'I will always cherish the friends I've made' Abhineetam's story of making friends at university

By Abhineetam Chaurasia

Abhineetam Chaurasia (Abhi) is a master’s student from India, studying 3D Computer Animation at Bournemouth University. In this blog, he talks about the friends he’s made through studying in the UK.

Abhineetam Chaurasia and his friends from his animation course

Abhineetam Chaurasia and his friends from his animation course

Coming to Bournemouth University from a small town of Shimla, which lies in the foothills of the India-Himalayan Region, is one of the biggest steps I have taken in my life. This journey didn’t happen all at once. I had a series of small steps and friends all across the way that helped make it possible.

Before I came to the UK, I went to Bangalore for three years to pursue my undergraduate degree. During that time, I stayed connected with my high school friends via phone calls. As I made new friends, my social circle grew slightly bigger. I had three housemates while was in Bangalore and at the time of writing this, all of them are in different corners of the world. Calling and video conferencing has always been a weekly event for us even before the pandemic. All of us check up on each other and make sure we stay connected in all phases of life, good or bad.

Before coming to Bournemouth, I had just a handful of friends, few from my hometown and a few from my undergraduate studies, safe to say they were all Indian.

The day I entered Bournemouth University, I made my first international friend, who is from the UK itself. As university days began, I began to know more and more people from all parts of the world. It is kind of surreal how technology has connected us. On the very second day of university, I received a group invite that had all the animation students in it from our course.

Someone had asked if any of the fellow students interested in a pre-class meet up at the Fusion Building on campus, and I said I would. Similarly, a lot of other people said yes as well and we all came together. We had people from China, America, the UK, Greece, Switzerland, Korea, and India who had become friends even before any of us were officially introduced to each other.

Later seeing familiar faces in the lab on the next day made is so much easier and I believe it was the same for others.

Later, we had a random seating shuffle that made it possible for even more interaction and I got to know more about my fellow batch mates.

Almost a week later, we had our International Dinner which helped bring together everyone under the same roof. Random seating helped me interact with an exchange student from Germany and coincidently my fellow classmates from the Czech Republic, one of whom now holds a dear place in my life.

By the end, coming back, I also met my neighbour who is, as luck would have it, an international student from Portugal and an animation student.

The BFX Festival (Bournemouth's visual effects, computer games & animation festival) gave way to even more long-lasting networks, some of whom now critic my artworks regularly on Instagram. I met my friend from South Korea in the BFX festival who is like an older sister to me now.

In such a short time, assignments like Group Projects, Common Lectures, and even pre-organized meet-ups at Dylan’s Kitchen, the student bar on campus, played a huge role in making my life at Bournemouth University as fun as ever. Not to mention the friendships I have made by being a Student Ambassador. I got to work with, and learn from, so many other ambassadors.

I even became friends with another student ambassador solely because we decided to do a project together.

These opportunities also helped me build connections with people from all walks of life and I will always cherish them. A kid who came to an unknown country without any expectations of friendships is living with bonds that will last a lifetime and beyond. I will forever be grateful for it.

Two friends playing video games

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