There are so many exciting aspects of studying overseas. The new places you get to see, the cultures you get to explore, and the new people you’ll meet – it’s an incredible experience. But, coming into a new country alone, it can be overwhelming. Especially when you don’t know anyone, it’s hard to know where to start in a completely new city.
To help meet people faster and make the most of your time in Australia, here are five tips to meet more people while studying overseas.
The fastest way to start meeting people is to arrive with a built-in group of people to connect with. A host family makes this easier than almost any other situation. Locals who know the area and are used to helping international students acclimate can be of great assistance to you. Even if you don’t stay with a host family, consider booking an apartment or student housing with a roommate – another international student or a local Australian who you can ideally connect with as you get to know the area.
Your University likely has dozens of clubs, organizations, and groups that cover a spectrum of different interests. Whether it’s a sport you enjoy, a hobby, or a game you like to play, there is probably a local group for it. You can also find organizations for international students, including some for specific countries with a high representation in Sydney or Melbourne. These are great places to meet people who are in the same situation as yourself.
This is an easy one, but so many people put it off, afraid to go out alone and explore before they meet friends. Between classes, on weekends, or at the end of the day, go out and enjoy the city. Set a goal for yourself each week and make sure you visit at least one thing that’s new in Sydney, Melbourne or a surrounding suburb or tourist site. This will help make your trip truly memorable, and you’ll probably meet people along the way.
A lot of things are going to be a little tough to do, especially if you are naturally shy or introverted. Talking to strangers in class, going to events or parties where you don’t know anyone, or engaging in groups you’ve never been to before – these are all big steps out of your comfort zone. But you’ve already taken a major leap by coming to Australia; why not take a few more steps and meet people that you can form lasting relationships with as part of your trip.
In just about any country, meetup.com is a fantastic resource to connect with people and share common interests. Search for a hobby, interest, or other topic you’re interested in on meetup.com and there will almost certainly be a meetup group you can join. If there isn’t, consider starting one. Like people always flock together, and what better way to enjoy a hobby than to share it with people in a new country.
There are so many things to do in so many places in Sydney, Melbourne, or wherever you might be staying in Australia, that all it takes is a little bit of a push for yourself and you’ll meet more people than you can imagine. This is truly a once in a lifetime experience – be sure to share it with as many people as possible.