Written by Ram Anand
MA Directing Film and Television
Hi everyone, I’m Ram from Malaysia, from the MA Directing Film and Television course. Today I would like to share my views about the social and cultural life that international students can have in Bournemouth.
Bournemouth is not an extremely busy place to live in, but at the same time it strikes a balance between the fast paced life in a major city and the quiet life normally found in a smaller town. BU is home to students who are from various walks of life, from all over the world, and thus there is actually a very diverse social and cultural life to this particular town.
As an international student, I have been pleasantly surprised by the variety of options available for socialising in Bournemouth, the town itself offers a diversity that mirrors the experiences you might attain on campus.
Great variety of restaurants
I love food and my main consideration when it comes to a social life is to find great places to eat, Bournemouth definitely offers that. In the town there are many Asian restaurants offering a variety of cuisines, you can get Thai, Japanese, and even food from my home country Malaysia.
My social life mostly consists of making plans with friends to try out these different places to eat, I like experiencing different cuisine not just tastes that are familiar from home, but also new cuisine that I have not tried before such as African food. A fair number of these restaurants do offer student discounts as well, which is a big bonus.
Bournemouth also has several nice bars where we can sit down and chat with a drink and food. I am not a big fan of nightclubs, but there a large variety for those who love a good night life.
One of the things that is really pleasing about the town is that you can walk almost anywhere within Bournemouth if you feel like taking a walk and taking in your surroundings. One of the best places to do that is Bournemouth beach, where you can walk from one pier to another. Itʼs also safe and is not overcrowded.
Communal cooking to foster good relationships
I often gather with friends from similar Asian regions as me, and we make a point of cooking together, share recipes and share our stories and experiences with each other to familiarise ourselves better with the town.
There are also many shops here where international students can do grocery shopping and find ingredients from back home. I have found several Asian stores that surprisingly sold Malaysian cooking ingredients, and I also make it a point to cook regularly for my friends from different parts of the world.
The town offers a great opportunity to gain more knowledge about other cultures whilst also introducing others to your culture and practices.