With the new semester commencing, I can only imagine the nervous excitement that my bunch of students must be feeling. No matter how extroverted you are, it is going to take some energy and effort to strike a conversation with a stranger. Everyone gets a little shy at first—after all, you don’t know what this other person is like. In this short article, I am going to share with you five effective ice breakers an a new international student!
1) “Hello, I’m new to this campus, do you know how to get to…”
Always the ultimate conversational starter especially if you are around a big campus. Everyone has a soft spot for a stranger who is lost and in a welcoming place like Australia, UK and the beautiful New Zealand, I am sure people would be happy to even walk you to your destination! If you come across an equally lost stranger, that’s is even better, since both of you can then explore the area and experience things together!
2) “Hey, are you an International Student too?”
You could tell from afar a foreigner as disoriented as you in an unfamiliar environment! In class, most international students would sit right at the back and hope to not get noticed, thus look out for these signs to spot fellow students that you could potentially make friends with. Another advice is, when stepping into a room, quickly scan for a face that looks amicable and take a seat beside them. After that, use this line to find out if they’re new to the country just as you are!
3) Or… “Hey, are you a local here, do you have some tips to do around the area?”
If you are a little more courageous, pick someone who looks local in the room and use this line to start a conversation with them!
4) “Wow, is there always a queue here? Still feels like back home!”
I find this line very useful to use especially if I have to queue up for food, or at the bookshop. Most times, you’ll find the person behind you as equally bored/ annoyed of having to spend a fraction of their time queueing up for something as mundane as getting a pen or a book. Take this opportunity to break the ice and lighten the tension. If you get lucky, you get an amused person who’ll continue the conversation with you to pass the time!
5) “I’m not sure what to eat, what is good around here?”
Nothing beats a conversation around food (well at least for most people!). When in a social setting, why not start off saying you are new to this place, that you are craving for the food back home, are there any recommendations of a good place to eat? Or if you are looking for something more unique to the country, what is a favourite dish among the locals and where are the best hunts for these? The conversation, I’m sure, can get very lengthy!
There we go, I hope these tips help you newbies out there find your place in an unfamiliar environment! I’m sure, soon enough, all of you will adapt quickly! If you have a better ice breakers, do leave comments below so others can have fun with them too!