For many international students, arriving to the UK to study at university can be a daunting and difficult experience. But don’t worry! There are many opportunities to get involved in student life, such as participating in the student union, university politics, societies and sports associations. Embracing some of these extracurricular activities can help you settle in more quickly. Remember that being a student is about much more than just reading textbooks and getting good grades. Developing your extracurricular interests is also a vital part of the student experience. So, get out there, make friends, and have some fun!
Your student union provides all students with a wide range of activities, events and facilities, from cheap bars to trained counselling. It costs nothing to be a member of your student union; in fact, every single student is automatically a member of the student union and automatically involved in the business.
Student unions offer special support to international students. If you get into any trouble or face a problem you don’t know how to solve, you can go to the welfare centre of your student union, and they will be happy to help you out. It doesn’t matter if your problem is about homesickness, visa issues, financial worries or academic pressures.
There’s also a special organisation that represents the interests of international students in the UK. The name of the organisation is the United Kingdom Council for Overseas Students Affairs, and your student union can put you in touch with them if you need their special help and advice.
There are likely to be a large number of sports associations available at your university, so you will have many options available to you if you want to get involved in the fitness side of things.. Better still, you can join more than one sports association. This is a great way to make new friends, stay healthy and improve your CV.
As with other extracurricular activities, societies can benefit your future career path in the long term. More importantly in the here and now, they can help you meet new people and develop your people skills. Societies are usually run by students and are not-for-profit organisations. Usually you can find popular societies like debate societies and international societies at any university, and some offer more obscure groups like the Quidditch society for Harry Potter fans. If you can’t find a society on a particular topic, you are often welcome to start your own!