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The basics
Study abroad : Once you arrive

How is social media used at university?

Universities and students are using social media in a variety of ways. We look at what they’re doing and how this can help you as an international student.

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One of the biggest social media platforms was created by a student on a university campus. So, it isn’t surprising to find social media used today, but a little differently. There are many platforms to choose from, but how can social media benefit universities and students? We look at the different ways it’s used and how it benefits you as an international student.


Uses of social media in everyday life

Let's first look at how social media is generally used and what you may be familiar with.


How is social media used


How is social media used at university?

You will still be using social media at university in the same ways as above. However, there are new additional ways that you and your university can use the different social media platforms. 


Before you start a university course  

Many people follow and like the social media pages of universities they are interested in attending in the future. Social media gives you a very good idea of the university, its culture, its students, and its alumni. You can tell a lot from the photos shared and the events that are going on at the university. 


News updates and announcements

Different departments at your university may also have their own social media pages and accounts. They often use these to keep students informed of the latest news and events or to announce any changes to timetables, professors, rooms, and more. 


It’s also important that universities don't rely entirely on emails to communicate with students. Social media means that people can receive important information at any time of day and quickly. For busy students, this is particularly important. 


Academic staff also communicate directly with their students via social media platforms, and this can make communication far better and quicker. Usually, universities will have a policy and guidelines around how this communication works, so it's best to check. 


Find out how to communicate effectively with your university.


Seminars and group work 

Messaging platforms are used by students to discuss academic topics and group work projects together. Working in groups is fundamental at university. Group work helps students develop a range of skills such as organisation, effective communication, and leadership. These skills are also hugely important when you graduate and enter the workplace. Group chats and messaging are incredibly effective ways to perfect these skills.



For some courses, such as Social Studies and Media, you may be using social media to research. This can include directly citing (refer to and quote as evidence for your argument) social media in your written assignments. Most universities will have instructions on how to cite social media posts in their citation guides. 


As you can see, social media isn’t just for keeping in touch with family and friends and meeting new people, it’s an essential part of academic life at university. Institutions realise that their platforms allow them to attract and engage new students. They have also learned how to adapt and use it to the benefit of staff and students alike, and that can only be a very good thing. 


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