Making Friends Before Coming To Korea

Authored by:
Aanandi M.

Making friends online 

 

 

Prior to coming to this program, I was extremely worried about making friends. Like most college juniors I had finally established a solid group of friends and the thought of leaving that behind was overwhelming. Additionally, I was also the only student from my home university attending this program. I was afraid that many students would break out into groups with people from their home university, leaving me alone trying to navigate life in Seoul. However, what I soon realized is that even though many people from the same school are here everyone has one common goal: to live new experiences. Everybody who signed up for this program flew halfway across the world to escape the comfort of their home university and try something new. In this post, I’ll be sharing some tips for making friends prior to arriving in Korea and during quarantine. 

 

Join and make group chats 

 

Prior to your departure, CIEE will add you to a Kakaotalk group chat that consists of all the participants in the program. Within that group chat, some of your fellow CIEE classmates might make group chats based off interest. For example: Some people in the program made group chats for those interested in K-pop or Fashion. If you find that people are not making group chats you could be interested in, don’t be afraid to make your own. The chances are high that people will join. 

 

Organize Pre-departure Zoom calls 

 

Before leaving the US, I organized a zoom call with all the people who were flying from JFK airport in New York. Although it was a little awkward at first as zoom meetings are, the call soon turned into a lovely experience. Not only were we able to talk about pre-departure logistics like packing lists and covid testing, I was also able to meet people who interested in similar classes as me.

 

Don’t be afraid to DM people

 

DM people could seem very intimidating, especially if you just met the person. However, if you take the first step to reach out to someone, it can blossom into a beautiful friendship. A dm could be something as simple as “Hey! It was so nice meeting you today. Let’s go get coffee some time!” Even if you never end up getting coffee, taking that first step to Dm someone after a conversation shows the person that you enjoyed talking to them and would like to get to know them more.  

 

 

It’s key to remember that although you might feel alone, you’re not. Everyone here is nervous in some shape or form and everyone is trying to experience something new. There will be ups and downs, but as long as you keep trying, you’ll end up making friends.  

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