How to Make Friends as an International Student in Finland
Moving to a new country to study can be an exciting, yet challenging experience. One of the biggest challenges for international students in Finland is making friends. Finland is known for being a reserved and introverted country, which can make it difficult for international students to break into social circles. However, with some effort and perseverance, making friends in Finland is definitely possible. In this blog post, we will provide you with some more in-depth tips and strategies to help you make friends as an international student in Finland.
Attend University Events
Attending events hosted by your university is a great way to meet other students who share your interests. Many universities in Finland organize orientation programs for international students, which provide an excellent opportunity to meet new people. Attending other events such as sports tournaments, music performances, and cultural festivals can also help you connect with other students.
Join a Student Organization or Club
Joining a student organization or club is another excellent way to meet people with similar interests. Finland has a vibrant student culture, and there are many organizations that cater to different interests, such as sports, music, environmentalism, and social justice. Joining one or more of these organizations can provide you with a sense of community and a way to meet new people outside of your classes.
Participate in Sports or Other Recreational Activities
Participating in sports or other recreational activities is a great way to get exercise, have fun, and meet new people. Many universities in Finland offer sports facilities and activities, such as running clubs, fitness classes, and intramural sports teams. Joining one of these activities can help you stay active, relieve stress, and meet new people.
Volunteer or Intern
Volunteering or interning with a local organization can provide you with a sense of purpose, as well as a way to meet new people. There are many different types of organizations in Finland that need volunteers or interns, such as non-profits, NGOs, and social enterprises. This can be a great way to make friends while also gaining valuable work experience.
Use Social Media and Online Forums
Social media and online forums can be a powerful tool for connecting with other students, both in Finland and around the world. Many universities have Facebook groups for international students, where you can connect with others who are also new to the country. Additionally, there are many online forums and discussion boards that focus on different topics, such as language learning, cultural exchange, or travel. Joining one or more of these groups can help you make new friends and find support.
Attend Cultural Events and Festivals
Finland has a rich cultural heritage, and there are many cultural events and festivals that take place throughout the year. Attending these events is a great way to immerse yourself in Finnish culture, learn about local traditions, and connect with other people who share your interests. Whether you're interested in music, art, or food, there's something for everyone in Finland.
Language Exchange Programs
Many universities in Finland offer language exchange programs, which provide an excellent opportunity to practice your language skills and meet new people. Language exchange programs typically pair international students with local students who are interested in learning your native language. This can be a great way to build relationships with locals and gain a deeper understanding of Finnish culture.
Attend Community Events
In addition to university events, there are many community events that take place throughout Finland. These events can include everything from farmers markets and cultural festivals to art exhibits and concerts. Attending these events can provide you with a way to get to know the local community and meet new people outside of your university. You can check local event listings and social media to find out about upcoming events in your area.
Be Patient and Persistent
Making friends takes time, especially in a country like Finland where people are often reserved. It's important to be patient and persistent, and to keep putting yourself out there. Don't be discouraged if you don't make friends right away. Keep trying, and eventually you will find your tribe.
In conclusion, making friends as an international student in Finland can be challenging, but it's definitely possible. By attending university events, joining a student organization or club, participating in sports or other recreational activities, volunteering or interning with a local organization, using social media and online forums, attending cultural events and festivals, and being patient and persistent, you can build a strong network of friends in Finland.