American Culture, College tips, Life at FIU

Fun American Way to Hang Out


There’s a saying in America: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Your name probably isn’t Jack, but it’s still good advice.

So welcome to the USA! It’s time to have fun with friends. And, you know, study and do well in school. In general, “hanging out” with friends is pretty similar all around the world. But if you’re unsure about how to spend time with new friends at school, here are some popular college activities in the USA.

1. Teach someone about you culture

A cat dressed up as a DJ

While you might think of your international status as an obstacle to making friends, it can actually be a positive. You have fun things to introduce to your American friends. Maybe it’s a fun game you grew up with, like Mahjong. Or food that’s exciting and new – that means you can organize a dinner at a nearby restaurant that serves food from home.


2. Hang out at a coffee shop

a baby with wide eyes

Coffee shops or cafés are perfect hang out spots for students. Where else can you hang out for hours and only spend a few dollars? Grab a coffee or tea and maybe a delicious baked treat while you chat, show each other fun photos on Facebook and maybe, just maybe, study. Remember to tip – it’s customary in the USA so tip a dollar or two for each hour you’re there.


3. Go bowling

a bowling sign

Whether you’ve never played before or go all the time, it’s so easy to have fun bowling. If you’re good at bowling, don’t brag about it. If you’re bad at bowling, laugh about it. On weekend nights, some bowling alleys play loud music and dim the lights like in a night club. Really like bowling? Check to see if there’s a bowling club or team at school so you can make new friends.


4. Go to a local event

a festival food stand

County fairs, carnivals and festivals are fun American traditions. One thing you won’t find? Salads. The food is fried, delicious and maybe scary too. In warmer weather, you’ll find state fairs with fun rides and games where you can win prizes. There are also holiday-themed events, like haunted houses for Halloween. Look online and you’ll also find cool events celebrating different cultures and countries too.


5. See a movie

a pic chart about popcorn at the movies

Some international students are nervous about their accent or speaking English. If you’re the same way, good thing most of the time is spent quietly watching the movie! Plus, afterwards it’s easy to transition to getting coffee or something to eat afterwards. And you’ll already have something to discuss. As a bonus, many movie theaters often have a student discount so bring your student ID card.


6. Play games

a meme about board games

On a student budget? Playing video games, board games or card games is cheap and fun. Popular American board games are Monopoly, Pictionary and Scrabble – Scrabble can be tough because it’s all about English words, but it can be good vocabulary practice. Popular card games are Cards Against Humanity, Uno and Poker. Bringing some snacks or something to drink is always appreciated!


7. Share your hobby

a meme about hobbies

College is a great time to meet people who share your hobby, like photography, art or sports. Or know all about a hobby you’d like to try. Discovering different hobbies together is a perfect way to learn new things, have fun and get to know someone. When you meet someone new, ask them what they like to do for fun – it’s an interesting conversation starter.


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