Monday, June 16, 2014

How to Make Friends at a U.S. College and Improve Your English

By Quan Tran

Making friends and using English have never been easy to many people. This is even more true when applied to international students as they come from different countries with different backgrounds, cultures and languages. What I’m offering you may be the answers you’ve been looking for. Here are some tips:

Read more blog posts that might interest you:

1. Hang out with more people from different backgrounds

I hanged out more with people with different backgrounds, different cultures and most importantly not speaking my mother tongue. I’m not telling you that you should separate yourself from your own people. I’m definitely not telling you that. I’m merely suggesting that instead of hanging out with them as much as you are doing (or intend to), why not give others a chance? Obviously, when you hang out with your own people, you will use your mother tongue rather than English. It’s a normal act because your brain picks the easier way for you to communicate. If you don’t know what to talk about, simply come to them, introduce yourself and tell them that you’re eager to practice English and make friends. Before you realize, you’ll have already started a conversation. It’ll be difficult for the first few times, but you’ll overcome your fear and shyness gradually.

2. Stay connected

Facebook request your new friends. It’s doesn’t necessarily have to be Facebook but could be anything such as, Twitter, Google+, or Messenger. Social media can help you so much in terms of staying connected with friends and the outside world. Online friend connections are just as critical as the physical one. Be aware of what’s going on around yourself at least on your campus.

3. Get some volunteer experience

I started my new life chapter here in the U.S. with volunteering. I met new people there, talked to them, enjoyed the day with them, asked for their Facebook account, made more friends and most importantly, helped improve the community. In my opinion, U.S. culture is about society and community. Thus, we should do something for the community if we’re a part of it.

4. Join student clubs

On campus, there are many student clubs. Join at least one. And be responsible for it. Don’t think of it as an unpaid thing so that you can do what you want, how you want it with it. Joining a club, volunteering or any other similar activities are involvement. The differences are how responsible you are and how far you will go for the greater good. You’ll have fun doing this, I guarantee.

If you are an introvert, you may not find these answers useful or suitable. Yet, all I’m asking you is to give it a try: Leave your favorite book at home, walk along the street and hang out with new friends. Live it and feel it, so that when you go back home, you’ll be carrying more than just knowledge and certificates. It’s your personal growth that you want to bring back.


My name is Quan Tran and I am a current international student studying in the U.S. from Vietnam. I like communicating with other people to understand their needs, beliefs and concerns so that I can not only enrich myself with stories and live experiences but also help them as well as build up relationships that may last a lifetime. That was why I chose Communication as my major. I’m open for feedback and will work hard for anything I believe to be true. I’m currently a student at North Seattle College, so if you intend to drop by, I may be able to give you a tour.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments posted on may be moderated.

Like us on Facebook for exclusive content from U.S. Admissions Experts!