Making Friends Can Be Difficult for Students from Other Countries

By Hirut Erge

  For most of us, friendships are very important. If we have a friend we have someone to share things with. We can talk with friends about ideas that maybe are bad or good. No matter what kind of ideas we have, we first tell our friends. Friends are people to have fun with and also to study with. Maybe our friends are more than everything to us.

Students who come from foreign countries need friends. The best friends are students who are from their countries to help them learn about the new school, culture, and language. Helena Jimma is a sophomore from Ethiopia. She said that the first time she came to the United States, she was afraid that she was not going to get another friend. But after a few days she found a lot of friends who spoke her own language. After that she was comfortable with school because she had friends.

Manwen Ye is a junior in Montgomery Blair High School. She is from China and she has been in the United States for three years. She also had a problem to find friends for the first time because she left her friends back home. She was afraid she might not see them again and she was missing them so much &endash; more than she could explain. She reached them by telephone sometimes and sent letters to them, but she was still missing them very much.

The biggest problem for finding friends in this country is the language. Without a language that is common people cannot communicate. Without speaking English it is really hard for the first time for the students who come from another country. They want other people to understand them and not make fun of them.

Julmira Ie is a sophomore from Guinea Bisau. When she first came she couldn't find anybody who spoke her language which is Portuguese. Therefore, it was hard to find friends. "I did not speak English well and sometimes I felt bad," said Julmira. "I wanted to go back to my country. I used to have problems every single day because of my English," she added. After a few months, though, things got better because her English was getting better, too. Now she says, "I have many friends who are from different countries."

So for many students, learning English is not just the key to the future and getting a good job. It's also the key to the present and getting friends. So keep learning English and you will get a lot more friends.

Copyright Silver International Newspaper 2002 (This page was created by Fortune DJenonyombaye.)