View Full Version : student exchange making friends/ confidence tips

October 1st, 2016, 09:24 AM
Ok so basically I sort of impulsively randomly found myself on a student exchange for 10 months in France (near Paris) living with a host family and attending a French high school. Over a month has gone by and its already been a huuuge experience but that's for another thread.
So I have made some friends in my class - they are people who I eat lunch with, they help me figure out the SUPER COMPLICATED schedule and hw and let me copy their notes and are willing to listen to my sucky French so I can practice on them.
Otherwise I must say im a pretty boring friend since I have little to contribute to the conversations they have between each other cause I understand like 1 word in 10 when they start babbling away in incomprehensible slang, and then, obviously I am sort of quiet. All I can talk about is myself and the weather and ask questions. I mean, we have had some fun when I tried to teach them some danish, and I help them with English etc. but I still often feel excluded despite their best efforts because I simply can't follow the conversation. Its often me who has to start conversations and it is NOT easy. Some people think its interesting with an exchange student and some just see me as a poor kid with a huge disadvantage in form of not knowing their language. Also, all these people have known each other for at least a year so its not like they dont have a social life of their own
Now my host family has no kids my age so after school im usually sort of alone with the family who is super nice but obviously everyone has a life of their own and I get sort of bored. I would like to start meeting with friends but 1. idk how to ask because 2. I dont want to bore them to death with my limited conversation abilities and 3. I dont want them to see it as a burden like they have to babysit me or something.
I have joined afterschool clubs to fill up some freetime and im gonna act in a school play. I would like to organize my weekends though.
So basically please just give me some advice on what I can do and how I can ask and motivate me to do it or whatever.
ALSO other exchange students are not an option. It gotta be French people

Amethyst Rose
October 1st, 2016, 09:47 AM
Quite a conundrum you have. Since your host family is very nice, why don't you ask them to help you with your French? Then you can invite your friends over, ask them to go places etc. and not feel so limited in conversation.

October 1st, 2016, 03:13 PM
It sounds to me that you are already doing a lot of things to be part of the group and fit in. Like Amethyst has said ask your host family for help on your French. I really think that you are doing well and trying to join in groups and meet people. Just be confident in yourself and ask your hosts for some help and pointers. Good luck.

October 12th, 2016, 05:48 PM
My oldest brother was in France on and exchange but not as long as you and he did have a boy that was part of the family But he did as much as he could with the school clubs to meet others and not as you put it feel like a burden to the family I think you have dont many of the things that are important to help yourself and i agree with others to ask the family for help with french so you can at least have something to say to each other