How to be a friendly Bear host

As many students who stay in Berkeley over the summer may experience, many of your classmates seem to not be experienced Golden Bears. Many non-UC Berkeley students come for classes, summer programs and internships at and around UC Berkeley every summer. Don’t be arrogant. Don’t be shy. We at the Clog advise you to take this unique opportunity to make friends with all of these interesting people from all over the world. Below, we’ve provided some ideas as to how to befriend the transient Bears.

Step 1: Identify unfamiliar Bears.

Pay attention to those confused and worried faces on campus: They are probably lost on their way to class. But maybe not if they’re in Dwinelle Hall — even full-time senior students get lost there. Also, look for the shy students in class; they may be super-smart international students hoping you’ll say hi. And note people’s wardrobes: Interesting attire may mean they’re from an interesting place.

Step 2: Take action. 

Don’t hesitate to offer your generous help and smiles to anyone in need. Show your new friends around: Talk to them about Berkeley, take them to the Campanile for an impressive bird’s-eye view of the bay, and introduce fantastic local restaurants and shops. Take lost people to their classrooms if you have time, and you may want to give them your number. If you’re speaking to a nonnative speaker, be patient. The language may be fragmented, but what they’re trying to say is probably still interesting and valuable. If you show off your friendliest self, you will probably make a very important foreign friend.

Step 3: Enjoy the benefits of international friends. 

The possibilities for making new international friends are endless. You could meet your true love (or at least have an international significant other to show off like a unicorn). You’ll definitely learn and practice communication skills with all types of people from all different regions and with all different cultural backgrounds. You may refine your own personality and friendliness or learn about totally different cultures, traditions and maybe new languages. This exposure could boost your academic performance with a new study group of super-smart international classmates. Or you may find a career connection. Most importantly and most likely, you’ll foster a lifelong friendship.

Image source: Will Richardson under Creative Commons

Contact Megan Wang at [email protected].