Read tips and advice from our international students on the best ways to make friends at university in York.
Mi Chelle, 1st Year English student, Malaysia
My course friends: I made friends through my course and through societies and volunteering activities.
Taking part in activities on campus is a great way to meet new people and to expand your social circle, especially if you join societies about things you’re interested in like film or dance. There will definitely be a society for you at York and if there isn’t, you can start one yourself!
Yara, 3rd Year Law student, Jordan
Flatmates: I met my best friend because we lived in the same flat in the first year. But I’ve met most of my friends through my course and my involvement in societies and work!
There are so many options to just get to know people and make friends and it’s great to meet different groups of people that you can do different things with.
Yuqiao, 3rd Year Politics with International Relations student, China
Joining clubs and societies: You can make friends through different activities, events or societies you join. The University offers over 200 societies and it’s a great way to gather people who share similar interests. If there’s nothing you’re interested in, you can create your own society.
Attending events is also a good way to meet people and make friends. Every week there are different events going on both in your college and in the Uni. Just choose the one you’re interested in and you’ll have a good time there.
Saranporn, MA Applied Linguistics in English Language Teaching, Thailand
Accommodation common areas: Even though I live in a studio in student accommodation off campus, there are a lot of events held in the accommodation common areas, which allows me to make lots of friends. I also made new friends by joining social events held by the college.
Dilys, LLM International Corporate and Commercial Law, Ghana
Taking time to get to know people: Making friends is not particularly easy, regardless of experiences. So it is okay to take time to get to know people or join societies. There is absolutely no rush. There are lots of experiences to share.
I was scared about the personalities of my housemates. Were they going to be off-the-hook or much laid back? In order to not to be startled in the kitchen by a person who may or may not be my flatmate, I took just a few minutes to knock on their doors. Gentle knocks, in order to introduce myself to them. It really set a lovely tone and made me feel comfortable to know the people I would be living with.
Course mates: My close friends here are my course mates who over the months have moved from being just course mates to really good friends. It started out as participating in a class hangout and built up to real friendship. We now hang out and share funny moments together.
Latina dance society: I am not really a sporty person but I found solace in being active in a Latina dance society. This type of dance was very new to me and decided to join to have fun, experience cultural diversity (one of the reasons for travelling across the Atlantic) and make new friends.
I also made friends from my home country through particular societies geared towards bringing people of the same country together. It is just amazing to live in a new place and have people you can really relate to in terms of the same country, culture, interests, etc. IT’S THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS!
Maria, MA Post War Recovery Studies, Colombia
My housemates are like my family: I will say that the housemates are very important. However, to be fair that is a matter of luck too. In my case, my housemates are like my family here. For me, it is very nice to go to the kitchen just for a coffee, and someone is already there and you start talking, and more people join and suddenly someone screams pub! And we, without planning, end up having fun in the closest pub. But even if your housemates are not the closest ones, you can make friends in your class or in the extracurricular activities.
Societies: There are more than 200 societies, that you can join and those are a fantastic place to meet people with the same interest as you. In addition, the University and your college will continue planning events throughout the year, so there are lots of opportunities.
Therefore, in conclusion, you have many opportunities, but you need to take those and have the best attitude. Even if you are shy try to push yourself a little bit to hold random conversations, you will realize how easy and fun it is!
Srish, 3rd Year English student, India
Many opportunities to make friends: There are many opportunities to make friends at the University of York! While you are bound to meet people in your flat and on your course, you can also meet people through college events, sports clubs and societies!
I met most of my friends through my college and societies. Your college is like a little community within the larger campus community. So it’s a great way of meeting people from different courses whom you might not have met otherwise.
Join a society: Societies are another brilliant way of meeting new people. York has over 200 societies for you to get involved in! We also have an amazing programme called Give it a Go which gives you the opportunity to try out different student groups before becoming a member and you don’t need any prior experience.
Gracia, PhD Politics, Indonesia
Welcoming: It is good that Student Castle provides a welcoming party when I arrived in York. I started to make friends during that party and joint a welcoming party with the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) event.
I also had flatmates in my accommodation from 2016 and they were from diverse countries: India, China, Indonesia, and Bahrain. When we cooked together at the weekend, my flatmates and I used to have potluck during dinner or when we cooked together. I like my flatmates.
Community: Nowadays I have a private studio to create more privacy during my final writing-up year of PhD. At the same time, I am the President of the Indonesian Society. I am happy to meet more people and get to know them more as a part of volunteering. I used to be a volunteer for St Nicks Environment Centre and became the GSA Communities Officer in 2016. On Sundays, I always have a warm refreshment during Sunday service at the Calvary Chapel in York.