Studying is an excellent opportunity to meet people. If you have moved to a new country or city you are likely to come across several different types of people from a variety of different backgrounds. This is an exciting thought but can be a little intimidating, especially if you are a shy person or if English is not your first language.
The first thing you must remember is that you are not alone. Everyone is in the same situation as you, away from home in a new place, and most people are just as eager to make friends as you are. If you need a little help on how to do this or where to get started, we have put together a short guide to give you some ideas.
This may seem obvious, but your course mates will be a similar age and at the same level of education as you. Most will have come from abroad or perhaps another city and are also interested in studying the same subject, meaning they may want to pursue similar careers. You already have a lot in common, which is a great place to start!
Small seminars and group projects give the perfect opportunity to interact and get to know each other – all you have to do is remember to speak up. Most people are shy at first so making the first move and asking questions will help them as much as it will help you.
Universities often have what they call a union. This is run by the students and offers a selection of clubs, societies and events around specific subjects. The Northumbria University Student Union website can be found here and, as you can see from a quick browse, offers everything from events about careers to charity crazy golf tournaments.
There is also a huge range of societies so whatever your interests, you can find like-minded people. As we said before, a shared interest is a great place to start from when making friends as it gives you something to talk about. Most societies have social mixers designed to help members get to know each other – if you don’t want to join after that, you can try to find something you prefer.
Team activities bond people together and are an excellent opportunity to meet people. Northumbria University has student leagues in every sport you can imagine, so whether you’re a football and gymnastics person or prefer Quidditch and archery, you can find something you’ll love. If you find someone on your course or in your halls of residence who likes to work out, the two of you can purchase university gym memberships and go together.
If you’re more of a watcher than a player, there are sports fixtures throughout the year. Being united and cheering on your university’s team is great fun – and a good excuse to get out with some people you may have met during your studies.
Once you’ve managed to make contact with a few people by trying some of the things above, it can sometimes be tricky coming up with ideas for fun activities. Luckily, we have a few tips already on our blog:
If at any point you start to feel lonely or like you’re struggling to meet people, ask for advice or help. You can try having a quick read of this post about dealing with homesickness or, if you want to talk to someone in person, your personal tutor is there for that very purpose. Northumbria University also offers several resources including international student support and counselling and mental health support.
If you want more information about studying at Northumbria University Pathway, visit our website: pathway.northumbria.ac.uk.