Making new friends can be daunting, especially when you’re studying abroad. As an international student, it’s important to step outside of the “international student bubble” and make friends with locals. This will give you a richer cultural experience and a different perspective on life in Australia.
But how do you do it? Here are some tips on where and how to make local friends as an international student in Australia.
When you’re in class, you’re surrounded by other students who share a similar interest in the subject. Strike up a conversation while waiting in line for your lecture or discussing homework after class. You can also ask a classmate to form a study group, which will give you a chance to get to know them better outside of class.
Student clubs and organisations are a great way to meet people who share your interests. Check with your student services, union, or guild for a list of clubs on offer and how to get in contact with them. Participating in student activities can also help you gain leadership skills and expand your network.
Take a language course
Taking an English language course or attending conversation clubs can help you improve your language skills and meet new people from the local community. Language courses offer structured learning and the opportunity to practice conversational skills in a supportive environment.
Find local hangouts
To meet local friends, you need to hang out where the locals do. Find local bars, cafes, or events where locals gather. Talk to your classmates, tutors, or even your barista at the places you already go to for recommendations. Don’t be afraid to try new places and strike up a conversation with someone.
Attend local events
Attending local events such as small gigs, fundraisers, or markets is a great way to get involved in the community and meet new people. You can find information about local events on social media, notice boards, or your local government authority’s website or Facebook page. Attend regularly to see familiar faces and show that you’re interested in the community.
Join a local sports club
Joining a local sports team is a great way to bond with a group of people regularly. Australians are passionate about sports, so you’ll likely find a team for any sport you’re interested in. Participating in sports will also help you stay active and healthy while making new friends.
Use your interests
Your hobbies and interests are great conversation starters. Whether it’s music, skateboarding, knitting, or gaming, find a local group or event related to your interests. You’ll have a solid conversation topic and shared interest, making it easier to connect with others who share your passions.
Remember, making local friends requires effort and initiative on your part. Be open to new experiences, put yourself out there, and show genuine interest in other people. Building relationships takes time, but with persistence and a positive attitude, you’ll make new local friends and have a richer cultural experience in Australia.