How to Make Friends if You're an Introvert: A Guide for When You Study Abroad

April 9, 2020

Making friends can be hard, especially if you’re not a naturally outgoing person. You might be afraid that it will be even harder when you’re studying abroad: not only will you have to adjust to living in a new country in a new part of the world, but you’ll have to start from scratch as far as finding friends is concerned. But fear not—even the most introverted of study abroad students can find ways to meet people and create bonds that can last well beyond their semester in Italy!

Being around large groups of people or being a social butterfly don't have to be your things to find new friends and have an amazing experience studying away from home. Here’s how you can make friends, even as an introvert, when you study abroad.

Just Say "Yes" to Meet Both International and Local People

The easiest way to meet new people and make new bonds is by saying "yes" to opportunity when it presents itself. By attending social gatherings and events organized by John Cabot University or agreeing to go out with your new roommates when they decide to explore the city center for the first time, you will be making new friends in a new country with minimal effort in no time.

Although this can definitely be easier said than done for some people, remember that many other study abroad students are just as nervous as you are. Be sure to try meeting locals, as well, since they will know the area already and can help you discover hidden gems and favorite local hangouts.

American university in Italy 


Volunteer or Join Clubs

This is another very easy way to meet people with similar interests to you, and can be a very enriching experience even without the social aspect taken into consideration. JCU has a variety of student-led clubs and organizations to join while you study in Italy, including Model United Nations, STAND, Student Government, societies for various subjects (Art History; Film, Media and Communication; International Relations), and clubs for a number of interests (Business, Fashion, Marketing, Newspaper). Likewise, students have the opportunity to volunteer through JCU’s Community Service Program.

Meet Other JCU Students Online Before You Arrive in Rome

Making new friends while studying at an American university in Italy doesn’t always have to be in person. Be sure to join the Facebook group for accepted students so you can start getting to know your fellow peers you'll be studying with before you even arrive in Rome. This can help you find new friends while also eliminating any nerves you might otherwise feel while approaching others in person.

Not sure how to join the accepted students Facebook group? Contact for more information!

Learn more about colleges in Rome, Italy!

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