Part of your academic journey abroad is being involved in small to large social groups. Having social connections is essential for your emotional and mental well-being.
Apart from personal benefits, joining campus clubs is also a great way to expand your network. In addition, you’ll gain valuable skills that you need in school and in the life ahead.
Some international students prefer concentrating on academics rather than being active in campus clubs. However, both of them have a tremendous impact on your overall school experience.
If you want to enjoy your stay abroad while developing great skills, join campus clubs that interest you. Here are four reasons why you need to join school clubs:
Engaging With a Diverse Group of Individuals
Joining campus clubs allows you to meet other students from different cultural backgrounds. Aside from the chance to potentially make friends, you’ll also get to learn about different cultures and histories.
Having the opportunity to listen and observe subtle and spectacular differences can help you become more culturally aware. The experience can be empowering, especially if you also share your insights into the culture you were raised in.
Exchanging these stories in a group will broaden your global cultural knowledge. This knowledge is a great foundation for developing an understanding of discrimination and cultural stereotypes.
However, engaging with new people is truly a daunting experience. See some of our tips below so you can easily introduce yourself to the group:
- Don’t stress over first impressions. It will only make you feel less confident about yourself. Instead, focus on the people you’ll meet and transform your anxiety into excitement. Trust us, they’ll love to get to know you too.
- Join as many clubs as you can. Naturally, we know that you don’t just have one interest. Pursue as many hobbies as you can, given the time and energy that you have. Of course, you can’t join every campus club as you please, so you must filter through your options as well.
- Be active in these campus clubs. Even if you’re only a regular member, make it a point to always be present. Consider leadership roles if you want to, but regardless, you must participate in the club’s major activities. It’s a great way to be more known too.
Gives You a Break From Studying
In a highly competitive university, rest is paramount. It’s vital to be studious and focused on your academic goals, but you need to take breaks as well.
Joining clubs is a great way to take study breaks. While some school organizations also involve academics, it still gives you more freedom with your time.
Being involved with like-minded people can give you more worthwhile lessons than reading textbooks. Remember, the best education goes beyond typical schoolwork.
To fully maximize the breaks you take, here’s how you can achieve your fullest potential through campus clubs:
- Participate in major activities. Of course, these events can also be exhausting, but it’s a different kind versus academic exhaustion. Through these activities, you don’t have to worry about being perfect all the time. Your presence alone is appreciated.
- Get advice from your senior peers. You’ll learn many useful skills from them, even through casual talks. Ask for advice on various things, such as how to be better at school or your hobbies. They know a lot of things you may not know yet, so seeking guidance from them can help.
- Be a helping hand. Whenever you have free time on your hands, extend support to your members. It doesn’t have to be a large task to be considered truly helpful. For example, you can help in sending out flyers whenever it’s time to get new recruits.
Gain Important Skills
Participating in campus clubs makes you a better communicator, a good leader, and an empathetic listener. These people skills or soft skills don’t just look good on the resume. They make you a better person too.
Apart from these skills, you’ll also learn teamwork, collaborative brainstorming, and diffusing certain conflicts. These skills are necessary to hone your personality. After all, what’s the use of an international education if not to improve yourself?
If skill-building is among your top priorities, here are some things to remember to get the most out of your time:
- Practice time management. As a student, joining campus clubs can take a lot of your time each day. Once you get the hang out of it, juggling various tasks will become easier. But before you can achieve this, make sure your time-management skills are in their best shape.
- Be a leader in the organization. We’re not saying that you should run for president of the campus club (although you can, of course). But you can be a leader in your own little ways. You can take the initiative, you can motivate other members, and listen to the feedback.
- Focus on transferable skills. A lot of these you’ll learn as a member of the campus club. You get to see what skills make each member unique. Try to absorb as much knowledge as you can and apply them to your own skill set.
Have Access to Networking Opportunities
Without a doubt, networking is the quickest pathway toward landing a great career. When you have all the right connections in your hands, opportunities come to you, not the other way around.
Being actively involved in campus clubs expands your social sphere. You’ll get connected with different individuals who have relations with other networks and people.
In connection to this, many organizations hold alumni events. These occasions offer a great chance to meet important people that could help you in various ways.
Some alumni who have been to the same club as you offer scholarships and other educational support. They also host events for internships and employment opportunities.
Networking doesn’t just end within the campus club. Here’s how you can extend your efforts to make full use of it:
- Leverage social media sites. Connect with your members on social networking platforms that you’re on. Engage in their posts as well and communicate as much as you can. It’s just a nice way to get to know them more than the club.
- Be friendly and confident. Introduce yourself to other people you haven’t met before. This will help establish rapport and trust when building your professional network. Get in the know with the people around you so you can connect with other people better.
- Get as much assistance as you can from your senior peers. They can help you get connected to key individuals who may eventually help you in landing a job in the future. You can also reach out to them just for professional advice to advance your career once you graduate.
Joining a campus club brings many benefits for international students. Read more of our articles here at MSM Unify to get more insights on how to build important skills while studying abroad.