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Settling in at university

Four undergraduate students look back on their first year and remember what made Bath feel like home.

Starting university might seem overwhelming, but there are lots of things that can help you settle in during your first year.

Find out what worked for some of our students, including living on campus, joining clubs, and getting support from our Student Support team.

Yixuan from Shanghai, China

One piece of advice I'd like to share with fellow students is to dive into university societies. These vibrant communities not only offer you a chance to explore your interests but also create opportunities for lifelong friendships.

The friends that I've met through these societies have truly become like family to me. Their presence has given tremendous joy and fulfilment to my time here, whether it's exploring new cities, sharing stories and laughs over dinner, or supporting each other through the ups and downs of university life.

Even though I'm currently gone from Bath for a year on placement, the relationships we've created remain strong. I eagerly look forward to our gatherings whenever I have the chance to return. These friendships have not only enriched my university experience but have also shaped my perspective on the importance of building connections and nurturing relationships throughout life's journey.

Tom from Kidwelly, Wales

Before coming to Bath, I completed the Pathway to Bath Programme where I joined a residential with my coursemates. This helped me when I arrived on campus as an undergraduate, as I was familiar with the layout of the campus and all the facilities the University have to offer.

Starting University may seem daunting, from making new friends to living away from home. However, everyone is in the same boat, as I realised once I arrived on campus.

During Freshers’ Week everyone is open for a chat or to go for a walk and explore the city, so make sure to arrive on campus with a smile on your face and introduce yourself to flatmates and coursemates. If you’re still worried about making friends, joining a society or doing a sport you enjoy can help as you already have a common interest.

Gina, born in Cameroon, raised in Germany and the UK

Finding my footing and exploring my passions, whilst studying, did not come easily to me. Having been the first person to go to a UK university in my family, there were so many foreign and nerve-wracking elements to the experience that I started to adapt to whilst figuring out how to be authentically me.

Being a black woman who grew up in predominantly white spaces, finding community and diversity has always been important to me. Being a member of the African and Caribbean Society at the University has been a great source of joy and comfort in embracing my culture.

I am a strong advocate of seeking mental health support and other advice networks available at the Students’ Union. The motions of university have not been consistently easy to adjust to – coupled with other stressors in life – and the ease at which you can obtain support is a great part of being a student.

Mel from Poland

When I initially moved to Bath, I was quite fortunate to connect with my flatmates. It was important to me to feel comfortable where I lived, so getting along with my flatmates made the transition from home much easier. I felt like I was a part of a community immediately, living on campus and meeting interesting people from all around the world. As a person who grew up internationally, I valued the multicultural feel of Bath.

I wish I had joined the Polish society sooner, I only did it at the start of my second year. It was nice to share cultural connections with others while far from home. I could not recommend joining cultural societies enough. A lot of other international students came to Polish socials which allowed me to meet a lot of great people. I also highly recommend getting involved in as many societies and sports teams as possible, as I met most of my friends through these.

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