You will undoubtedly make many new friends quickly on Study Abroad. You’re all in the same situation and find ways to connect and form bonds in your new foreign home. Soon you might start spending all of your time together – at school, nights out, weekend excursions etc. The relationships you form can be one of the best parts of your study abroad experience, but sometimes the herd mentality can get you into trouble.
Many programs call it the “bubble” or “ghetto” mentality. The idea is you fall into the trap of hanging out with only people from your own country. Personal growth is going to happen outside your comfort zone and while studying abroad in itself does this, following the crowd and hanging out with fellow countrymen and women essentially forms another comfort zone abroad.
If you find you don’t have any local friends, or you’re not doing the activities that interest you most you might want to take a step back and check in with yourself. Where is there an opportunity to get over the fear of being alone and do something by yourself?
Take a day trip alone, eat out by yourself, take a solo trip to the cinema, or just wander the city for the afternoon. The ironic part of doing things alone is that you can end up meeting the most interesting people along the way. It can also be really liberating to leave the flock behind for a bit and do what you really want!