Abhineetam (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. This article was first published on Bournemouth University’s blog.
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.