SEXtember: International students and their relationship with dating apps

WITH dating apps such as Tinder and Grindr becoming increasingly prevalent amongst young people, we ask some international students about why they enjoy using these apps and offer ways in which you can have a fun but safe experience meeting people online. Diana Ponce writes.


These days, connecting with people is made easy thanks to the advancements made in technology. With a variety of apps available right at our fingertips, socialising, dating or finding that next casual hook up is simply a matter of checking who might be in your area or swiping left or right.

While many international students may commit to making a long distance relationship work, others are exploring their sexuality through common dating and social apps like Tinder and Grindr.

But why are these apps so popular among international students? And what are they expecting when using them?

Why international students use dating apps


Ecuadorian international student Javier likes to spend time on Tinder whenever he gets to take a break from assignments.

“While studying, I really don’t have much time to meet girls so Tinder is a solution in that matter,” Javier says.

With his assignments and general study workload taking up the bulk of his time, Javier says using the app is a good way for him to diminish that sense of loneliness he might feel as an international student. He also admits that “no-strings attached sex is definitely one of the main reasons why [he] uses Tinder”, especially as someone who is not looking for a serious relationship.

Meanwhile, Romi*, an international student from Indonesia, feels that Grindr is a great option for him to find other guys close to him.

“You can definitely meet more guys [using Grindr] than you would in a bar,” Romi says.

For Romi, using Grinder has also been a good way for him to meet locals and other internationals.

One other reason why international students may perhaps be more inclined to use these apps is the ease in knowing that these casual relationships don’t last.

As overseas students studying abroad, they’re consistently coming and going each semester which means a stable relationship mightn’t be an option. The ease of casual sex or a nice date with a stranger means that commitment is never an issue.

How to use these apps wisely

Image: Thomas8047 via Flickr

Image: Thomas8047 via Flickr

Whatever reason you might be using these apps, just remember to use it responsibly. To ensure students have a fun but safe experience meeting people online:

  • It is always a good idea to meet your hook up for the first time in public spaces
  • Be clear on your profile descriptions and specify what you are looking for: dates, sex, hook-ups
  • Be open for dates and not just sex
  • Be careful who you send photos to

*Romi’s name has been changed to protect his identity.

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  1. You did a good job .

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Meld Magazine was incorporated as an independent not-for-profit media outlet in September 2008 to reach out to international students in Melbourne, and provide students the opportunity to gain real work experience.

Many international students live in or around the city because of the proximity to their colleges and universities, and that was where we decided to focus our efforts first. Many of us live, work and study locally too. Our editorial team is made of both local and international students, and it has worked to our advantage in providing local content in every sense of the word.

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