Three people studying on a bench outside.

Making friends

A British student’s advice to international students

I saw university as a great opportunity to mix with new people and I am very lucky to have made some really close friends.

People always ask me, “how did you meet…?” and to honest most of the time I hesitate – it is really difficult to remember where you met someone at university!

This is because you are constantly talking with new people and developing new relationships and friendships.

Looking back, I suppose meeting all these people was purely by chance and because I put myself out there – by going to events by myself and forcing myself to mingle with others!

I am currently in my third and final year of university and every year I have joined at least one new sport or society. This has helped me make new friends. I have been a part of yoga, climbing, Economics and ECO (Environment and Conservation Organisation) and made many good friends here.

It is scary joining a new group by yourself but please, do not be scared! From my personal experience, every group I have joined has been very welcoming to me and the efforts I have made getting to know people have been reciprocated.

Throughout my time at university I have also gone along to many Student Union events such as the Social Sports Sessions, ‘Quackeoke’ (this is karaoke at the student bar before the big student party called ‘Quack’) and ‘8 out of 10 Swans’ (this is a big quiz named after a British TV show called ‘8 out of 10 Cats’!)

One time at the Social Sports Session I joined in playing volleyball and made good friends with Erasmus students. These students kindly invited me to an Erasmus party and our friendship grew on from there! These students have left Lincoln now but we are still in touch and last summer we met up in London.

Even simple things like recognising a familiar face at the library and chatting with them have been the beginnings of some really good friendships. A new friend of mine is one that I met at the library. He is a student from Beijing studying a similar subject to me so we have been able to offer academic support to one another.

Friendships are funny things since they can start anywhere and at any time. But this is what makes university so exciting and an opportunity not to be missed!

By Lydia Gallyer-Barnett, BA (Hons) Business Economics student

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