4. Try to meet new people
For me, one of the most intimidating parts of studying abroad was the fact that I would have to make new friends. I found out a few weeks before leaving New York that an acquaintance from high school would be studying at Westminster too. That was a bit reassuring but he is only one person, and I didn’t want to stand in the way of him making new friends himself. My program orientation allowed me to meet several students from America. I will admit I did not make many friends there, but when I moved into my student accommodation I met a lot of other people. All five of my flatmates are friendly, and living together has been smooth sailing. The day that all students were moved into our housing, we were taken on a short walking tour around our neighborhood, Shoreditch. When I walked outside to meet a friend I made during orientation, she introduced me to two of her flatmates, who then introduced me to their group of friends from their homeschool.
As we walked around Shoreditch we were a bit preoccupied to talk much, but I exchanged social media info with a few of them. Since then I hang out with a few of them almost everyday. I know it is not that simple for everyone, and I was lucky enough to meet a very friendly group very early on. I’d encourage you to go to events for study abroad students like this walking tour, as it is a great way to meet new people who are going through the same transition as you are. In addition to events specifically for study abroad students, visiting on-campus clubs can be a good way to connect with local students.
5. Explore your location with these new friends
As I’ve mentioned my student accommodation is located in Shoreditch. It’s known for its street art, and street food. There are a lot of good options for going out and adventuring. My friends and I have been making our way through the restaurants and clubs in the area. We found a Jamaican restaurant called Cottons just four minutes away from where we live. We’ve been there at least five times and we’ve only been here for a month lol. We find fun things to do on the weekend like visiting the local farm, and local night clubs. The study abroad experience is one meant to be filled with new and exciting things, so try to make the most of your time here, because you’ll be able to reflect on these experiences forever!