Choosing to take English courses in Washington DC will change your life! It will be an amazing experience from start to finish. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t miss home while you are studying abroad. And the best way to deal with homesickness is to make friends where you are. Don’t worry – making friends in a new place is easier than you think. Follow these tips, and you will have thriving friendships before you know it.
1. Find Others in the Same Position as Yourself
First, it is wise to start looking for others in the same position as you. This means looking for other international students attending language schools in Washington DC. These students are likely hoping to make new friends, too. Plus, it is easy to form bonds with others going through the same experiences you are. They likely miss their families and friends, but they are excited to be studying English in a new place.
2. Join a School Club
Spending time together outside of the classroom is important in developing relationships. Another great way to meet others is to join a school club or organization. Most schools offer some sort of student clubs that range from volunteer to social to academic organizations. By joining clubs based on the things you enjoy, you will find like-minded people.
3. Make Your Space Inviting
Part of making friends when you are away from home is to show others you are open to new friendships. One simple way to do so is to make your space inviting. For example, leave your door open so that others get a sense that you are available for conversation. Keep your space clean and have space for others to sit and talk.
4. Form a Study Group
If you have traveled to America to learn English, then it is important not to forget, this is the reason for your journey. So, combine your purpose with your desire to make friends by forming a study group with others from your English class in DC. You can make it your goal to study and pass the IELTS or TOEFL with your new friends.
5. Take Advantage of the School’s Activities Calendar
If you are attending the Washington language school inlingua, then you must take advantage of the school’s awesome social activities calendar. The school plans out tons of social activities for students each month, many of which are free, to help them explore the DC area, immerse themselves in the culture, and practice their English. Not only are these social activities fun, but they are also a fantastic way to get to know your fellow classmates and develop friendships.
A great way to meet others who care about the same things you do is to volunteer. There are plenty of volunteer activities in the DC area, so no matter what your passions are, there is bound to be a way you can donate some of your time to make the world a better place. Along the way, you will get to spend time with others who are interested in the same things.
7. Use Social Media
Use social media to connect with others at your language school and in the area. Follow classmates and engage with them on social media. Connect with friends of friends on social media who may be in the same place. Use relevant hashtags. Reach out to others who have similar interests. Follow local businesses to know when they are hosting events. Social media is great for social networking, but you can also use social media to practice English.
8. Don’t Wait for the Invitation
If you are shy or introverted, it can be challenging to step out of your comfort zone. But if you want to make friends in a new place, you are going to have to try to put yourself out there. If you just sit back and wait for someone else to invite you to do something fun, then you may be waiting forever. Instead, one of the truest ways to make friends is to invite others to join you instead of waiting for an invitation.
9. Get Out and Explore
You are not going to meet anyone or make any friends if you never leave your room. You are in the capital of the United States, so make the most of it! Be a tourist! There are so many things to see and do in Washington DC. And when you go, invite one of your inlingua classmates.
10. Check Out Sites Like Meet Up
In addition to trying to make friends with your Washington language institute classmates, you should also look for opportunities to befriend the locals. Becoming friends with people who are from DC is a great way to learn about the culture and practice your English. One way to meet others is to use sites like Meet Up, which is an online site where people post about in-person events or “meet-ups” for others with similar interests.
11. Go to Local Events
Make a point to attend many of the local DC events that interest you. DC has many events taking place every day, so choose the ones that you think sound the most fun. At these events, you will be surrounded by others who feel the same way. Again, when you plan to go to a local event, ask some of your classmates if they would like to go with you.
12. Be a Friend Yourself
Finally, the best way to find a friend is to be a friend. Take a minute and think about the qualities you like in a friend. Often, becoming friends starts as simple as smiling at a stranger. So, smile at others. Say hello. Ask how others are doing and genuinely listen to their responses. If you wish someone would send you a text and check-in, take the initiative and send the first message yourself. Be loving and kind.
Are you ready to begin your language learning adventure and make some new friends?