Top things to do when arriving at Durham University as an international student

Rui Fang

Hi there! My name is Rui Fang. I am a 3rd year PhD in nano-electronics, on my way to graduation. As an international student from China, who has spent her MSc here at Durham University, I have had the opportunity to explore the vibrant and culturally rich city of Durham. Moving to a new place far from home can be both exciting and overwhelming. For those of you who are new to the city, here are some top things to do to help you settle well in your new home.

Attend the induction week

Orientation or welcome week is designed to help international students settle into their new environment. It provides an opportunity to meet other students, learn about the university and the city, and get involved in various activities.

Society and sports fresher fair

Durham University has over 200 societies, covering a wide range of interests, from dancing to music, and drama to politics. We also have a vibrant sports scene, with a wide range of sports clubs and facilities. Joining a society or/and sports club is a great way to meet new people, learn new skills, and pursue your interests. You can find these in either the student union or Maiden Castle during your induction week.

Explore Durham

Durham is a beautiful city with a rich history and culture. Take a walk around the historic city centre, visit the Cathedral, Castle and Palace Green, and explore the various shops, cafes and restaurants. Oriental Museum and the Botanic Garden are both popular choices, too.

Explore the surrounding areas

Durham is surrounded by beautiful countryside, including the North Pennines, the Durham Dales, and the Northumberland coast. Take a day trip to explore these areas and enjoy the natural beauty of the region.

College bars

Durham University has 17 colleges, each of which has its own unique bar, and signature drinks. It is quite an experience to complete all of them!

Attend formals

Formals are an essential part of university life at Durham. Each college has its special themes and events to celebrate. The 3-course meal usually costs between £13-17 so it is good value for money too!

Make friends

Finally, make an effort to make friends with people from different cultures and backgrounds. Durham University has a diverse student population, and making friends with people from different parts of the world will help you to broaden your horizons and to learn about different cultures.

In conclusion

Durham University offers a wide range of opportunities for international students. By attending orientation week, exploring the city, joining societies, attending lectures and seminars, taking part in sports, exploring the surrounding areas, attending cultural events, volunteering, and making friends, you will be able to make the most of your time at Durham University and to enjoy everything that this vibrant and culturally rich city has to offer.

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Rui Fang

I am Rui Fang, a 3rd year PhD from the Department of Engineering. I am currently the MCR president of Hatfield College. I joined Durham Engineering as an MSc student in 2018, and I never left. My specialization is Nano-Photonics. I am supervised by Dr. Mehdi Keshavarz Hedayati and Prof. Dagou Zeze.

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