3 Ways to Get to Know Your American Peers


Group of happy au pairs studying English at Pace University in WestchesterInternational students often say they decided to study English in America at Pace University’s English Language Institute because they hope to make American friends. However, rather than making these friends when they arrive on campus, international students tend to cluster together with others from their own country or who those who speak their native language. Spending time with American students inside and outside of the classroom is the fastest way to improve your English, acculturate and to share your own culture with peers.  Here are some ways you can maximize your time learning English in New York by meeting Americans:


Pace womens softball team1. You can get to know your American peers outside the classroom by joining one of the clubs or activities on campus. Pace offers numerous clubs and activities to which you are invited. Joining club activities affords you a chance to meet local and international students and take advantage of university life at Pace. For example, become a member of an extra-curricular exercise class or sports team. In Pleasantville, students have successfully joined co-ed basketball and volleyball clubs.

2. Volunteering is also a great way to meet Americans. The English Language Institute offers volunteer opportunities every semester for our students.  In addition, the Center for Community Action and Research takes part in many community activities each year.  Nearly every month this organization Group of students volunteeringtransports volunteer students to help paint a local school, visit elderly folks at a nursing home, or tutor middle and high school students in subjects like math or foreign language.

3. Another fun way to meet your American peers is to join an activity.  The Pace events calendar is full of activities that you can participate in, and the English Language Institute offers weekly trips and activities in New York City and calendar of events in Westchester.  These give you a chance to meet other international students, experience New York culture and meet local people.   You can do everything from taking a yoga class to watching play rehearsal at the Schimmel Center to discussing how to invest your money for retirement. It’s not ELI trip to Chinatownnecessary wait for someone to invite you. Just choose an event and invite yourself!


Do you want to come to New York to study English?  You can visit our website,  contact us  or apply here.  We have classes for international and local students and au pairs in New York City and White Plains. 

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cluster (v.) – to come or collect together as a group.

acculturate (v.)adapt to new cultural surroundings.

peers (n. pl)People of the same age and status as another person.  Other college students are your peers.

extra-curricular (adj.) – activities outside of normal education

co-ed (adj.) – (short for co-educational) – male and female

elderly (adj.) – old or aging (people)


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3 Responses

  1. Daniel says:

    The Center for Community Action & Research has THE BEST trips! They’re so much fun and a great way to meet other students and local New Yorkers at the same time. Helping at the community farm in Red Hook is one of my favorite trips!

  2. Alison Wofford says:

    Some really great ideas Jason! I agree volunteering is a fantastic way to meet interesting New Yorkers. Thanks for the post.

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