Earlier this year Rahela talked about how lonely she felt during her first year studying in the U.S. "I felt lonely because I could not make a friendship," she said. "It was hard to share my feelings and experiences with other students." Lily wrote in to say that she relates. But she also said she found out that part of making friends is just letting relationships form naturally. Here's what she suggested:
I am an international student studying in Illinois. My first experience in the United States was somewhat challenging. I had a difficult time coping and interacting with the students around here. For the first time being about 5000 miles away from home, I shed tears like no other.

I am a really shy, reserved person and I do find it hard trying to make friends. One thing about this is that the Americans will find it hard trying to get close to you because you are really not open to them. But I later realized that it takes time for them to really know you, and one just has to be natural - no pretense and feeling of pride - and you will find them flocking around you.

What strategies have helped you make friends when you were in a tough situation? Share your story in the comments or using the form below.