Produced by Zeynep
MA Political Psychology
My international student journey from “I don’t want to go out because the weather is too cold” to “I can live here forever!”
I remember the first week I moved to Bournemouth from Istanbul/Turkey. Istanbul is a city where you can see the sun almost every day, even in winter! That is why at the end of September; I felt like I am going to die from the cold.
The self-isolation due to Covid 19 was not helping me adapt to my new environment either. However, I survived. The wonderful beach and the parks of Bournemouth were some of the helpers for my adaptation for sure. Since London is only 2 hours away by train, I also travelled to London frequently to participate in various events in London or just to enjoy the city.
But one of the other significant contributions was my friends. Through time, I developed friendships that make me belong here. “Global Café”, the regular meetings on campus for international students, where you can find a friendly atmosphere to meet with other students, practice English more and have cookies and, tea/coffee. These meetings were held by the international chaplain Sue – a very kind, lovely lady! Having a similar concept, the Hub Café -organised by Friends international- was also crucial. Friends International is an organisation to support international students in the UK and allow them to experience real local culture. By attending these meetings, I had a chance to meet local people and talk about different topics. It was through these events that I met three of my close friends.
The multicultural approach that the University tries to apply is one of the other contributions to my adaptation. The Faith and Reflection Centre has a multi-faith quiet room and an Islamic prayer room with an Islamic wudu room. Additionally, chaplains and advisors for different religions and faith support students by organising events, or you can meet them only to have a chat.
These facilities are essential to make you believe you belong to your new area, and you can have support if you need to. The University also organise events for helping international students to find a part-time job or improve their academic writing and English skills. For example, I remember one event about finding a part-time job as an international student and the rules and regulations. Organised by the Career Centre, this online event helped me by suggesting tips for my CV and job interviews.
Lastly, the part-time International Student Ambassador role allowed me to work with flexible hours and work online! This is a fantastic opportunity for a university student who has not much time for work while studying but also wants to earn money. Additionally, through the training I received about the University and trying to contribute to the Marketing department, I feel I belong even more to Bournemouth University and the local community.