Look over their shoulder when they're reading or working and ask what they're working on, that can be a valid opener for conversation. Or just pop up and talk to them on facebook or something, computers can give a veneer of distance and make it seem less daunting.
(I totally dont know you sarahh) So What this asian would do is just have your friends introduce you to other friends, worked like a charm for me. Also I legitly got over this this year (took 6 years to get pasted through) and it just takes time. but Hit me up and I shall mend this broken wound brothern