New year, new you

7 January 2020

If you want to be out with the old and in with the new this year, UCL is brimming with opportunities that you can try your hand at. PhD student Francesca explores activities beyond your academic realm.

Woman holding January calendar

2020 has finally come. The term has begun and you’ve hit campus only to find that your calendar is already full of academic commitments. You’ve already decided that cliché New Year’s resolutions aren’t for you, so why not try some UCL-hosted activities this year?

Project Active

If you feel like getting more active but going to the gym does not inspire you that much, Project Active offers some beginner-friendly activities to get you moving, such as kayaking or yoga. All equipment is provided, you just need to put on your trainers and find the weekly session you wish to join!

Clubs and societies

It’s never too late to join a new club or society at UCL. You might have jotted down your preferences during the last Welcome Fair but never joined those that made your final list. Use the start of term to meet new people and take part in some enjoyable activities. I was personally impressed by the Artificial Intelligence Society and the Application of Psychedelics Society!


Do you want to take up an active role in shaping the UCL learning environment? You can now collaborate with UCL staff and students across several faculties to enhance and improve learning by joining a project that will have a positive impact. Be a ChangeMaker and leave a lasting mark on UCL!

Study Abroad

Embarking on a Study Abroad year was one of the life-changing decisions that I would make again and again. At UCL, you have access to an extensive and flexible range of subject options that you can study at universities across the world! You can either focus solely on your major area of academic study or explore a more interdisciplinary route and experience something completely new. Definitely worth trying!

Posters in Parliament

If you've got an interest in research, here's something for you, as UCL begins its annual search for the best undergraduate research poster! If you're shortlisted, you'll have the opportunity to display your poster in an exhibition at UCL - Posters in Cloisters. The two top students/teams, will be invited to present their work to visitors, policymakers, researchers and MPs at the Posters in Parliament exhibition. Submission deadline - 31 January 2020.


Never underestimate how easily you can gain new skills and expand your social network through volunteering. There are so many great opportunities out there! You can boost your career whilst contributing to protection of the environment and even explore London as you gain confidence in activities outside of your comfort zone. You could also learn how to build a website from scratch or design a marketing campaign. To find the opportunity that best suits you, browse through the UCL Volunteering Directory.

Careers and internships

To enhance your career path and choices, you could undertake one of hundreds of internship options available on the UCL Careers website. You can check the Internships Toolkit link which will help you source and secure an internship. The Toolkit also gives you tips to help you before, during and after your experience. You can also book an appointment with a UCL Careers Consultant to discuss placement opportunities. The first time I went, they provided me with very useful suggestions on how to improve my CV!

Global Citizenship Programme

The UCL Global Citizenship Programme allows you to explore big global challenges and offers you the chance to develop hands-on skills, from negotiation to presentation, photography and film-editing. The programme runs through the Spring and Summer terms and is totally free. You will have the chance to meet new people, hear new ideas and contribute to solving our biggest global challenges.

There’s plenty of choice, so join in the fun and try something new!

Francesca Masiero, PhD student in Italian in the School of European Language, Culture and Society (SELCS)