When I was thinking about studying abroad, I was really nervous about not being able to make friends. Now that I am abroad, I see that there are many opportunities to make friends. When I first got to Leeds, there was a week of events for international students to meet each other and become friends (and there are still events like these throughout the semester). Normally, I feel like you talk to people at welcome events and then never talk to them again, but there are people that I met at those events that I still talk to today. I think it is because we are all international students who left home and really want to make friends while we are abroad. It is really easy to become friends with other international students because you automatically have something in common with each other.
On the first day of one of my classes, three people and I all sat next to each other. When we introduced ourselves to each other, we figured out that we were all international students, and we were so excited to see other international students like ourselves in our class. We were able to bond by talking about living in a new country and discussing things that confused since we arrived. I enjoy all of the conversations I have with these friends because we talk about what things are like in our respective countries and get to learn about each other’s cultures.
Another way I made friends is by living in a dorm on campus. I think the university tried to put international students who applied for dorms together, so everyone in my hall is an international student. Since I came to England during the second semester, most of the people in my dorm all already knew each other, so it was a little hard to become friends with everyone because they already had friend groups. However, the international students in my hall all came to England at the same time as me, so we were able to get to know each other at the same time and become friends. Also, our dorm has a meal plan with a cafeteria, so the people on my hall eat together often!
You can also make friends by joining a club! At the University of Leeds, there are so many clubs for all types of interests, so you can join a club you like and make friends with people who have similar interests!
At universities abroad, there are many opportunities to make friends, so I would not worry! If you just put yourself out there by doing things like going to events, talking to people in your classes, and joining clubs, you will be able to make friends with people at your university, especially fellow international students! In fact, most of the friends that I have made in Leeds are international students! When going abroad, I thought I would make friends who were from the area I was studying in, but now that I am here, I realize how easy it is to meet and make friends from all over the world, and I love it!