Hi, my name is Ritchie and I’m from South Africa. I’m an Events Officer for the International Committee. My Loughborough experience began as an undergraduate and I’ve enjoyed it so much I’ve decided to stay on – as a Master’s student in Chemical Engineering. As a start I’ve outlined some top things to do and get involved in during your autumn term here.
Loughborough has a number to choose from. Bear in mind though that they are highly competitive. We are the best sports university in the world after all! Don’t worry though there are many options if you don’t make the AU team. Most sports clubs have development as well as social league teams. If you want something even more laid-back, definitely try ‘My Lifestyle’; these are recreational free sport and exercise classes. I’ve made some great friends attending My Lifestyle Tennis. Look out for calendars at the sports bazaar and online.
There are loads to choose from. They range from societies to do with food and drink, to Games, to Culture to name just a few. They can be a great way to meet new people with a shared interest or to connect with people from your faith or home country. This can help in staying connected to home and to talking to other people about your experience of the UK.
3. Loughborough Students’ Union (LSU):
It’s the centre of the student experience. Try and make every effort to go the events put on by the LSU. It’s a great place to hang out, do coursework and eat during the day as well as attend events and campaigns put on by the students’ union for your benefit. There are also great opportunities to get involved in action events (community volunteering) run by the LSU. Partying occurs Tuesdays “Stuesdays”, Wednesdays “Hey Ewe” (the night most sports clubs go out), and Fridays “FND” (Friday Night Disco) – which is the biggest and has three different dance floors.
A great way to see the UK and meet new people is to go on LSU Trips. These normally occur on Saturdays and are tourist excursions to various cities around the country. I’ve had the pleasure of going to Oxford, Cambridge, and Edinburgh to name just a few and I’ve met some great friends along the way.
There are the usual cinemas, restaurants (definitely try Peter Pizzeria), and various other shops to keep you entertained. Partying in town normally occurs on Thursdays in Revolution Bar and Saturdays in Echo’s Nightclub.
6. Beacon Hill:
It is a popular country park walking distance from Loughborough’s campus and the second highest point in Leicestershire. A great thing to go with your flat mates as a ‘squad goal’ with some spectacular views! No doubt you are super keen to get stuck into your experience here as an international student. My only real advice is to get as involved as possible and make the most of it.