A home away from home: What international students love most about Durham University

As a Chevening Scholar at Durham University, you’ll feel supported to reach your potential with a community of like-minded individuals by your side.

Are you hoping to live and study in the UK on a Chevening Scholarship?

The prospect of moving to a different country can be daunting, but rest assured, UK universities welcome international students with open arms and will have you feeling at home in no time.

Situated in the northeast of England, Durham University is no exception.

In fact, because of its collegiate structure, many international students cite a strong sense of community as what they love most about life in Durham.

Keep reading to find out what else they had on their list.

1. The warm atmosphere

‘Everyone is genuinely so nice, it’s scary! I can’t really speak for other institutions, but I’ve felt a warm welcome here at Durham. There’s a possibility that this is a UK-centric thing though, as I felt quite similar whilst I was doing my A levels in Sheffield.

Everyone is open to a conversation here at Durham, so it’s relatively easy to make new friends.  Furthermore, Durham is genuinely extremely beautiful. I find studying outside Josephine Butler Halls on the benches to be quite calming and refreshing thanks to the beautiful greenery that engulfs Durham, as well as the general peace and quiet in the area’ – Frederick Adadevoh (Economics student).

2. The strong sense of community

‘Durham’s collegiate system is very unique and a huge part of the student experience. Things like the Junior Common Room (JCR), formals, and college sports are instrumental to fostering a community which welcomes you to university life.

Apart from connecting with your own college community, learning about the different stereotypes and friendly rivalry between colleges is also super fun’ – Eunice Wu (Psychology student).

3. The support from fellow students and staff

‘I was in absolute awe of the support I garnered from the very first day here. Be it the freps (fresher reps) or the staff, I found a community committed to making this journey as smooth and welcoming as possible.

From moving my bags into my room to helping me sort out dinner, I had a helping hand through it all. I might have been lost a dozen times in my college last week alone but there was always a friendly face to ensure I found my way back’ – Malavika Pillai (MA in English Studies student).

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4. The opportunities to get involved in university life

‘Durham has over 250 clubs and societies beyond the college ones that any student can join, so believe me there will definitely be at least one or two that pique your interest and allow you to meet people with similar hobbies!’ – Tia van Loggerenberg (Education student).

‘University in the UK is not just about becoming a pro in your subject, it’s also about becoming a balanced and fulfilled individual! Participation in sports and various societies, volunteering, and wider student experiences are all valued as part of the university experience’ – Noa Mensch (Modern Languages and Cultures and History student).

5. The friendships

‘There are so many opportunities and places where you can make friends at Durham University – through college, classes, and even your extracurricular activities and hobbies.

Sign up for loads of societies you find interesting, join the various social activities you think sound fun, and remember, you’re probably not the only one feeling shy so just say hi and see where it goes’ – Tia van Loggerenberg (Education student).

For more information about Durham University and our other partner universities, visit the Chevening partners page.

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