Meeting new people can be difficult, especially in a new place.  However, it does not need to be hard.  Australians are super friendly and like meeting Americans.  Australians are friendly and sometimes more laid back than Americans in my experience.  So introduce yourself, take risks, and go out and meet some locals!  Here are five tips on how and where you can make some new Aussie friends while studying abroad in Australia.

Photo of me and some of my Aussie mates at Uni
Photo with some of my Aussie mates at Uni

1. Make friends in your classes

The classes that you are most likely taking abroad are lower-level classes.  Usually in lower-level classes, students are younger and just starting uni (university). They want to make new friends just as much as you do.  Every class that I had in Australia, I would sit next to people that I did not know (don’t sit with the Americans).  Introduce yourself to the Australian that you are sitting next to and get to know them.  Explain that this is your first semester here and ask them about Australian Universities, talk about upcoming assignments, or compare cultures.  Just get a conversation going about anything.  From my experience, Australians find American schools intriguing based on what they’ve seen in pop culture. They think we all have wild parties on campus like the ones in the movie Animal House.

2. Get a part-time job

You don’t need to get a full-time job while abroad, but a part-time job would allow you to make a ton of friends. Not only would you become friends with the other staff members, but you get to meet all your customers as well.  Look for a job as a waiter or bartender, you make some extra money, and meet locals at the same time.  How easy is that?

3. Join a club at on campus

Clubs are a double bonus. You get to do something fun that you enjoy and you get to make new friends.  I went to the University of Sydney and there were hundreds of clubs for me to pick from.  I ended up joining the Wine Society and got to drink wine on campus every Wednesday at noon, while meeting new friends every week.  Clubs have a ton of people in them and allow you to make friends easily because you all have a common interest.

4. Go to a local pub or café

Pubs and cafés are filled with new people, and guess what? All of those people are potential new friends.  If you’re bored and feeling thirsty, head down to the local pub and grab a seat. Talk to the person next to you and depending on how long they have been there, I’m sure they will be very friendly. You could even bring a group of your American friends with you if you do not want to go alone.  Make friends with a group of Australians and sit together.  This is a great way to meet some locals.

5. Be friendly

No matter where you go or what you’re doing, there is always the potential to make a friend and meet new people.  You seriously never know who you’re going to meet and where.  So be friendly, smile, laugh, make small talk, have an open mind and get out there.  Meeting locals is a lot easier than you think.

Sam Tanner is a TEAN Alum and Global Ambassador at University of Maryland. She studied abroad with TEAN in Sydney, Australia