Interacting With International Students

It is important to learn to interact with foreign students when you are studying abroad. Often lots of misunderstandings occur due to lack of clarity in communication.

Knowing what to speak, when and to who is very important when studying in a foreign country with international students.

How to get started…
Before speaking to an international student, give him or her a clear introduction about yourself. Mention your full name. Tell something about your interests, and how you landed at this particular place. Dwell upon your profession, your common interests. Inquire about the other persons school or university. This has to be the first and foremost way to get started.

Conversation protocols
Always speak facts. Listen attentively to what the other person is speaking. Don’t seek apparently meaningful statements. Try to read between the lines, but never judge and react.

After introducing yourself, don’t ask for the other person to introduce himself / herself unless that person does so on own accord. When greeting, try to have a handshake that’s firm. Do not give half-handshakes, or hard-handshakes. When giving handshakes always look at the person’s eyes.

Don’t ask questions that will evoke negative responses, or put the other person in a spot of bother. Try to ask questions that are broad in nature.

Try to talk on subjects that are of common interest. When you have a friend along with you, always make it a point to introduce this friend to the other people.

Whenever you are entering a group of students, try to greet all of them with a nod of the eye, or a verbal greeting like “hi”. Don’t try to ignore people. It might be repetitive, but it’s necessary.

Don’t mock another student’s native language.

What topics to speak to international students
If you are a foreign student in a foreign country, and dealing with foreign students, there are only a few generic topics that you should choose initially to start conversing…

Talk about your family. Never ask private questions about another person’s family. Always indulge in positive talk.

Talk about sports, general news and events. Talk about everyday happenings; campus life.

Don’t ask another person’s salary, or father’s occupation or personal details.