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    Hi I'm currently in year 12, living in England and looking into Queens uni. I've heard that it's not all that great for English students but I absolutely adore the uni. Originally my family is from Ireland and I do have an Irish surname. Is it really hard to make friends there? How do you find the life?
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    (Original post by bethuec)
    Hi I'm currently in year 12, living in England and looking into Queens uni. I've heard that it's not all that great for English students but I absolutely adore the uni. Originally my family is from Ireland and I do have an Irish surname. Is it really hard to make friends there? How do you find the life?
    Hi!
    I've lived in NI for 3 years now and I have enjoyed it.
    However, I have found it difficult making friends as everyone is very attached to their families and friends and go home every weekend. Since everyone tends to stay there and at home it can be hard to intercept a friendship group so to speak.
    But I have a few close friends, however,they are actually mainly from other countries!
    I found it hard adjusting to shopping and drinking hours, their different outlook on things but you find that going to any new country I guess.
    No one is up front about hating the English but I have found that people do have a dislike due to the history of the country.
    If you want to go then go. The university is good and you will enjoy it ☺

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    (Original post by bethuec)
    Hi I'm currently in year 12, living in England and looking into Queens uni. I've heard that it's not all that great for English students but I absolutely adore the uni. Originally my family is from Ireland and I do have an Irish surname. Is it really hard to make friends there? How do you find the life?
    Hi Bethuec,

    Hello from Belfast. (We're waving!)

    It's always a big step moving away from home, but we really try to make everyone feel as welcome as possible.

    There are lots of events designed to help you make friends when you arrive, plus our clubs and societies are a great place to find people that enjoy the same things as you.

    But don't worry, you don't to take our word for it! We asked real students to explain what it is really like.

    Find out more about moving to Queen's here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U84asw8V0EM

    If you are thinking of staying at our campus accommodation, this is also a great video to give you an idea of what it is like. Our Residential Life Team are always on hand to help and arrange lots of great trips and events that will really help you make friends.

    Take a look around here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNFFGPe3A8c

    If you have any more questions, just drop us a line. We're here to help. :wavey:

    Thanks,

    Stephen
    (Team Queen's)
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    (Original post by Queen's University Belfast)
    Hi Bethuec,

    Hello from Belfast. (We're waving!)

    It's always a big step moving away from home, but we really try to make everyone feel as welcome as possible.

    There are lots of events designed to help you make friends when you arrive, plus our clubs and societies are a great place to find people that enjoy the same things as you.

    But don't worry, you don't to take our word for it! We asked real students to explain what it is really like.

    Find out more about moving to Queen's here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U84asw8V0EM

    If you are thinking of staying at our campus accommodation, this is also a great video to give you an idea of what it is like. Our Residential Life Team are always on hand to help and arrange lots of great trips and events that will really help you make friends.

    Take a look around here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNFFGPe3A8c

    If you have any more questions, just drop us a line. We're here to help. :wavey:

    Thanks,

    Stephen
    (Team Queen's)
    Hi Stephen

    Where would you recommend a first year student from London to go to? Thinking Elms, but I have heard that a lot of the local students go home at a weekend and I don't want to be left all alone! Also, option wise, which of the houses is the best shout? Will I get to choose who I am with if I do go into one of the houses or will I be placed into housing with people with similar interests or?

    Many Thanks!
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    I'm from London and stayed at Elms this year, and I really enjoyed it. The accommodation tend to put people who will most likely stay at the weekend together -- so people from England or international students are typically grouped together. However, a few of my friends from England did end up in halls with people from NI or the republic and enjoyed it just the same it just really depends. I would definitely recommend staying in Elms regardless of any fears because that is where nearly everyone from QUB in the first year stays and it would be much harder for you to make friends if you lived elsewhere in first year. Also, in the first term if you don't like your flat or there's not that many people you can speak to you can ask to be moved to another flat depending on availability. Just remember that Elms does have English people there too that will be in the exact same boat as well. I didn't find it hard to make friends at all, bearing in mind you should also join societies and go out during freshers because once again you meet even more people
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    (Original post by Postmodernist)
    Hi there,

    As an English student I found it very hard to integrate despite having visited every year of my life and having close family here in Northern Ireland. It can unfortunately be very insular and I have experienced some unprovoked - I completely avoid any charged topic - anti-English sentiment from other students (a good friend suddenly turned on me). There's been times where I've encountered very stubborn and judgemental people which I have never come across before. I'm certain though that this is the minority and a lot of this was to do with me not finding "my people" and spending too much time with flatmates from Elms who I really didn't have anything in common with other than getting drunk together. There's definitely a difference in sense of humour between English and Irish which can be challenging to overcome if either of you is unwilling to be open-minded but, again, it was down to the group of people I was put into. And without the underlying tension, the Irish sense of humour is incredible so don't worry about that at all.

    Pro-tips for successful friend making:
    Be completely open and say yes to every opportunity. Being exhausted is half the fun.
    Keep your bedroom door propped open unless, of course, you have a safety concern.
    Attend everything (lectures and especially tutorials - smaller numbers means more familiarisation) and anything you're interested in even if you have no-one to go with. I recommend The Literifics.
    Engage with your lecturers and tutors if you have questions but don't come across as sycophantic because sometimes you get rude responses. Also, don't be put off or scared by these. It can be helpful to be the person people turn to ask questions about the course.
    Form a study group or photograph readings for your tutorial group. Group work can be a rarity.
    Familiarise yourself with the library - it can be your haven for some alone time and also will probably guarantee you a better degree classification.
    Go to Elms flat parties - they are so good - and make an effort to talk to other people other than your flatmates.
    Suggest spending time with the people you think you like, even if it's as mundane as buying drink or lunch together, grocery shopping or walking down to uni.
    Fake your confidence until you feel genuinely comfortable.

    I studied Geography and so many of us have complained about the very few contact hours or opportunities for group work. Going to lectures, no-one would talk to one another and this only changed after our Level 2 fieldcourses when we were forced to spend a week living and working together in a foreign country. Everyone was chattier after that but still it felt as though people couldn't wait to leave class as quickly as they could without having to talk to anybody. Sometimes, I still have longer conversations with lecturers than I do with my coursemates. For degrees like Medicine, however, this is entirely different and everybody gets to know each other early on. Side note: The medics are great craic and I found I got on with them best as a group.

    Elms itself is really great. It goes from being overwhelmingly busy when people are walking to class and then to being a ghost town at the weekend when the locals go home. The standard of the accommodation is really high. But I had a group of English weekend friends where we'd make Sunday roasts and have brunch, do our laundry together, and go out on a Saturday or go to the cinema when it was a bit quieter and sometimes weekends were the best times.

    Although this may sound like a tale of woe, I am thankful for the bad experiences I had at QUB and the good in between. But personally I wish I had stayed in England or withdrawn and spent the year out to subsequently apply somewhere else. This might well be the complete opposite of the experience you may have though and so if you adore the uni, give it a go and take all the opportunities available.

    From someone who did it wrong.
    Do you mind me asking why, this seems very odd. All your tips are useful, I agree with a lot of that, especially the Elms weekend point. However I'm genuinely shocked that people turned on you for being English. To those who don't know, nationalists (who support NI being part of Ireland, not the UK) make up a probable majority of QUB students, but I have never seen or heard of anyone targeted because of them being English. As a nationalist myself, I am critical of previous actions carried out by the UK Govt in NI, there can indeed be a huge difference between Irish and English people (when in England, I did feel there was a sense of entitlement that doesn't exist in NI)

    One additional point of view I would add is that a lot of locals will be very aware of English history, while most English students know little about NI or its history, please ASK. Most English students I know admitted they know little and are happy to ask about why certain people dislike English actions during the famine etc. You would get a few jokes about being a Tory, a Queen lover, bla bla bla but I've never seen it told in anyway except as a joke and there's never beenan issue.

    I'm disgusted that someone would turn you away for being English, and that really doesn't represent us at all.
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    (Original post by That Bearded Man)
    Do you mind me asking why, this seems very odd. All your tips are useful, I agree with a lot of that, especially the Elms weekend point. However I'm genuinely shocked that people turned on you for being English. To those who don't know, nationalists (who support NI being part of Ireland, not the UK) make up a probable majority of QUB students, but I have never seen or heard of anyone targeted because of them being English. As a nationalist myself, I am critical of previous actions carried out by the UK Govt in NI, there can indeed be a huge difference between Irish and English people (when in England, I did feel there was a sense of entitlement that doesn't exist in NI)

    One additional point of view I would add is that a lot of locals will be very aware of English history, while most English students know little about NI or its history, please ASK. Most English students I know admitted they know little and are happy to ask about why certain people dislike English actions during the famine etc. You would get a few jokes about being a Tory, a Queen lover, bla bla bla but I've never seen it told in anyway except as a joke and there's never beenan issue.

    I'm disgusted that someone would turn you away for being English, and that really doesn't represent us at all.
    As another English student at QUB I will say this isn't an isolated incident.
    I have also dealt with remarks towards me being very anti-english, people commenting how much they hate us. How much they disagree that abortion is legal, how awful we are in history and how even now we are still disliked due to varying factors. I've had republican songs sang at me and been jeered at, meanwhile I just get on with things and think it won't be long until I move out the country. I've always loved the Irish and loved Ireland but after my experiences in NI I would move to the Republic but no longer remain in NI.
    The longer you live here the more you learn about the history of the country and where is flagged and where isn't, ie where the protestants live and where the catholics live.
    You also learn that there are people who will look down at you for not being religious and for even daring to state your own beliefs and opinions.

    This is not to say that every English students will have this experience but it does happen and I think it's something which QUB should be addressing.

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