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The basics
Study abroad : Once you arrive

How to find the right club or society at university

University is a great place to make friends, and this is especially the case for those who join clubs and societies. Find out how to find the right club or society at university.

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University is a great experience in so many ways, and the friendships you make there is often a huge part of it. This is especially the case if you move away or decide to study abroad, as it’s your first chance to build relationships outside of the ones you’ve likely had your whole life. While finding friends on your course or through your living situation is most common, another way that you can find like-minded individuals is through clubs and societies at university. 


With so many students coming from a variety of different backgrounds and upbringings, this is the perfect time to mix with a wide range of people, make friends, and find those you want to spend more time with throughout your studies abroad


What is a club/society? 


These can be found at many universities worldwide and encourage students to pursue activities outside of their studies and more traditional social life

 While university size will likely determine how many groups there are, you are sure to find something that interests you. 


Whether you’re really into archery or are a K-pop superfan, here are our top tips for finding a university club or society that suits you. 


Find out more about the benefits of joining a club or society.  


1. Decide what kind of person you are 


Although each club or society is different, they generally fit into several categories based on interest and activities. Some may include: 


  • Sport 

  • Hobbies (gaming 

  • Languages  

  • Academic subjects  

  • Politics  

  • Religious affiliation  

  • Country affiliation 

  • Skills 


For example, if you enjoy being active, you can narrow down a few clubs that might suit you and start contacting them. Many societies focus on sport and keeping staying fit, so it’s a great opportunity to meet people with whom you can do this. 


Alternatively, it’s probably not a good idea to join a cross country club if you only occasionally run. By asking yourself what type of person you are and what you want to get out of a society or club, you can find what is right for you.   


Many groups will aid the course that you’re on, intentionally or not, and therefore provide academic benefits as well as social ones. Doing an English degree? Maybe the Creative Writing Society or University Book Club is right for you. Perhaps you’re doing a Spanish degree and would benefit from the practice the Spanish Society social events would provide. 


It would be completely understandable if you wanted something that was going to give you a much-needed break from your studies. What better way to take a break from your nursing course than with a regular meet up with your Film and TV Society friends or Debate Club? 


No matter what type of student you are there will be something that fits your needs. Discover more about how you can match your study path with your personality


2. Try before you commit 


You may be worried that you might join a club or society and find out that it’s not for you. This is completely normal as no one likes to let others down, but these groups encourage trying them out before committing yourself to them, so there is no pressure to stay. 


Maybe you’ve joined the Star Wars Society and have realised that you aren’t as much of a fan as you thought. Maybe you can’t fit International Society into your busy course schedule. No matter what the reason you aren’t obliged to continue at all. 


This is great news if you are not sure what club or society you want to join as you are generally encouraged to try them out and see if they suit you. In your first few weeks of university, when it’s a little quieter and you’re given time to settle in, try as many societies and clubs that interest you until find the right one for you. 


Having a lot of options isn’t always a good thing, especially when you’re applying to university.  Find out more about how to deal with option overload


3. Start your own 


Sometimes, you can’t find the society or club that is right for you. In this case, it might be a good idea to start your own.  

Universities actively encourage student interactivity and help start societies and clubs regularly. This is part of how universities can make international students feel at home. This is thankfully a lot easier in the age of the internet and social media as you can post in the relevant areas online to make people aware of what you’re setting up. 


For example, if you love rock music but are disappointed that your university doesn’t have a relevant group, it’s very likely that others feel this way too. You’ll most likely have an established club in no time.  

If it doesn’t work out, you’re still in with a good chance of meeting a few fellow students who share your interest along the way. 


University is full of experiences and making life-long friendships is a big part of it. These friends will be there throughout your studies and are often like a second family, especially if you’re studying abroad.  


While there are so many chances to make friends at university, clubs and societies are a medium for meeting people you are likely to get on with and can make university feel less scary from day one. 


There is so much about university life that may be new to you, read more about what you can do once you arrive. If you’re still in search of your perfect course, we’re here to help.  


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