7 Practical Tips for International Students Living in Belfast
Carmen is back with some helpful advice and tips for International Students who want to get the best experience out of their time at Queen's. From getting a student job to travelling more...it's all here.
As an international student, I know that studying abroad can be overwhelming. I’m here to give you a few wee pointers on how you can make the most of life as an international student in Belfast.
Want to earn some money?
Did you know there's a career management tool for students at Queen's called MyFuture? The system gives you access to jobs, internships and placements created by employers in the UK and from all around the world.
You can even use MyFuture to find part-time jobs on campus and Queen's hires all year round. Working part-time on campus is ideal for international students because we can only work 20 hours a week. Queen's understands this, as well as the demands of our degree, so you can earn some money without going over your allotted hours.
Find the best places to shop for groceries!
I know that sometimes finding the ingredients you’re used to getting from home can be difficult. It’s always handy to know where you can buy some home comforts.
There are supermarkets that stock international food ingredients here in Belfast. You should check out Lee Foods, Asian Supermarket, Istanbul Market and Makkah Market, to name a few. And you can always drop by Tesco or Lidl for the staples.
Get some home supplies from Queen's Accommodation
When you’re settling into your new home in Belfast, you may not know where to get essentials such as duvets, cutlery and kitchen equipment. But there's no need to worry - Queen’s Accommodation sells bedding and kitchen packs at very reasonable prices. These packs are really handy and can help you get set up in your new home in no time!
Join freshers' events to make friends
Making friends is not as hard as it seems. I recommend joining freshers' programmes that are available to you at Queen’s, such as iWelcome Week and International Buddy Schemes.
Queen's organises lots of activities, such as iBake sessions, icebreaking events and a dinner for new international students. Freshers' takes place to welcome you to Queen's, and you will definitely make friends in the process!
Find your interests
Queen’s has lots to offer when it comes to clubs and societies. Just pop down to the Freshers' Fair or find more information about a society that interests you online.
Joining a club or society is another great way to make friends as you meet other people with the same interests as you. Whether it’s sports, games, or course-based, there’s a society for everyone here.
Save money on study materials
Textbooks cost a lot of money. My advice is to borrow from the McClay Library. The library is full of helpful resources and you should easily find your academic textbooks.
You can also get second hand books from past students or look out for anyone who wants to sell their used textbooks on Facebook. Buying textbooks second hand will save you a lot of money!
Indulge your wanderlust
An advantage of living in Belfast is that it’s near lots of European countries. You can also take advantage of many vacation breaks.
So, when you have some free time, you can easily visit European cities either with your friends or on your own. But I'd recommend finding where to get cheap flights and accommodation.
Personally, I usually buy tickets from Ryanair, as they offer incredible deals. There is also SkyScanner, where you can compare flight tickets and get the best deals!
While it can be scary to move abroad for university, there are lots of ways you can make Belfast feel like home in no time.
Greetings, I’m Carmen and currently a final year law student at Queen’s University. I enjoy blogging and reading and I also do have my own personal blog in which I do write on when in my spare time. I love meeting new people and getting to know their cultures and interests. From my blog posts, I hope that you may find some useful tips for when you are thinking of pursuing studies overseas in Queen’s University. Especially when you’re an international student. It’s always great craic to be able to experience life studying overseas, and now you get to know more through an international student’s perspective! Do stay tuned for more blog posts.