You’re in a new country. You don’t know anyone with the possible exception of other students from your home country. How do you meet American friends?
This is one of those cases where the answer is simple, but it’s hard to do what you need to do. But once you have taken the first step, you’ll wonder why it was so difficult.
How do you make American friends? Here are approaches you can use:
- Introduce yourself to classmates in each course you have. In most classes, you will get into a routine of where you sit. Find a seat beside someone who is not sitting with anyone else. Introduce yourself and ask the student if he/she would mind helping you with the lecture. Most students will respond very well to this. After a few classes, start getting to know each other. Before you know it, you will have a friend and that friend will lead to other friends.
- Stay in a campus dorm with an American roommate. This is an easy way to get to know others. The development of friends in dorms will come very naturally if you are just open to others.
- Share meals with other students. Meal times are great times to get to know others. The conversation during meals will be free flowing. Those at the table will have a curiosity about your country so you will fit in very well into the conversation.
- Invite your friends to join you at a meal at a local restaurant that features dishes from your native country. When you share a meal like this with others, it creates a special bond.
- Find a “talking partner.” Many American students want to learn other languages. You can find these students through the international student office or the foreign language program. You will help each other out in developing language skills. True friendships will often develop from these pairings.
- Join a campus service organization. These service organizations typically will do community service projects. The students who are attracted to these organizations generally are very accepting of persons with different backgrounds.
- Join intramural teams especially in sports that are more prevalent in your country. True friendships often come from competing together in sports activities.
- Set a goal of meeting one new person every day. It will become very easy for you to do this after you have tried it a few times. You will find others are very open to you and will have a real interest in your native country.
- Spend breaks with American friends. Often your American roommate or other friends will invite you to their home for breaks or weekends. Take advantage of these opportunities whenever possible.
Making American friends is kind of like one of those domino designs you have seen. Once the first domino is pushed this amazing scene unfolds. But the designer had to be fearful when he/she pushed that first domino. Once you push that first domino (finding the friend), everything from that point on will just occur naturally as with the domino design..