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The International Student Blog

How to Have a Social Life as an International Student

Posted on August 29th, 2016 by Bryanna Davis

Pursuing a college degree is not a simple task, especially as an international student. And if you’re studying in a country where they do not speak your first language then it can add an additional level of difficulty to your time abroad. Although difficult, being an international student is a great experience that is not only fun but it can also provide you with a good education and more experience to list on your resume.

However, with all of the classes to attend, papers to write and tests to study for you could quickly get caught up in the daily tasks and forget to also have fun. To help ensure that you balance work and play, here’s a few tips on how to have a social life as an international student inside the US.

1. Make Yourself Available
One great way to get social while also being productive is to study in your dorm or apartment commons area. This allows you to both get some work done and be in areas that allow you to chat with others as they pass by. Just make sure that when you do study in a commons area it’s for something that will allow you to share your focus without sacrificing your grade.

2. Join a Group
Colleges and universities in the United States have multiple organizations that cover a variety of interests for students to get involved. A good place to start is your school’s campus activities office, they should be able to provide you with a list of organizations and how you can get involved. If your school doesn’t have a certain group you’re interested in then make sure you ask them how to start your own organization!

3. Go on a Date
Dating from one country to the next can be very different and it’s all apart of the experience to go on a date while studying in the US! If you’re worried about going on a date alone then going on a double could be a good solution.

4. Volunteer
Volunteering is a great way to meet people on campus but to also get involved in the local community. Find something you’re passionate about and devote a few hours of your time during your time in the US.

5. Stay Organized
By keeping organized you’re able to make sure that you schedule enough time to complete your school work and still have enough time to go out and have fun at the end of the day. Find a method of organization that works for you- whether that’s lists, a calendar, a planner, or all three.

6. Be Bold
Although it might seem scary, the best way to meet people is to start up a conversation. While waiting for class to start chat to the person sitting next to you, in the coffee shop or dining hall find someone sitting alone and ask if you can join (as long as they don’t look busy), if a group of people are tossing around a Frisbee in the quad see if they’ll let you play!

Written by Bryanna Davis

Bryanna joined EIC in 2011 after returning to the United States from teaching English in China. Her interest in international education, sparked initially by her own study abroad experience in Wales, led her to the company. Bryanna is originally from Missouri and is a graduate from the University of Central Missouri.

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