Muthu from India is studying the International Year One in Biological Sciences. He spoke online to Mu-Yang, another Student Ambassador, about their experiences of virtual learning and life in lockdown. Here, he tells us all about it in his own words.
Meeting new people and making friends is essential for any international student in a new environment. It allows people to widen their horizons while beginning to build a support structure in an unfamiliar place. Moreover, universities are one of the best places to make friends as everyone is in a similar boat and in a new environment. Everyone is ready for a new experience and by sharing those experiences with people around them that they meet at university, those bonds of friendship get strengthened over time. Building communities, friend by friend, step by step.
I was glad to have the opportunity to interact with Mu-Yang, and while our conversations were short snippets and at odd times (due to time zone differences), it was interesting to note some of the interests we had in common that became apparent soon after the initial ‘Hi!’. For example, enjoying having things to do that occupies our time in the day (mostly attending interesting classes), hating being stuck in lockdown (which is a feeling I’m sure many readers share) or even just wanting to explore as much as we can about our respective study locations (UK and the Netherlands) when we have the chance. We were a biologist and engineer, living in separate parts of the world, yet we were able to establish a foundation on which to start a conversation and a beginning of a view into someone else’s world.
As with the other introverts like myself, making friends is a slow process and we just took the initial steps to it in the last few days, breaking out of our shells. It’s an awkward, messy process that takes time, but I think we are off to a good start, and I hope to have more experiences to share in the future.
Who knows what awaits; maybe you could try your hand at making a friend too? Try saying 'hi!' to the next student you meet on campus. It just could widen your horizons and help you make connections across fields of studies!
Find out about the programmes we offer for international students.