Moving to the UK is scary – there’s no sugar coating it, but it also gives you the opportunity to broaden your horizons and meet new people from all across the globe.
When I first moved here to London I knew no one at all, which is both a scary and exciting thought. I was excited to experience new things and meet new people, but knowing that I would have initially not know a single person was a bit daunting. Luckily the universities understand that and host many social events for both international and local students to ensure that we as students have many opportunities to make new friends and build up our social circle and support system.
I was lucky that my course was filled with about 50% international students and 50% local students; this allowed me to make friends with people that could show me around the UK and with others that could teach me about all the different cultures that exist around the world beyond London and the UK.
While my entire class are friends with each other, I have become especially close to some girls who are locals here and were born and raised in London. This has been amazing as they have shown me around and become my own personal tour guides. They have accompanied me to the major spots like Big Ben and Hyde Park, but they have also shown me small shops and spots that are not know well to tourists. This has been my favourite part! Don’t get me wrong I love London’s history and the monuments and spots that display this, but I love that I am slowly feeling more like a local and less like a tourist or foreigner. I love knowing about the small coffee shop off a main drag, or the little local shop that sells the most amazing hand painted pottery, and the many other places that my UK friends have shown me and that I have come to love.
Becoming friends with UK locals though can give you more than just a one-up on the other tourists. They have welcomed me into their home and allowed me to become part of their family. I know it’s somewhat of a cliché but there really is nothing like sharing a good home cooked meal with your friends/family. Last week my friend invited me and another girl over for dinner and then afterwards we watched a movie on her amazingly comfy couch, and while it doesn’t seem like much it was so nice to get out of the sometimes-cramped dorm room and just chill with friends.
Befriending classmates and other students who are locals has definitely been a highlight of my experience so far and am so happy to have me the people I did. And even though sometimes they make fun of my ‘funny’ Canadian accent, I still highly recommend befriending local UK students J
If you also want to befriend some local UK students, Across The Pond can help. Please contact one of our Advisors if you would like to find out more about studying in the UK.