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How to cope with NI friendliness as a GB student in Belfast

Warning: strangers will hug you!

Airport staff are welcoming

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“I noticed it most when I was on my way through the airports. I was coming through London airports where no one will help you; no one will make any eye contact. I flew over here and even when I was going through security, people were like, ‘I hope you have a great day.’ Everyone is so friendly. I’m so not used to that.”

Gabbie Dancer, BA Criminology, London

Taxi drivers will chat very quickly

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“Taxi drivers talk very quickly, but usually I’m with my friends who are either from Northern Ireland or the Republic, so they understand and I can just sit there and nod. It’s not everyone but some people do talk quite fast.

“Every time I’ve brought someone out here they are just like, ‘Wow, everyone is so friendly’. That’s so true. It really drew me to the uni and the city. Everyone is so friendly."

Alice Poole, BA Architecture, Cheltenham

Random people hug you

 

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“I came to the Open Day and my mum was sat next to a person who was on the same course. By the end of it, she’d given my mum a hug, her phone number, in case I got in. She was all, ‘You’ll have to ring us and let us know’”.

Maisie Wilkinson, BA History and Politics, Lancashire

People in the supermarket will love your accent

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“Occasionally you will get people who try and do your accent. Even in supermarkets, you just get chatting to people.”

“Making friends here has been so easy for me. Especially with starting uni, everyone is in same boat not knowing many people. We have a couple of people who know everyone because they are local, so you end up meeting people through that.”

Alice Poole, BA Architecture, Cheltenham

Read Next: Travelling to Belfast versus travelling to other UK cities.

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