Like you, all the international students on campus are unsettled during the first few days of the start of the program. This is the best time to go and introduce yourself and be genuinely interested in being friends. Do not stop at just doing the introduction but spend some time together, may be by inviting the prospective friend for a coffee meeting or a lunch or a dinner. Since most students have less or no company in the first few days, there are very high chances that your invite will be accepted.
Is the best way of approaching prospective friends in college is to look for your own community or country students? Actually not. If you decide to add on to the diversity in your friends group (and you must – as you chose to study abroad for this), you should approach students from other countries. And while you make your rapport with the prospective friend, ensure that you ask a lot of questions on their culture and be genuinely interested in listening to their stories. Remember, good listeners are qualified as better friends.
One of the best advices for networking (social or professional) is to ‘not to expect anything from your network’ but to expect you to be contributing to your network in every possible manner. If you master the art of giving (giving in the sense of: 1)helping them with the issues or matters or things that are bothering them, 2) Understanding their purpose or goals in college, career or life and helping them with or 3) Being present for them when they need friends), you will create a very supportive network of friends for life.