Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceStudying Abroad · 10 years ago

Exchange student: So many problems :(?

Hey.

I'm an exchange student and live in the USA right now. Before i was finally here I was SO excited for my time. Everyone told me how awesome this time is going to be and how easy it is to make new friends because everyone is so interested in you.

But then i arrived and my first schooldays were pretty hard for me. Everyone i met was at first friendly but they always just said: Oh wow you're from so far away. Cool.

But that's it. Don't understand me wrong. I know that I am the one who should try to meet new people and to make friends because I can't expect it from anyone else. But you know. I really did. I tried so hard. I asked some girls if we could have lunch together and stuff. With some girls i had then also lunch and I was so happy when they asked me if I wanna go to a party with them on weekend. For sure I said yes and even when I was pretty nervous I really had fun this night.

I really thought I would have made a lot of new friends and that everything is getting better, but now, it always feels like I would annoy them, whenever I'm around them. They don't text me anymore and it just feels like they aren't interested in me anymore. :(

I still ask them for lunch and if we could maybe hang out during the weekend and so on, but (I don't know how to descripe it) I just feel like they don't wanna do something with me.

I'm just since three weeks here and that's also why I know, that it's a too short time to make deep friends but I really feel like I don't have any friends and that makes me always so sad.

I'll stay here for 5month and I don't know what to do, when I won't make friends.

My family is really great but somehow my one hostbrother isn't talking very much to me. He's in my age and I don't know what I'm doing wrong. All the adults are so intrested in me, just teenagers in my age are the opposite of it.

In my hometown I have so many friends and usually I'm good in making new friends. I really can't explain to myself what's so wrong with me.

Sometimes I'm also not sure what I should talk about..

Please help me. I don't know what to do. Everything feels like a nightmare not like a dream.

And sorry for my english! :/

3 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hello!!!!

    I am an exchange student in Sweden right now from the US! I have been here for the past 5 months and will be here for 5 more! Believe me, it's not always easy. At first, I was only living with host parents in an apartment. They were very nice, and I had a great time. However, I am now at a second host family where they have a daughter in the high school equivalent here like me. We go to different schools though, and don't talk a ton. We generally will maybe watch a movie together once a week or so. That's always nice because then you feel like you're doing something with them, without having to feel pressured to talk. Does your family eat dinner together? At least a few times a week? Because for me that is always really nice. Then you are all together and it's not just you two alone.

    I have also hosted a student over the summer so I kind of know what it feels like to be on the other end. Believe me when I say that you aren't sure if you should go up and talk to them, or wait for them to speak. You don't know if they want space, or if they're lonely. As the student though now, I feel like since they invited you into their home, that the family says it's OK for you to do whatever you feel most comfortable with and want to do. They WANT you to be here, and that includes your host brother. Remember also, that host families actually pick the students. They look at applications and choose you. It's not like you were assigned.

    As for at school, I would suggest maybe joining either a club or sports team. What about trying some other girls at the school? I don't know how big your school is, but mine here has over 2000 in 3 grades and in the US has about 1300 in 4 grades. I know for me in the US that all my friends are always very interested in the exchange students, but a lot of times are nervous about going up and talking to them. Try to be out going. I have gotten some really good friends where I am now but that's because I tried talking to others. The other thing is, don't worry so much about going out to parties and having fun. I have been to a few here , but the most fun I generally have is with friends just having a small sleepover or even going to a cafe after school to talk.

    Try to talk to people about something that would be kind of different to them. Like maybe food. If you are at lunch eating with people, say how the food you are accustomed to is different. Don't be rude about the US food if you don't like it (it's gross at my school in the US), but just talk more about the type you eat. And tell people about your family back home, or how your school there is. If you are in a class (I know it can be hard to speak up especially when you don't know people at all or it's not your first language), but for example, if you are in English and you are talking about a book, or characters in it, put your hand up and say something. If people find out who you are and see that you want to talk and are social, they'll want to be friends with you. The other thing to do is ask people if they want to study together. That one ALWAYS works.

    I don't know. You just have to have a positive outlook and WANT to be there. If you feel like you need to come home, then leave. But do that as a last resort because you think it's a waste of time, not because you and your host brother don't talk so much or because it's hard making friends. And I completely agree about the adults being interested. Get that all the time.

    But like I said, just go up and talk to people. Ask your family if they want to watch a movie. If you like to cook (I love to!) then offer to make dinner. Ask friends over if your family is ok with that.

    But just be positive! The other thing is, if you miss your family a lot maybe try skyping them. I skype mine once a week. We talk for an hour about what we did, tried, ate... all that jazz. I call it my therapy session where I can vent. I didn't skype them until I had been here for over a month at first to just adapt though.

    Aaaaaaaaaaaand your English is great. Don't worry so much. Take it from an American that we love accents and other cultures! Especially when we are in high school and life can seem so dull :)

    Good luck and feel free to talk to me if you want about anything!

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Talk to as many people as you can and don't worry about whether you want them to be your lifelong friends or not. You can worry about that later. The more people you know, the easier the whole transition will be. Add everyone to your Facebook and talk with them on Video Chat Rounds (http://www.rounds.com/facebook-video-chat/ ) when you see them online after school -- that's a really good way to build a friendship outside of class. Go to everything people invite you to (club meeting, lunch). Ask the people you like to hang out after school, linger on campus if people are sitting and talking. I'm sure things will get better for you soon. Your English is really good, too!

  • 10 years ago

    Friendships are usually made around common interests. So, what are you interested in? Does your school have any clubs or activities that are focused on those interests? If so, then join them now, and really participate in them.

    Ideally, get involved in activities that take a LOT of work, so you're around the same people a LOT. Good examples are things like drama (audition for the show, or volunteer to work backstage), band, sports, newspaper, and yearbook. If you're even vaguely interested in any of these things, join up immediately, then really participate. With time, friendships will form.

    In addition, if the school has any sort of international club, join that as well.

    Join more than one activity.

    This really does work, so give it a try.

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