How to Fit in and Even Make Friends - Lnu University Exchange
It has been a month since I have arrived in Sweden! I am writing this on the morning of October 8th. At 7:30 pm today I will be going to a Gala dinner with my friends and then going to the on campus club after.
I am a person who is pretty outgoing. I love meeting new people and making new friends. Since I have arrived in Sweden I have become friends with about 40 new people. I met so many people in the first two weeks that I had to meet some of them multiple times before I could remember their names. I have become friends with people from all over the world. From Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, United States, Thailand, Sweden, Germany, and the Netherlands. I have also met people from Ukraine, and Russia. Some of these friendships I hope will last for a very long time.
Exchange is a great opportunity to meet new people. What is great about it is that everyone is looking to meet new people. Everyone in the exchange residence have decided to get up and go to study in another country for one or two semesters. They are leaving their friends, and family behind. Maybe they know one or two people also going on exchange but for the most part they know no one!
Making friends in this environment is so much easier because everyone wants to meet you, and hopefully you want to meet everyone else. People may come from different cultures but human kindness remains a constant. My birthday in Sweden was one of the best I have ever had. I certainly didn’t expect that but the reason it was so good was because of the generosity of 20 people I had known for a week!
With my friends here I have gone on trips, gone to parties, drank with, ate with, studied with, laughed with, made jokes with, and danced with! These are people that I wish I could hang out with forever.
One of the great things about LNU is that they run a buddy program for exchange students. Before you go to Sweden you can sign up for the buddy program. You fill out an online form about your hobbies and where you are coming from. Then the university will match you with someone who best fits your interests.
My Swedish buddy is a perfect match for me. She likes video games, lord of the rings, and many of the same shows. We played Mario Kart together, and watched Stranger Things for the first time together. We hope to play Dungeon and Dragons together. The buddy program is amazing! I am so glad they run it and I signed up.
- Be proactive, go out and meet people!
- You see someone you don’t know, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself. Half the people I have met were because I took the chance to say hi.
- Go to events! One of the best ways to meet people!
- Take the time to go out! You are only here for one or two semesters, take the time, treat yourself.
- Meet people from different nationalities.
- Sign up for the buddy program
- Again be proactive! Take the opportunity, you don’t know you will meet or become friends with until you try.