A postgrad's guide to making friends at SOAS
Making friends is an essential part of university life, especially when you've travelled from abroad and are looking to make connections. Here, US postgrad Anna provides a guide tailored for postgraduates on how to cultivate lasting friendships at SOAS.
Navigating the vibrant social scene at SOAS can be an exciting yet daunting experience, especially if you're keen on making new connections. Whether you're drawn to the dynamic cultural exchange or the shared passion for global issues, SOAS provides a unique place to forge friendships that extend beyond the classroom.
Use social media and campus platforms to connect
In a dynamic and culturally diverse academic environment like SOAS, social media platforms offer a virtual space to meet new people and initiate conversations. Joining SOAS-specific groups or forums on platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram all provide a great avenue for post-grads to connect, share experiences, and discover common interests.
Social media facilitates the organisation of informal meetups, study sessions, or social events, fostering a sense of community among post-graduates who may be immersed in their research and coursework. These platforms provide avenues for casual conversations, the exchange of tips, and the discovery of shared interests, ultimately fostering connections that translate into real-world friendships.
Attend events on campus and throughout London
As a postgraduate student, attending SOAS’ pre-sessional events, welcome week gatherings, and postgraduate-specific meetups throughout the year can be an excellent starting point. These events provide great opportunities to connect with fellow postgraduates from a myriad of cultural backgrounds and engage in conversations about shared experiences and diverse perspectives, which lay the foundation for lasting friendships.
These events provide great opportunities to connect with fellow postgraduates from a myriad of cultural backgrounds and engage in conversations about shared experiences and diverse perspectives.
If your program offers it, do a pre-sessional course. I cannot recommend it enough. It was how I met my flatmate and closest friends here in London.
Embrace the cafe culture of London
Whether discussing coursework over a cappuccino in a cosy cafe or engaging in lively conversations at a local pub, these settings offer an informal and relaxed environment conducive to building friendships. The casual ambience of these establishments encourages organic interactions, providing the opportunity to connect with peers from various academic disciplines and professional backgrounds.
A proactive and open approach to socialising opens doors to a diverse network of friends, enriching the post-graduate journey at SOAS.
The diverse and welcoming atmosphere at SOAS fosters an open and friendly culture, making it natural to extend invitations for social gatherings. Whether after a class, during a study break, or even as a post-seminar tradition, suggesting a coffee or drink outing is always met with enthusiasm. The variety of nearby cafes and pubs in London provide ample options for casual meetups, creating a laid-back setting conducive to building connections.
SOAS offers a unique environment where the fusion of academic and social experiences creates a rich tapestry of friendships that enhance the overall university experience. Ultimately, a proactive and open approach to socialising opens doors to a diverse network of friends, enriching the post-graduate journey at SOAS.
About the author
Anna Sandt is pursuing an MA in Human Rights Law. Originally from Boston, USA, Anna’s favourite hobbies include hiking, swimming, and discovering new spots to study. Her academic areas of interest are immigration law and women’s rights.