All of us need friends – at least a few people to talk to, to have fun with, to help us when we have problems. When international students arrive in Superior, they’re always excited about making new friends. Usually, they expect to make American friends, but often, it’s the other international students who become their closest friends, at least at first. This can be fun and exciting, but it can also lead to cliques.
It’s often easier to make friends with other students from your home country than with students from other countries. If you are Chinese, it feels comfortable to be able to speak Chinese with other students. You understand each other easily, and you share many of the same ideas of the world. This is natural – but it can also limit your experience. If the students from Vietnam generally speak Vietnamese together, it leaves out everyone else. You end up with a clique that students from other countries cannot join.
If you truly want to broaden your experience, don’t limit your friendships to people from your home country. Make friends with people from other countries, even if you do have to speak to them in English.
At ESLI at UWS, we have a picnic during orientation and invite all the new students to meet all the returning students.
Another way to find new friends is to participate in campus activities.
Kiki is a former ESLI student now attending UWS. She volunteered as an orientation leader in June to help new students get to know the university.
She could explain the university registration system and advise students about university classes.
Qilin (student leader), Qiqi (returning), Kiki (former ESLI student), and Hung (new)
World Student Association Leader
Nora is another former ESLI student at UWS. She was on the board of the World Student Association last year, helping to organize Cultural Night and other activities. She also participated in an international night for children, showing them how to write Mongolian letters.
Son enjoys sports and signed to play intramural sports. He also likes a pickup game of soccer on the lawn.
There are student groups and activities for almost everyone.
And if you can’t find the group you want, you can start your own!
Gelu wanted to continue working on his martial arts skills, so he started the Mixed Martial Arts Club last year.
Making friends and participating in campus activities help you lead a balanced life and survive the challenges of university life.