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Socializing for international students

MagemasterMagemaster Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
edited November 2012 in International Students
Well, I as an international student am finding it difficult to make friends. During orientation, I did meet a couple of other international students. They were Asian. They were pretty cool and friendly. But soon they "found" other Asians and they left the orientation. So now I was in a group and I did not know any one. It was weird because I didn't "get" their jokes and as a result I couldn't join in the follow up comments after the jokes. Also they seemed to already have made friends. So I just felt weird tagging along. I see most international students sticking to their kind. I really don't know how I am going to make friends. So, I would appreciate any advice I can get.
Post edited by Magemaster on

Replies to: Socializing for international students

  • SombreSombre Registered User Posts: 273 Junior Member
    Why do you think you did not "get" their jokes? Is this as a result of a cultural difference or perhaps you missed an inside joke? If it's the former, try watching the show Community. It may feel a little weird but that's okay, you'll get used to it and slowly appreciate its charm. If that's a little too much (it probably won't be), then just watch something like Friends or early How I Met Your Mother. Now, I haven't been to the USA but I don't have trouble hanging out with foreigners and 90% of the English I hear is with TV shows and films.

    Dude, congratulations. You're in college in the States! I know, I know, this is the epitome of all cliched responses but it's true - you're already in, how hard could things get? Just talk to lots of different people and figure out what you'd like your social life to be. You can learn a lot by just *listening* to people and you'll get more comfortable talking...by well, just talking with them!
  • b@r!umb@r!um Registered User Posts: 10,171 Senior Member
    I remember the feeling! In my international student orientation, students very quickly formed groups based on national backgrounds. Socializing with Americans was difficult too because they seemed to be talking about lots of stuff that meant nothing to me.

    Feeling rather estranged from other internationals, I decided to tag along groups of Americans. After a while we *did* have common backgrounds (we watched the same TV shows, heard about the same political events, shopped at the same stores, etc) and then hanging out with them became a lot more natural and entertaining.

    The best advice I can give you is to choose a group you'd like to identify with and start spending time with that group. You might feel like an outsider initially but that feeling will pass. Personally, I am happy that I chose to socialize with Americans. I wouldn't want to be trapped in the "international bubble."
  • Xavier91Xavier91 Registered User Posts: 35 Junior Member
    Hoping to get along with both americans and internationals, obviously going to be hard to do both though.
  • screwediamscrewediam Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    To b@r!um,

    Just like you, i too am adamant on not getting trapped in the 'international bubble', no matter how tempting it is initially. Its been around 20 days in college. And I don't have a single 'friend'. And I'm very keen on making only intercultural friends. I do have a friend with whom i have hung out twice in the last week but I'm not quite sure if i can call him a 'friend'. I mean, he has his own group of friends and he hangs out with them. He did introduce me to his friends but nothing great really happened after that one lunch all of us had. I don't know. I guess, all i need is 'my kinda' people, which btw he and his friends are. But still, nothing happened after that one lunch. We didn't hang out again.
    See, all i want to know is how much time does it take to find a comfortable group for yourself. Everybody here has already found their groups. So it worries me if I'm too late to make friends now.
    could you share with us how much time did it take you to find yourself some good friends.
  • katliamomkatliamom Registered User Posts: 11,258 Senior Member
    ^^ my suggestion would be to get involved in campus activities. Check out the intramural or club sports scene, a great way to make friends. Also, an international student I know found a way to bake a certain kind of roll popular in his country - and he'd invite people in his dorm for coffee/rolls. Was a big hit right away. In other words - be outgoing in your effort to meet people, and make it no secret you're looking to make friends. You could simply shrug and say something pretty clear like, 'Hey, I'm new to this country, I don't know anyone here."
  • screwediamscrewediam Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    Im an international freshman in college. Its friday night and I have got nothing to do! Its been 2.5 months now and i don't really seem to have any friends. Although Im very close to my roommate in the sense that whenever Im sad, I talk to her and she always consoles me. I must mention here that she too is pretty much friendless. She too is international (but not from my country) but she did her high school from US and had many american friends in her HS.
    Anyway, I do have a couple of friends that I made from class projects. And while we are working on the project, we have a great time and lots of fun! But we never hang out besides those group meetings. I'm international so initially I used to be very reserved and shy. Sometimes when people used to smile at me, I used to look away out of sheer nervousness. I guess it makes a lot of people think that I'm cold. But what do i do now to make amends for all that i screwed up! I must mention here that now i have changed a lot and have improved a lot on my social skills. And I do have acquaintances but I have no one to go out with on fridays! and that feels terrible.
    can anyone tell me whether its possible to make friends the second semester or was the first semester the last chance to make friends? Is freshman year the last chance to make friends in college?
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 25,520 Senior Member
    You do realize that there are plenty of US students who are in their rooms feeling friendless, don't you? Learning to live in a new environment is a challenge for almost everyone. I know it is hard to force yourself out the door and into conversations with total strangers. I hate doing that too. Good relationships grow slowly. If your group projects worked well, those classmates will want to work with you again. So don't lose track of those teammates. Ask them to work with you first! And if you are alone on a Friday, text or email the people you are acquainted with and ask if they'd like to meet you for a snack/movie/etc. They might be glad you called.

    Some of my best friends from college are people I didn't meet my first semester. You have time.

    Wishing you all the best.

    P.S. If you have nowhere to go yet for Thanksgiving Dinner, get yourself into the International Students Office on Monday and find out how to get yourself adopted for the day by a professor or someone in the community. Go, eat that big meal, socialize with everyone, and who knows, you might make a whole bunch of new friends! At the very least, you will get a good meal.
This discussion has been closed.