6 Tips for Making Friends as an International Student

Adjusting to life in a new city can be daunting. You want to fall straight into a friendship circle of shared values and common interests, but the struggle to find these friends while navigating cultural differences truly is real.

We get it, many of us have had similar experiences ourselves. So, we’d love to share some tips for making the transition a little kinder on your social life.

Tip 1: Set realistic expectations

You might not make friends as soon as you arrive, and that’s ok. Prepare for it to take time and remember you’re not alone. There’ll be many others in the same boat.

Tip 2: Go out and explore the city

Go to festivals, book stores, art museums - just immerse yourself. You want to get comfortable with your new environment. Who knows, you might just meet someone that you can connect with.

Tip 3: Take advantage of dorm life

As you settle into your new halls of residence, introduce yourself to everyone you meet. Spend time in the common rooms and strike up conversation. Go to dorm events and social gatherings.

Tip 4: Go to all the university events possible

Make the most of freshers week, student fairs, student union events and anything else that catches your eye. In the UK, student unions are responsible for putting together social events designed to make it easier to meet new people. Sports clubs and societies cater to a variety of hobbies and interests and end up being some of the best places to meet your people. Personally, I joined the vegan society at my university where I got to meet fellow plant-based eaters and eat at cool vegan restaurants across London. I also joined the dance society which was a great way to have fun, destress and connect with new people.

Tip 5: Go digital and join facebook pages.

You can join a facebook group based on interests, location (there are many London-based facebook groups) and more. Happy browsing!

Tip 6: Use the apps!

It's time to normalise using apps to make friends. At fethr, we’ve streamlined the friendship making process for you and will connect you with others based on shared interests and traits. This is a great way for international students to make friends instantly whenever and wherever they want.