5 ways to make friends on your study abroad journey

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Starting a course in higher education can feel like the first day of school all over again. A time for new stationery, new teachers and making new friends. If you’re feeling nervous about meeting new people during your course, check out our top tips to help you feel calmer and more confident while studying abroad.

1) Join a club/society

Most institutions will host a fresher’s fair at the start of the first semester. This is your opportunity to sign up to the clubs and societies. Universities will try to cater to as many students as possible, so there should be a range of clubs on offer such as sports teams, cooking clubs, volunteering groups and more. It might be worth doing some research into societies before choosing your institution, as the types of clubs on offer could differ depending on the university.

However, it’s unlikely that you will become a regular member of 10 different clubs for example, so try to register for your top favourite clubs or however many you think you could commit to. If you want to join a sports team for example, you may be expected to attend weekly training sessions, so you don’t want to over stretch yourself by taking on too much! However, clubs and societies are a great way to meet new people and get involved in university life. It also looks good on your CV!

2) Student accommodation

Perhaps one of the most common ways to meet new people is through student housing. Living in student accommodation means that you will be surrounded by other students, particularly if you live on campus as this tends to be a social hub.

One useful tip for new students is to leave your door open when you move into your new accommodation. This way, you can meet your new flat mates as soon as they move in. Although you might feel nervous, be brave and start a conversation with new people. Once you’ve made the first move, you should start to feel more confident and comfortable when speaking to new people.

You could also offer to help others with their belongings when they move in, which would be a friendly way to start chatting. Don’t forget, everyone will be nervous on their first day at university!

3) Join social media groups

Although you don’t want to spend too much time online when you first start university, it might be worth joining some groups on social media. For example, your student accommodation might have a Facebook group where you can start chatting to your future flat mates. It is also a great idea to show your interest in meeting new people by asking for their social media handles or phone numbers so that you can get in touch.


4) Organise a study group

Another way to make friends during your course is by organising a study group. Not only is this a great way to get to know people on your course but it can also help with your learning. Try asking a few people on your course to meet in the library or in a café where you can work on a project together. When those deadlines hit, you’ll find that your course mates will be a huge support. Or if you miss a lecture, ask someone on your course to send you the notes. This might be a good way of starting a conversation with someone new.

5) Research the local area

To make the most of your time abroad, find out what’s going on in your local area. Is there a cinema, shopping centre or gallery? Depending on which country you choose, most major cities will also host unique events throughout the year such as food, and music festivals.Studying abroad allows you to develop a sense of self by exploring new places and gaining new experiences. Try doing something you’ve never done before!

Overall, it’s important to have a positive attitude when you start at your chosen institution. Try saying yes to new opportunities, as this is your chance to step out of your comfort zone, even though it might be daunting at first!

Overall, it’s important to have a positive attitude when you start at your chosen institution. Try saying yes to new opportunities, as this is your chance to step out of your comfort zone, even though it might be daunting at first!

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