Being involved at school and making friends

Authored by:
Cristina P.

The scariest thing for exchange students has always been being alone the first day of school and eating lunch in the bathroom. The truth is that it's up to you; it's true that a lot of people are interested in exchange students but they can't spot you as a foreign student if you don't do the first move. Being an exchange student means getting out of our confort zone, meaning doing things that you wouldn't usually do. When it's lunch time you need to go up to someone and just ask if the seat is taken; if so, just go to another table! Another way to make friends is to join a club or a sport. It is possible that you arrived to your host country too late to be part of a sport team but you can always get in a club! Being in a club, in my opinion, is the best way to make friends. You won't be too busy because clubs usually meet once a week and that way you have the rest of the week to hang out with the friends that you met in the clubs or wherever. Another tip that I feel like giving is "smile, talk, repeat": if you smile, more people will be interested in you and when YOU will start talking to them, they will be more likely to ask questions and keep the conversation going; then repeat! Last but not least, every culture is different so keep that in mind when you socialize; some things that for you are normal, in your host country may be weird, so be careful and try to understand what's considered right and wrong and adapt to that! You are on your exchange to learn more about a new culture so don't just stick to what's right for you but expand your horizons and get out of your confort zone!

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