Are you going to study abroad or in a new city this year? It can be a bit scary at first, but it will be a lot of fun! Where are you going to live? Is your university going to be good? And maybe the most important question: who will become your new friends?
To help you out, we got 5 tips on how to make friends in a new city!
At the beginning of the academic year most cities and universities host introduction weeks, which is the perfect place to meet a lot of new people. You can join an introduction from a student city, from your university or from a student- or study association. During organised activities, you will quickly get to know other students. If you are starting in the second semester (february) there are often smaller, more specialized activities. Make sure to keep an eye on the website and Facebookpage of your future place of study. When studying abroad, you often get a mentor who will tell you everything you need to know about your study and the city of your university. Most Dutch universities host introduction events especially catered towards international students.
Living in student housing is the perfect way to make friends in a new city. If you hit it off with your housemates you instantly have a built in friend group. It differs per student house to which extend the students do things together. In some student houses roomies go grocery shopping together, eat together and hang out together. In some student houses the doors stay firmly closed however. Don't be scared to be the the one who opens up (get it?) to their housemates.
Say "yes" to new things more often. It doesn't matter that you don't know anybody. You won't be the only one who experiences that. The only way to get through the awkward beginning phase of friendship is to just do it. Apply for a course, new sport. go to that party your classmate is throwing. Or join your university's volleyball tournament for example. You don't have to be a star in the sport to participate. You will always find buddies and there's a high possibility of it being hilarious!
Just like the introduction days at your uni, at the beginning of the year there's often a day where all the sport clubs, school teams and other clubs recruit new members. Check out that day and join one of these clubs, because it is not only fun to do an activity, you also get to know cool new people. Maybe you're not interested in putting effort into something serious besides your studies. Nevertheless, it's worthwhile to join a student association, political party or student committee to work on different projects. You not only meet new people, you also build up a network and work on your CV.
This is by far the most obvious tip, but the easiest way to make friends is by talking to the people in your class. The lecture hall should be the place to pay attention, listen and take notes, but there's are always classes in smaller groups. Take the opportunity to socialize. Sit next to different people and pair up with someone else for every project, until you find your perfect buddy. Bonus: it's easy to find a subject to talk about: the course or the teacher's funny glasses...
Your student years are awesome and you will probably make friends for the rest of your life. Good luck!