A lifelong journey toward a good life includes friendships that can withstand the test of time. As an international student, your real education is cultivated beyond the curriculum, including expanding your social horizon.
Meeting people in a new country gives you the chance to make lifelong friendships. Having friends is an exchange of moral and emotional support that you all need to get through university life.
Building friendships isn’t a mechanical process and it shouldn’t be. There’s no universal formula to attract like-minded people, but there are various methods you can try.
Read on to unlock ways of expanding your social circle and making lifelong friends while studying abroad:
Join a School Club
No matter how obscure you think your hobbies or interests are, there’s always a school club there for you.
School clubs are perfect avenues for students who share the same interests. There’s a group for film fanatics, aspiring musicians, or creative clubs for poetry or drama.
When joining a school club, you know you have something in common with all the members. Your shared passion for a specific interest can help mark the beginning of a new friendship.
Keep an Open Mindset
You don’t always have to limit your circle to people who think, speak, and act just like you. Humans naturally gravitate toward people similar to them, but you cannot break out of your comfort zone with this.
Try to approach other students with whom you wouldn’t normally hang out. It can be an intimidating experience, but it will be fulfilling in the end.
Keeping your mind open to differences will make you more appreciative of differences. You’ll recognize them for their strengths rather than dismiss them out of discomfort.
Leverage Social Media
Instead of considering social media as a distraction, try to see it as a tool. Long hours of social media use is harmful unless you optimize it effectively.
Engage in your university’s Facebook page, and join groups to meet more students. Following your school’s social media pages is also effective to see announcements for upcoming events.
Social life extends in the digital space too. Make sure you involve yourself in online activities to meet more people and potentially make friends.
Opt for On-Campus Accommodation
Proximity is the best producer of friendships. In some cases, it’s usually the people who are physically closer to you that become your friends.
If you choose to live on-campus, you may live inside a residence where there are communal places to hang out. You can have casual chats with students in the same flat and get to know each other more.
Join Study Groups
University students love studying together for an exam or future lectures. If you get invited to one, don’t turn them down but agree immediately.
Studying together isn’t about purely learning alone. It’s also a time to casually chat or enjoy a good lunch in a cafe.
Joining study groups pushes you to interact while others communicate with you. And if you spend enough time with the same people, they might just be your friends.
Long-lasting friendships can help you get through university and into life. To learn more about social skills, look through our articles here at MSM Unify.