Written by Ayra
BA (Hons) Sociology & Social Anthropology
Can’t believe we’re already in May, how time flies! And I’ve been living in Bournemouth for almost 2 years too! So, I would like to share with you my top 5 experiences living in Bournemouth. Hope you’ll find it useful.
- Making friends
This must be one of the top worries for every new student, which I totally understand! Personally, I struggled for few weeks when I first came to BU. But there are a lot of ways on how you can make new friends when you arrive!
– Go to freshers fair and join as many clubs and societies as you like! A friend of mine joined almost 20 societies at first and it’s a great way to meet other people in uni who shares similar interests with you.
– Join Global Cafe, which is an amazing way to meet other international students. I found several Malaysian students from this weekly event. I also made some close friends too! You can have a chat with different people while enjoying some cookies and hot/cold beverages at Fusion Building. Despite the pandemic, the events moved online and it was so nice to be able to see some friendly faces when things were a bit upside down!
– SUBU organised a lot of events monthly, including Walk and Talk, Charity Race, Beach cleaning, and many more! You can visit their website and go to What’s On.
- Choosing a place to live
As someone who never been across the world until she went to uni, finding a place to live is quite a headache. From my personal experience, find a place that’s nearby your campus (Lansdowne/Talbot). If you’re in your first year, I’d highly recommend living in student halls, where you can make new friends instantly! Of course, living with strangers at first has its own pros and cons. Maybe set up a house meeting in the first week where everyone can meet and get to know each other, set boundaries and any house rules so it’ll be easier throughout the academic year!
For your second and third year, it’ll be entirely up to you to choose where to live. Most students choose to live in private houses as it’s cheaper than student halls, but I know some of my friends who chose to live in halls as it’s more convenient.
The main thing I miss the most about Malaysia is the food! Every now and then, some delicious Malaysian food would appear on my Facebook page and it makes me homesick. But it also tested out my culinary skills ahah. Sometimes when I craved something complicated, it would take me almost 2 hours to prepare it! I really enjoyed cooking, especially after the first lockdown. I also learned how to make other cuisines and learned how to bake!
There are also some Asian supermarkets around Bournemouth but my go-to would be the Global Food Express located at Old Christchurch Road. To my surprise, there is a Malaysian restaurant located near the train station called Sambal Tumis! Definitely, a go-to place for me whenever I need some comfort food.
- Fun activities in town
Bournemouth has a lot to offer to everyone. Most of the places and restaurants also offer student discounts of up to 20%. My favourite places to go with friends would be Mr Mulligan Crazy Golf, the Cinema at BH2, the Gardens, and of course, the beach.
The restaurants’ choices here are great! You can choose from Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Patisseries, and there are even a few bubble tea places around the town.
- Travel around Bournemouth
Before the pandemic hits, travelling to and from Bournemouth has never been a hustle. You can get to London via Train services (Waterloo Station) or the National Express Coach services (Victoria Station). There is also an airport nearby, which some of my friends have used to go to Ireland and some other European countries.
Bournemouth itself is beautiful, that’s why it’s known as ‘Coast with the Most’. You can go to nearby places which are accessible via bus services such as Swanage, Old Harry Rocks (Studland), Corfe Castle, Poole, Christchurch, Durdle door, Salisbury, Stonehenge and many more!
I hope you’ll find this blog to be useful! For Malaysian students who would like to get to know other Malaysian in Bournemouth, you can join this Facebook group.
Other than that, if you have any further questions or would like to just chat with me, you can reach me at Unibuddy: Ayra Unibuddy
Have a lovely day! Take care x
– Ayra H.