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5 ways to make friends when studying abroad

5 min read
9 August 2022

There’s nothing better than the support and companionship of a good friend. However, when travelling or moving abroad where you don’t know anyone, making friends can be hard and it’s easy to feel lonely and homesick.

But we don’t want you to feel lonely; exploring a new country should be fun, and a part of that experience is meeting new people and making friends. So, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best ways you can meet new people and make friends... no matter where you are. Whether you’ve moved abroad to learn a language, start a new job, or just want to have a worldwide adventure, these tips will help ensure you get the most out of your trip:


1 Sign up to a language class!

This is a great way to meet other people in the same position as you, and who therefore are also looking to meet new friends. Most schools – including Kaplan – will host events and activities to encourage social interaction. Check out our courses.

Learning the native language will also help improve your conversational skills so that you can build better friendships wherever you go.


2 Connect on social media

If you’re nervous about making friends in real life, then use online platforms to help form connections before deciding to meet. Join online groups for other newbies via Facebook or Instagram and arrange meetups with likeminded people.

Kaplan has a Facebook that’s perfect for students about to move abroad to connect with other students also travelling to their location. Check it out here. You can also connect with students through our hashtag #KaplanExperience on Instagram.



3 Join local sports clubs

No matter what sport you’re interested in, you can find classes and clubs that cater to your skill level. Not only is it a great way to get exercise in, but it also allows you to meet new people with similar interests. Even if your language skills aren’t quite fluent yet, sports are a universal language!

If you’re travelling to a Kaplan school, ask your teachers/advisors for information about local clubs and classes.


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4 Attend social events

If you’re attending a language course abroad, most schools will host mixers and activities to encourage socialising. Even though they might seem intimidating at first (especially if you’re not confident in your language skills yet), making an effort to attend them will increase your chances of making friends – just remember that most of the students are also learning and are there to make friends!

At Kaplan, we host a range of events and trips to help make your transition abroad easier and fun! Popular activities include karaoke, quiz nights and trips to local museums and landmarks.


5 Smile!

No one’s expecting you to be able to speak the local language immediately, but even if you only know a few words, a smile is the universal symbol of friendliness.

Enter every class or event with a smile and let people know you want to be friends!


  • Study abroad

    Our hub of advice for students who want to study abroad 

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