• Few or No Friends

Son in high school has no friends since moving from India

Published: October 2, 2016 | By | 4 Replies Continue Reading
A mom worries that her son has made no friends since moving from India.



We recently moved to the U.S. from India. I have one 16-year-old son who started high school last week but he feels so alone at school. He says no one talks to him.

He wasn’t like this before. But after coming to the U.S. he doesn’t seem comfortable with this new culture. He has an average command of the English language.

I don’t know what to do. He is insisting that I send him back to India. I am totally confused so your guidance will be helpful.

Signed, Worried Mom


Hi Worried Mom,

I’m glad you wrote. Moving is never easy for teens and your son has experienced a more complicated move than most. It’s normal for a young teen to miss their friends at home after a move, especially at the very beginning of the school year.

One suggestion: I would recommend that you find other Indian immigrants who are in a similar situation. This could help with his transition. Perhaps there is a church near your home attended by those of Indian descent. If you live in a city or suburbs, there are probably associations of ex-pats. The guidance counselor at school might also be able to help in this regard.

A few other ideas:

  • Talk to your son’s guidance counselor to see if he/she can assist in introducing him to other Indians or Indian-Americans at school, perhaps even in other grades.
  • If there are no other Indians or Indian-Americans at school, there are still likely to be some kids who will embrace him. These may include recent immigrants from other countries. Help your son figure out how to meet those kids.
  • Ask your son to give his new school and classmates at least a year before considering going back to India (if this is a feasible possibility you’d consider).
  • Empathize with his feelings while expressing optimism that his situation will improve. His English will also improve now that he’s immersed in the country, culture and school.
  • If your son is experiencing depression or anxiety that lasts longer than two weeks, seek professional guidance. His doctor or the school can refer him to a therapist to help him adjust.

Don’t give up. I know things feel bleak now and how heavily this must weigh on you, too. I hope your son starts feeling more comfortable soon.

Signed, Amy Feld

*Amy Feld, PhD, MSW has trained and worked as a child psychologist.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this or any other post is intended to substitute for medical, psychiatric or clinical diagnosis/treatment. Rather, all posts are written as the type of advice that one friend might give to another.

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Category: HAVING NO FRIENDS, no friends

Comments (4)

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  1. Preeti says:

    I recently moved from india too so i know what he feels like.. I’ll be friends with him!

  2. Ali Wenzke says:

    Hi Worried Mom,

    I’m so sorry to hear that your son is having a hard time. I’ve interviewed many families who have moved to different countries and it’s never easy in the beginning.

    The primary thing that helped these kids was to get involved in an activity where language was not a critical component. Some kids find this in competitive sports. Others find that a chess club is a good fit.

    I recently wrote an article about how one family coped with moving abroad. http://artofhappymoving.com/transition-living-abroad/ I hope it’s helpful to you.

    Starting at a new high school is tough for all kids, regardless of nationality. Please tell your son that he is not alone. Making friends in high school takes time and effort. Until then, he can focus on things that bring him joy in his new surroundings.


    Ali Wenzke, Moving Expert

  3. usa2elsewhere says:

    I would be happy to be penpals with the boy, like his American aunt because I am a senior lady. Like this boy, I have no local friends.

    • Irene says:

      Thanks for reaching out but to protect users from spammers, no email addresses may be exchanged on this site. Best, Irene

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