We know that starting a new course can be an anxious time – we’ve all been there and we’ve all come out the other end smiling!
Because while being away from your family and friends from home can be stressful, there are so many fantastic new friends to meet and experiences to be enjoyed in Manchester.
We welcome international students into our NCM family every week, so we’re well versed in making our students feel at home and putting on great events to get everybody involved! But of course there are plenty of things you can do to help make life-long friends whilst studying with us, so we’ve compiled our top tips that graduates and students have found have worked for them.
Starting a conversation with a complete stranger on your course can be daunting, but it’s important to remember that whether you’re starting an English language course or moving into university, everyone feels exactly the same. So don’t be surprised if you’re walking around New College Manchester and a fellow student asks you about your day – when everyone’s trying to find their way around, you’ll often find everyone’s even more friendly and talkative than usual.
Feeling a little lost? Ask someone, chances are they’ll be pleased to help!
Sometimes it can bring everything into harsh reality when you unpack in your new room and start missing home, so in this situation it’s best to utilise the oldest trick in the book! Take a door stop and a box of biscuits/treats along with you – you’ll be surprised how willingly people stop by for a chat!
If you’re feeling homesick then spending the majority of your time alone in your room will often make the situation much worse, so making friends and having an ‘open-door’ policy with your flatmates early on can help you settle in more easily.
At New College Manchester we have a full and varied social calendar to welcome all our new (and existing!) students to Manchester. You will find that a similar principle applies if you go to university, with a whole week or two (‘intro’ or ‘freshers’ week) dedicated to making friends and enjoying your new surroundings.
It’s always useful to research the events and activities your college is running before you arrive so you can determine exactly what you would like to do to the make the most of your first few weeks. At NCM many of our activities are free and you can simply just come along, however at universities, popular events and music gigs can sell out really quickly so it’s useful to make sure you’re aware of all the great activities so you can secure your place.
Take a look at our social calendar to see which of our trips and activities you’d like to try.
Don’t worry if you don’t seem to find a ‘social group’ or a few close friends early on, sometimes it simply takes a little time to forge a great friendship group. Remember if you have any concerns or worries whilst studying at NCM, our friendly staff are there to help. So whether you’re just not settling in, or you want to know which activities would suit you, our team can advise on personal and academic matters.
We hope that’s dispelled any worries you may have about making friends and settling in – remember everyone’s in the same position, so don’t worry, put on your best smile and prepare to have a great (and productive!) time at NCM.