LSE is well known for both its outstanding academic reputation and its active and exciting social scene. As students begin their journey at LSE, they have multiple unique opportunities to participate in a rich tapestry of social interactions that can improve their overall university experience:
- Welcome events: LSE organises various orientation events at the start of each academic year, ranging from guided history tours to yoga and meditation sessions. These activities are intended to help incoming students to socialise and settle into university life and provide an excellent chance to meet other newbies. Visit the LSE Welcome website for more details.
- Social mixers: In addition to Welcome events, many departments, LSESU clubs and societies, and even student halls host social mixers, which provide a relaxed and informal setting to meet new people. Remember, during the first few weeks, everyone is on the same boat, wanting to make new connections beyond the lecture halls, so don’t hesitate to reach out to new faces, and you might end up with lifelong friends! The Department of Psychological and Behavioural Sciences department held a social event for all the postgraduate students, and there I was able to not only meet other students in my programme but also have an informal introductory chat with some of my lecturers as well!
- Embrace diversity: The broad and diverse student body at LSE is one of the things that makes social life here so enriching. Engage with individuals from different racial, ethnic, and cultural origins to broaden your understanding of the wider world. For example, students from our department hosted an International Food Night, where we all cooked a national dish from our countries and shared them at a potluck event. This allowed us all to learn about each other’s cultures while enjoying delicious food.
- Clubs and societies: LSE has a large selection of student organisations that serve a variety of interests, including sports, arts and culture, academics, and more. Getting involved in a club or society is a great way to meet others who share your interests. During Welcome week, many of these clubs and societies will set up stalls all around campus and in the Students’ Union, where students can meet current members and committees and even attend taster sessions. I joined the Photography Society’s photo walks around campus and London, where I learnt about different techniques of street photography, which was a wonderful addition to my Instagram feed!
- Engage academically: As a world-renowned institution, LSE has long been recognised for its academically strong student and staff body, and it is no surprise that classroom discussions are always intellectually stimulating and engaging. Participating in these conversations can not only help you improve your interpersonal communication and public speaking skills but also provide a solid foundation for friendships, where you can bond with students over similar academic interests. Further, the structure of LSE’s programmes frequently calls for group work and collaboration. Use these opportunities to work closely with your peers, share ideas and thoughts, and establish a strong rapport.
- Volunteering: Volunteering not only enables you to make a positive contribution to society but also connect you with like-minded people who want to make a meaningful difference. Students can also find a list of volunteering opportunities on CareerHub, which can range from providing literacy support to helping out at museums and parks!
- Participate in campus events: Throughout the year, LSE hosts various public events such as guest lectures, seminars and workshops. Attend these gatherings to expand your horizons, connect with other attendees, and take part in thought-provoking discussions.
- Explore London: When making friends, especially those who have recently moved to London, make plans to go on excursions where you can discover landmarks, museums, bars and cafés and other spots. These are great opportunities to make new memories with friends while exploring the vibrant city! LSE LIFE organises several events during the year to introduce you to London life and culture. Make the most of them!
While navigating the social scene in a new environment can be difficult, these tips can help new students in making friends and kick their social life at LSE off to a good start.