There are many ways of spending your free time. Do not
be afraid to do what you enjoy doing back home if you can find it
Getting to know people
There are many ways of getting to know more about British culture
and way of life. One of the easiest ways of doing this is to join
in with a local hospitality scheme. Why not contact the local international
student group for more details? This will put you in contact with
local families and activities.
See our “Visit a Local Home” page for details
There is also a HOST hospitality scheme that has been set up jointly
by the British Council, Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the
Victoria League for Commonwealth Friendship. This scheme also operates
throughout the UK and gives you an opportunity to widen your circle
of friends beyond those with whom you live and study. All international
students are welcome to participate. For more information, visit
Your campus may well have a sports hall, in which you can take
exercise in many different
There will normally be a charge for joining the club. If your college
does not have a sports club, try looking in the nearest town. Weight
training, exercise machines, badminton, tennis, squash, table tennis,
football, cricket, hockey, rugby and basketball will all probably
be available. Larger sports facilities will usually have a swimming
pool and other water sports.
You should be able to find cinemas, theatres, dances, and informative
lectures in your area. Your local international students group will
often put on activities of special interest so keep looking out
for details. You should remember that some films and plays may contain
violence, language, or sex scenes which you may find objectionable.
Look for the classification / rating of films as a guide to content
– see the British
Board of Film Classification’s website for details of what the
Public Houses (Pubs)
If you are ever asked to go into a public house you don’t
have to drink alcohol. A wide variety of soft drinks are available
and often tea and coffee too. Food is usually reasonably priced
and a reasonable quality. You usually need to go to the bar to order
your food and drink – don’t wait for a waiter / waitress
to come to you!
Clubs and Societies
There will usually be a number of different societies either at
your college or in the nearest town. These include drama, modelmaking,
martial arts and rambling (walking) activities. Look out for a list
in the library or ask at the Students’ Union.
Museums and places of interest
There will be many things to do and see near to where you are
staying. A local museum is
worth a visit: it will give a lot of the history of the area. The
National Trust and English Heritage are national organisations which
now have control of many old houses, gardens, castles and areas
of land designated as being of outstanding natural beauty. There
is often a charge for entry which goes towards upkeep. If you enjoy
seeing these sorts of things you will find that membership of the
National Trust (click here
to see website for England, Wales & Northern Ireland or here
to visit website for Scotland) or English
Heritage gives a much reduced entrance fee.
This guide is copyrighted © Friends International 2005. No
part of this work may be reproduced without
the written permission of Friends International.
Additional local information provided by Friends International in Guildford, 2007.