International students often struggle to make friends in their new country. In their home country, they had a social circle of friends who they regularly saw and with whom they shared similar interests. The problem is, everyone has those same connections when they’re at home—but not so much when they’re an international student somewhere else. Now, you may think that it’s a lot harder to make friends as an international student than someone who grew up in that location all their life. And you’d be right—it is harder! But not impossible. One thing is for sure: Making friends as an international student is more of a challenge than for someone who has local connections from growing up there. Here are some tips on how you can meet people and build your own social circle as an international student:
Attend events and join clubs you enjoy
One of the best ways to make friends as an international student is to attend events you enjoy and join clubs that interest you. This is a great way to meet people who are into the same things as you are, and it’s a lot easier than trying to meet people through random conversations. Think about what types of events and clubs you’d like to be a part of. Do some research on what’s offered near your campus. There are likely lots of events and clubs to choose from: There are also many online directories you can use to find events and clubs near you that you’d be interested in. For example, Meetup.com is a directory where people organize events related to their hobbies and interests.
Network with other international students
One of the best ways to make friends as an international student is to network with other international students. Many foreign students feel like they don’t fit in at the university and would benefit from finding friends with a shared experience. If you’re at a large university, there will likely be a Global Students Organization where you can meet and network with other international students. If not, start your own group! You can also find other international students in your program by looking through the university directory. You can also ask your program director or faculty members if they know of any international students in your program who you can network with.
Try online dating apps like Tinder and Bumble
Online dating apps like Tinder and Bumble are another great way to make friends as international students. You’re able to connect with people based on your interests and share photos and details that you want people to know about you right away. With apps like Tinder, you can also find people with whom you share common interests, like sports teams or music. In fact, you can even filter your searches to find people who are studying in the same field as you. There are also dating apps designed specifically for students, such as Path and Student Swipe. However, be careful when meeting people you meet online. You don’t want to put yourself in a dangerous situation, so make sure to use common sense and protect your privacy.
Talk to everyone you encounter—even if it’s hard!
As an international student, you’ll likely find that you have to put yourself out there a lot more than you would have at home. This means talking to people both in your program and people you encounter in daily life. If you’re in a class, talk to your classmates. If you’re at the library, find a group of people you can sit with. If you’re at the grocery store, ask a cashier about their day. Yes, even these seemingly small encounters can lead to friendships. You never know who you’ll meet or what connections you can make. You may think that it’s hard to make friends as an international student, but you can do it with a little effort.
Hang out with your classmates
Your classmates are another great resource when it comes to making friends as an international student. While you may not see your classmates as often as you’d like, you can still make an effort to see them and build friendships with them. Here are a few ways you can make an effort to spend time with your classmates: If your program has a regular get-together, make sure to attend it. If you live on or near campus, try to avoid only spending time with other students in your program and try to get to know other people on campus as well. You can do this by pursuing some of the other methods listed above.
Go to events on and off campus
You can also meet people at events that are held off campus. These types of events usually have a broader appeal than events held on campus, so you’ll likely meet a wider range of people interested in different topics than just people in your program. Here are a few ways you can go to events on and off campus to meet more people and make friends: Join a club or organization – This is a great way to meet people who have similar interests as you. Not only will this give you a chance to discuss and engage in your interests, but it will also give you an opportunity to meet new people and make friends. Try an adventure sport – If you’ve always wanted to try a new adventure sport such as rock climbing or paddle boarding, now is the time to do it. Not only will you get to experience something new, but you’ll also meet new people who enjoy these types of activities. Go to a cultural event – If there are cultural events happening in your area, go to one! Cultural events are a great way to meet people who share your interests in other cultures and make friends.
Bottom line: How to Make Friends as an International Student
While making friends as an international student can be challenging, it’s not impossible. With these tips, you can make an effort to meet new people and make friends. The best way to make friends while living as an international student is to get out there and find new people and activities to engage with. The more you put yourself out there and make an effort to meet new people, the more likely you are to find your own social circle.