It is not surprising to find International students experiencing some level of loneliness and hurdles to overcome when trying to connect with American students and American culture. Leaving your family and friends, finding yourself in a new and strange culture, and speaking a different language can be pretty challenging.
We at peerTransfer are here to give you five easy steps to help develop your social lives in the United States.
1. It’s fine to be different
You’re from a different country with a different culture. Your habits may sometimes appear strange or weird to Americans, but don’t be embarrassed about being different. Instead, talk about yourself and help others understand why you do certain things and in ways you do. People will love you for who you are 😉
2. Ask people to speak slowly and repeat
If English is your second language, it can make finding and connecting with friends just a tad harder. But no worries, the more you speak and engage, the quicker you will learn. When you speak, make sure you speak slowly and distinct in your pronunciation so that others can understand you better. Also, when you don’t understand something or if people are speaking to fast, make sure to let them know and ask questions.
3. Don’t talk to home too much
We get it, you’re homesick and want to share all new experiences with your family and friends from home. But spending too much time on the phone or email with home will not only make your homesickness worse, you will also miss the chance to interact with fellow American students more. Get busy and don’t miss out on your American college experience!
4. Pursue your hobbies and interests
The best and most efficient way to bond with people is through group activities. Check out your school’s clubs and organizations and get involved at your institution. What do you love doing?, what are your hobbies?, do you play a certain sport?, do you like singing, acting, or has it always been your dream to join a sorority or fraternity? Do it. Sign up for what you enjoy doing or try something new. You will be surrounded by like-minded people which will make it easier to bond 😉
5. Be open minded
Get out of your comfort zone. International students tend to stick together and do what they know and what they’re used to. Try to do something different, watch what American Students do, ask them if you can join them. Meet them out for meals and try new foods. Let them teach you about the culture and customs. You’ll have a great time broadening your horizon while improving your English at the same time 😉
If you have any advice on making new friends, please let us know in the comments below! Now go out there and socialize!