In February 2018, I made the decision to move from Uzbekistan to Germany. It was not an easy decision for me to leave my family and friends because I had always been surrounded by them. My parents had always supported me whenever I needed help.
It was the first time in my life that I had to travel such a long distance alone. Initially, I arrived in Munich to attend the entrance exam for Studienkolleg. I was already aware that Munich is a large city, and I had anxiety about the possibility of getting lost because I was a very shy person. I found it difficult to ask strangers for assistance, and I didn’t know anyone in Munich.
Later, I was fortunate to learn that one of my friends from Uzbekistan, Yuliya, was already living in Munich. Yuliya and I had attended a German language course together in Uzbekistan. Yuliya met me at the Munich airport and helped me find my hostel. I was extremely grateful for her assistance. This experience taught me the importance of maintaining connections with people you meet through language courses or school.
However, if you find yourself in a new country without any acquaintances and are feeling anxious, I recommend searching for communities of people from your native country on social media. Additionally, there are often small student groups available. People are generally friendly and can offer help, especially when you are adjusting to a new environment.
This experience taught me the importance of maintaining connections with people you meet through language courses or school.
My tips on how to make friends in a new place
- Be brave and attend university events for students
- Start a conversation on your own
- Share your interests and interact with other people
- Don't be afraid to make mistakes (for example, because of the new language)
After graduating from Studienkolleg in Munich, I made the decision to move to a small university town – Marburg, which is located not far from Frankfurt. In contrast to my group at Studienkolleg, my group at the University of Marburg was not international. Initially, it was not easy for me to make friends with German students. I was shy and couldn’t start conversations on my own. During my first year in Marburg, I often felt lonely.
Then, one day, I received a mail from the International Office in my student account. The International Office was organising a game night for all students to get to know each other in Marburg. Initially, I hesitated to go alone, but since I didn’t have anyone to accompany me at that time, I decided to be brave and attend the event.
When I arrived, I noticed that most of the students had also come alone, and they were experiencing the same feelings as me. I was very happy and grateful for the university’s initiative to help students meet new people. Therefore, I recommend that you visit the International Office at your university or look for student groups on social media to stay informed about different events.