or anywhere where you have to spend a lot of money, that you probably don’t have in the first place as a student. Jog in the park, visit museums and galleries, go to events, and just be outside surrounded by people. The more you are outside, the higher the chances are that you’re going to meet someone to add to your friendship circle.
Throw a Party
Once again, stay safe and don’t invite a lot of strangers into your room. You just want to invite your friends and have their friends come to your party. It’s a great chance for everyone to meet each other. They are great for conversations, and you never know who you might meet. Parties are the perfect way to expand your current group of friends, especially if your current group is quite small. Fun is the best connector, right?
Use the Internet
Nowadays, social media enables you to connect with people from your surroundings in a very quick way, especially if you’re the original home body. If you like to stay at home most of the time, or simply don’t have a partner to go out with all the time, find your classmates on social media. Get a conversation going, and ask them openly what they do, what clubs they are in and what events you should be going to.
Now that you know how to get your social on in new surroundings, take your eyes off the computer screen and start mingling! The world is waiting for you.