Study abroad tips: 6 tips for making friends at university

Study abroad tips: 6 tips for making friends at university

Luke Harris, 24, works for travel brand Party Hard Travel full time after working for them as a Resort Host in summer 2018. Here are his study abroad tips on making friends at university!

Going to a new university can be daunting, but going to university in a completely new country I imagine is even more so. From my experience of obtaining both an undergraduate and postgraduate degree from a UK university, the worry of making friends and ‘fitting in’ is a common one amongst students. Here are 6 tips for making friends at university.

Making friends at university

1) Attend seminars.

Seminars are a chance to discuss topics on your course in a more intimate setting. Lectures can be busy and one-sided with little to no opportunity for discussion. Seminars provide a platform for you to get to know people on your course with similar interests – after all you’re studying the same thing.

2) Join a society or sports team.

Societies and sports team are a great way of meeting people with similar interests, cultures or beliefs. Most universities will have tester sessions or informal meets during Freshers’ week. Your university students’ union should provide a guide to what’s on or you can probably find the events on the union’s website. Once you’re a part of something like this there is plenty of opportunity to get involved and meet with your society on a regular basis.

3) Find a job or volunteer.

UK universities, as well as their student unions, offer a plethora of opportunities, from volunteering to student ambassadors, take your pick! Try to do something out of your comfort zone to help you in making friends at university, and make the most out of your university experience. I worked for Party Hard Travel as a Resort Host over the summer, had an amazing time and made some new friends for life.  Check out your university’s online job board. Additionally, Party Hard Travel have launched a massive recruitment drive for 2019.

4) Check your emails regularly.

Sounds silly, but when I was at university, I would have incoming emails daily with opportunity after opportunity. Not all of them were targeted too well, BUT you’ll get the odd one or two that pique your interest. You can then use these opportunities to do something outside the classroom and meet new people!

5) The hall group chat.

 When I first moved into halls for my undergraduate degree one of the students I shared with was an international second year student who had already done a year in halls. On the first day he put a piece of paper up on the fridge with all the room numbers on and a space for each person to fill out their name and put their phone number down, he then created a group chat. When making friends at university, it was a great ice breaker for freshers’ week and a chance for everyone to communicate what was happening in terms of events.

6) You’re all in the same boat.

Mainly just remember, whether coming to study from abroad or travelling from one end of the UK to the other, everyone is in the same boat, moving away from family to a place where they probably don’t know anyone at all. Embrace the opportunities and UK university life will be rewarding in more ways than purely obtaining a degree.