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Conversation Do's and Don'ts

Conversation Do's and Don'ts from CIEE Support on Vimeo.

Other Suggestions:

  • Be confident!
  • Step outside of your comfort zone and talk to different groups of people.
  • Make it your goal to meet 3 new people every day.
  • Join clubs/groups/teams – this is a great way to make friends!
  • Pay attention to what classmates are talking about (movies, TV shows, music, etc.). If you don’t know anything about the topic…learn about it!

Conversation Starters:

  • Things you have in common – “What did you think about that History test last week?”
  • Upcoming events – “What are you planning to dress up as for Halloween this year?”
  • Hobbies – “What do you like to do in your spare time?”
  • Popular Culture – “What did you think about POPULAR BAND’s new album?” 



Five ways to fight homesickness

1. Bring a piece of home to the U.S. – Are you missing some home-cooked meals? Ask your parents for the recipes to your favorite meals and make them with your host family!  Do you have a favorite movie that reminds you of home? Invite your host family to watch it with you (subtitles might be helpful)! Finding a way to bring your favorite things from your culture to the U.S. is a great way to fight homesickness and connect with those around you.

2. Get out of the house –A change of scenery can help you get out of a funk. Ask a friend to join you for a run outside or go to the park to do your homework.

3. Schedule some “catch up time” – It’s important to stay in contact with family and friends back home. Of course, talking to them all day/ every day will only make things worse. Choose a block of time once per week (Saturdays from 12 – 3pm, for example), and use that time to update everyone about all of the fun things you are doing in the U.S.!

4. Enjoy alone time – Find a way to make the most of your “me time.” Remember that having some time to relax and be comfortable is important. Use this time to do something you enjoy. Write in a journal, watch your favorite TV show, or pick up a new hobby. Spend an hour or so doing this activity every day, and recharge your batteries. 

5. Talk to someone – Whether it’s your friend/classmate/host family/Local Coordinator/ Support Coordinator, tell someone how you are feeling and remember that sometimes you need to ask for help to get through a difficult situation.