Ah, the first day… feeling like a little kid on his first day at school. A sudden rush of fear of the unknown overwhelms you while anticipating the inevitable. Yeah, well… It sounds more horrific than it actually is. Have in mind that you are not the only one there surviving this awkward situation. There is plenty of other students that, just like you, are trying to make new friends when studying abroad. And they all do fine, the same way you will. It takes a little more effort and preparation, but it’s worth it.
So, student accommodation, the host family, or renting an apartment?
Before making any further progress you’ll need to settle yourself somewhere. In general, student dorms are a great option if you want to live in the proximity of a lot of other students. And I mean A lot… they are literally everywhere! Even though it may be a great opportunity to make new friends while studying abroad, some do appreciate a little bit more privacy. Therefore, for those who need more private space, the host family may be an option. Also, people who feel more comfortable in the family-style accommodation lean toward this option. It is not exactly your real family obviously, but they can be your anchor and your connection to the new world. You won’t find a better guide for local customs, people, culture, tradition, and attractions than a local family that’s living there for a long time. For those looking for more individuality, renting may be the proper choice.
Carefully look for a roommate
If you are among the people that just need their own living space, renting an apartment is a way to go. Of course, if your budget allows you. You can rent a smaller apartment all for yourself, or you can try to share a bigger place with a roommate(s). This is a great way to make your first steps in the shoes of an adult and practice your independence. Also, it’s a guarantee that you will save your sanity because there won’t be any noisy student parties unless you wish. On the other hand, you should be very careful when choosing your roommate. You can make new friends when studying abroad this way or it can be a complete annoyance for you. If you are lucky enough to run into a local person, he/she can be your city guide and he can help you pick the service you need when moving.
Hello! My name is John – don’t be shy!
We all know that there are some issues that expats often deal with when leaving their country. However, being shy will not get you anywhere. In order to “break the ice” you should try to remember a few things that people often keep forgetting:
- Stay calm
- Always be polite
- Be confident
- A smile can help you a lot
- Try to be yourself
You won’t believe how with just a little effort and practice, you will find no hard time starting a conversation with strangers. Especially after the first couple of times. Just make sure you know local customs and proper ways to greet people. Thousands of cultures – thousands of customs.
Make friends when studying abroad by signing up for clubs and organizations
If you don’t have any hobbies or particular interests, now would be the right time to pick some. Think about what you like to do and what you are interested in. There are many clubs and organizations you will run into in your student life. Surely, you will find something fitting for you. As a result, you will have the opportunity to meet a lot of new people that share the same interests as you. Whether it is hiking, biking, fishing, books, music, or movies, it is a great chance to get close to persons potentially more fitting for you. Nevertheless, don’t hesitate to do some research about the area you are in. There may be some clubs outside of the university area which you didn’t know exist.
Explore the local places to make new friends when studying abroad
After you choose your living place you need to successfully move all your possessions. Using one of the professional companies like fourwinds-ksa.com would probably be the right choice for more reasons. One of the reasons is that you can get a lot of useful information about local places, clubs, restaurants, and other important things from them. And, that is a good starting point for your exploration to begin. Walk around the town and check all the places people with experience are recommending to you. Try to get the “feeling” of each place and find the one that fits you. In a couple of days, you will most definitely have more local friends than you hoped for.
Don’t stay away from local events
Every neighborhood in the world has its own local events and happenings. Maybe it is a local music festival or a competition of some sort. Even sports events may be a good chance to meet people. They are all good budget-friendly opportunities to learn about the country’s culture and to pick up a few tips about where people of your age are gathering. Even if you try, there is no chance you can miss posters and flyers about all the happenings in your surroundings. Just be open-minded and ready for new experiences.
Use all the benefits the internet provides to make new friends when studying abroad
You should try to get the maximum out of the internet without any hesitation. Don’t worry. By now, many of your classmates and peers already know they have students from other countries. They may be even more than willing to get to know you. Using social media and applications like Facebook and Twitter can really help you to make new friends when studying abroad and to learn about incoming events.