Life at UCB through the eyes of our international student bloggers

Tips for International Students – Making Friends

Tips for International Students – Making Friends

Are you an international student? New to the UK or Birmingham and don’t know how to expand your social circle?

You’re at the right place!


The first time I came to the UK was three years ago when I got my place to study at UCB. At that time, everything was new, the environment, the language, the people… In an unfamiliar environment, I became a bit shy, and I didn’t really meet new people proactively. After a couple of months when everything had settled down, I tried to get out and make some friends. It was not easy to step out of my comfort zone, but now, I enjoy meeting new people and making new friends! Here are some tips for you on some of the ways how to can meet more people:


• Student Accommodation 

Staying in student accommodation is a good start and one of the easiest ways to meet new friends, particularly good for students who are new to the country/city. You could meet people from around the world, studying different courses, learning other cultures and they could help you to get used to the environment.

Since you are living together in the same flat, you spend more time knowing each other, so it’s usually easier and quicker to build up a friendship. There are a lot of things you can do together, you might cook together, eat together, have a party, or simply just a chat after dinner – there must be something that you both are interested in, and it’s possible that you could meet your best friend!


• Join Society 

Joining different societies or clubs could also help you to meet new people, explore your interest and learn new things. In addition to the academic knowledge you learn in university, joining societies such as sports, dance, cheerleading, yoga… can help you to develop a new interest and network (as well as helping you to stay fit if you joined a sports society). For me, I never did yoga before but in my second year, I joined the yoga society and I love it! You may have a look at the guild website for more information.


• Work Part-time 

Working part-time is yet another way to meet people outside the university. Of course, working part-time could earn you some extra money, which is great for students. However, sometimes it’s not just about the money. It is also important for you as you can get to know more people, gain valuable work experience and develop the skills that may become useful in your future life. Need help looking for work? Book an appointment at Hired@UCB!


• Volunteer 

Apart from working, I suggest that volunteering is also a great activity in your student life. Although it is not a paid work, you could also gain experience and develop the skills needed for future employment. Another benefit of volunteering is that it is usually more flexible compared to working in a paid role. For example, you might have contracted hours or days that you must work, while this may not usually happen with volunteering. Due to this, it may work better with our timetable, uni work, or deadlines. That’s why I think it is also a good choice for students!



See you next week!

Hoi Yan

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