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Q: How do I make friends with Australians?
A: In general, Australians are friendly, welcoming people. However, you must remember that different cultures have different ways of interacting and you need to be patient and persistent in your attempts to make friends. The best way of making friends with Australians is to get involved in class activities and life in the wider community. Don’t expect people to come to make friends with you – you will need to be proactive and friendly and you shouldn’t find any problems making friends.
Deakin provides a number of social support programs to help international students get involved and meet people. The International Student Support Team runs two programs, the ENGAGE program and the SHINE program. ENGAGE is a program of social and cultural inclusion and aims to assist students from different cultures get together in a friendly, social environment. The SHINE program is a social inclusion program specifically for HDR students and their families.
You can also get involved in our volunteer program, ISS-Connect. This program provides you with training and the opportunity of assisting other commencing international students. We have many international students who join this program each trimester and enjoy the experience very much.
The Deakin University Student Association or DUSA as it is known provides many opportunities for getting involved at the University and for meeting local students.
Please also check out the get involved website for more ideas of how to get involved at Deakin.
Our experience shows us that the most successful students are those that get involved with students outside of their own cultural background. You are here not only to study, but to learn the culture and experience life in Australia. So don’t be afraid! Speak to an ISA about ways of getting involved.