If you are reading this blog,you are either already an international student or planning to be one in the United states!When you come to a new place,you give up on a lot of things and you have to make an effort to make adjustment to the new place and culture.When I was in my country,I never had to make an effort to make friends,because everyone that I interacted with was either someone I knew since childhood or knew me through some common friend!I never heard the word "ice breaking".You actually give up your established identity when you relocate.Unlike back home,where we seldom see someone who does not look like us,Americans are used to people from different countries(especially in the college towns),therefore nobody will know you are new here,and off course we need friends!So how did I make friends outside my program?I will talk briefly about the opportunities international students have in Minneapolis to meet new people:
This was my first point of contact!The International student office facilitates this cross cultural discussion group that you can join in the beginning of the semester.The group meets regularly and is facilitated by a moderator.It is a chance for you to make new friends from different countries who are in the same boat as you,and discuss your culture,customs and some issues that you might have faced and know another perspective!The moderators are very helpful and enthusiastic.We decided to share one treat from each country in our meetings.I had a great experience and learnt a lot of new things from this group.
So this was my second point of contact!Chances are that you will meet their representative on the orientation,but I can still talk about my experience!The MIC is a non profit,which works closely with the ISSS.Their classroom program is a great opportunity if you are eager to share your culture with American students!Many people will never have a chance to travel to your country to know what it is exactly like!You can help them know about your culture,customs and places.They organize events in schools across Minnesota,and the volunteers give a small presentation about their country to the students!
This dinner and dialogue event happens almost every other month!You get a chance to share your food(if you want)or your thoughts about culture with group of hosts who organize this event for international students like us!
Well thats all I can think of right now!I am sure Minneapolis has a lot more to offer,but if you are struggling to interact socially(like I did when I came here),this could give you an idea about the places you can look at!:)