International students invited to weekly café

week3By Ben Clarke

Volunteers at De Montfort University have set up an international student’s café to help overseas students to interact and mingle with others in a similar situation.

The café is situated in the lounge at the student’s union on campus, which is open every Wednesday from 2pm to 4pm.

Chloe Norman, the volunteer who took this week’s session, said: “It’s somewhere international students can learn better English, engage with other students and get them to engage with the course and uni life.”

The meetings started a few years ago, before Chloe, who is in her third year, began studying here and usually attracts 15 members each week.

The students who attended this week ranged from a first year at his first session to someone who is completing a masters degree in her second year of coming to the café.

Chloe said: “The meetings are not necessarily there to help improve their work academically but can help them with the process of uni and where to go with their work if they do need support.”

This is one of a few things De Montfort University has set up to help support its overseas students, the latest being the buddy scheme.

This will give new international students the chance to buddy up with ones who have been here for a year or more, so they can get to grips with English university life and get to know Leicester easier.

The weekly socialising helps break up students busy schedules, where they may have assignments to do and learn about different cultures, as well as make friends.

The environment is set up to put its members at ease with a relaxing vibe, where tea, coffee and other refreshments are provided, while the students sit to discuss any issues or simply to relax.

The international students at the meeting added, ‘it is really fun and we get to meet people outside of our course and it helps with confidence.’

‘It helps with English and we get experience and a relaxing experience we look forward to’.

There is no hassle with membership forms or payments, as anyone can go to the café by simply turning up on a Wednesday afternoon.

The lounge is on the first floor of the students union on De Montfort University campus and welcomes members every Wednesday from 2-4pm.

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