How to make Russian friends
Making friends in a foreign country is never going to be easy. It may seem particularly tricky in Russia as in the street or in public spaces Russians appear severe and cold, at least to a British person. But don’t let this chilly exterior scare you. Once you get past this street persona, Russians are incredibly friendly and open! You’re still going to have to put yourself out there though, so here are my tips on where you can make friends whilst on your Russian study trip.
First of all, you should join the most popular social network in Russia – VK (ВКонтакте). VK is an equivalent to Facebook in Russia. In fact, many Russians do not have a Facebook account and use VK instead. With over 400 million registered users and 80 million daily visits, it is huge and everyone is using it. On VK you can join different groups according to your interests and location and participate in discussions, subsequently making friends.
The fact that you are studying Russian, one of the most difficult languages in the world, is very impressive to native speakers and they will certainly be happy to get to know you better and learn more about your background and the country you are from. Another good option is to look out for various events in the city of your stay – you can easily find those on the website.
If you are living in a host family with teenagers, you can ask them to show you how VK works. It is also a good idea to simply ask them to introduce you to their friends.
Societies & clubs
Secondly, join a society – you’re bound to make some Russian friends! If you’re studying at a state university, there’ll be plenty of societies you can get involved in. If you’re studying at a private school, there’ll be city groups you can join as well as extra-curricular activities organised by the school.
Another great idea is to check out Couchsurfing website! Not only do they host the regular events, but you can also arrange your own meetup with fellow couchsurfers.
Other group activities
Whilst studying in Russia, try out some new activities. Whether or not you’ve been to any acting or salsa classes before now is the time to start! Why not to try cooking classes or sign up for a yoga class?
Once you do all of this, you will make Russian friends for life! We are happy to hear your stories how you make Russian friends!