UCL News


8 cost-effective ways to liven up your social life and meet new people

8 March 2016

There are certainly pros and cons to studying in London.

London London is home to 19 universities and is a hub for top academic research and teaching. There are endless opportunities for sport, culture and entertainment. 

However, London is also one of the most expensive cities to live and study. Many students feel lonely if they haven't met people that they connect with on their course or where they live. Unfortunately, isolation often impacts negatively on motivation to focus and study. Remember - we all need regular breaks for our minds to function optimally. 

If you would like to take some time away from studying to discover this great city and meet new people, here are some ideas, some of which are absolutely free! 

1. Choose from more than 250 UCL clubs and societies 

Did you know that there are more than 250 clubs and societies here at UCL? From Amnesty International and Aikido to Drama and Dutch to Writing and Yoga, it is never too late to join in and see what UCL has on offer.

2. See a real court case in action

Visit the public gallery in the Old Bailey and see how a criminal trial works. Just remember, you cannot bring mobile phones into the building.

3. Tour the city

If you would like to learn more about London and discover new parts of it, these free tours are just the ticket.

4. Catch a movie or go to a comedy night

For movie goers who can't afford central London prices, there are some places where you can watch films for free.

UCL has its very own comedy night with researchers and students making us laugh, called Bright Club. It costs £4.

5. Go on a museum tour and learn something new

Broaden your knowledge with free guided tours and talks, such as 30-minute talks throughout the day at the British Museum.

The Wellcome Collection is local and has a range of exhibitions for those who are curious about science.

6.Volunteer and make a difference

Volunteering is a great way to get involved in something meaningful and meet likeminded people. It could also help you to figure out what kind of work you would like to do in the future.

7. Fresh air and fitness 

If you like running and fresh air but need the motivation of a group to get started, check out Park Run, which organises 5km runs every weekend in parks across the capital.

8. Meet others with similar interests

Believe it or not, there are thousands of meetup groups for people who want to meet new friends, learn a language, do yoga, play ping-pong, discuss Freud or dance rock and roll. There is no commitment so just go along and see what floats your boat!

Dr Kate Joseph, UCL Student Support and Wellbeing