Did you have a good week-end? Because I did! On Sunday evening the 5th of October The Stile – a pub that can be found on the corner of University Road and Burgess Road (in case you haven't been there yet) - was definitely THE place to be! The first Official Buddy Meeting organised by ESN Southampton took place there.
For those who were unable to attend the event, if you are wondering what exactly is a “Buddy Meeting”, let me explain it quickly to you! The Buddy Scheme pairs up an international student with a British student to help these newly-arrived people get accustomed with their new lifestyle around Southampton (and more generally in the UK). As you may have already guessed, the principle of a “Buddy Meeting” is simple: every Erasmus+ student was expected to come and bring along their buddies to get to know them better, while still making a lot of new international friends! Unfortunately my buddy was stuck at home because of her homework and was unable to attend the event - but this didn't prevent me from having a lot of fun!
At 6 PM on Sunday my housemates and I were in the mood of going out and meeting new people, rather than staying in. To be honest with you, we desperately wanted to fully enjoy what was left of the week-end. (#goodErasmusplusStudents) So going to The Stile was the perfect solution! When we arrived there, a lot of people were already sitting at the tables. We were asked to split up and join a table where we didn't know anyone. We were not supposed to stay with someone who spoke the same language as us either. I did as I was told: I sat at one of the tables where I didn't see any familiar face. I met a British guy and his Spanish buddy and two lovely German girls, and we immediately started talking and laughing all together! For some of the tables where people were shy or unsure of what they could talk about, the ESN committee had everything planned to break the ice: there were activities sheets on every table (which mostly consisted of recognising celebrities or landscapes). Soon enough the pub got busy with people talking and laughing out loud!
But that's not all. In order for us to meet as many people as possible, the ESN committee had arranged a ‘Speed Meeting’ - which meant that every ten minutes we had to change tables and mix with new people. By the end of the night I had talked to each and every one of the people that attended the event! It was definitely worth going out on a Sunday evening - even if it meant facing the usual British rain and cold, rather than staying in for a cosy evening! I had so much fun and I met so many new international friends that I couldn't have met otherwise, because most of them are studying in different departments of the University. If you want to know my opinion about the ESN Southampton socials, they are definitely the best way to make the most of your Erasmus+ year abroad!
Written by Victoire Boulegroun-Ruyssen
Vicky is a French Erasmus+ student from Lyon. In her free time she enjoys reading a good book, watching videos of cute cats on the Internet and of course, just as any other good Erasmus+ student, going out dancing with her friends.