Global Lounge autumn events round-up!

Autumn in the Global Lounge

What a term it’s been in the Global Lounge! It’s been great to see students and staff from across the University come together to celebrate and immerse themselves in different cultures, while making new friends along the way. Before we continue into the new year, we thought we’d take a moment to look back at a mixture of our autumn term events and share some of your experiences with us in the Global Lounge!

We’ve held an incredible 20 cultural and social events this term, which over 1,130 of you have attended. We’ve worked with 6 societies, and many more individual students, staff, networks and student groups and had the help of 54 brilliant ambassadors, so thank you to those of you who have made these events so special.

September Welcome

We started off in September with our welcome orientation and campus tours, helping those of you who were new to Bristol, or to the UK, get settled in.

Zhou, an exchange student encouraged others to come along, saying “[It was useful to hear] some recommended places for daily life or activities to make me familiar with Bristol much quicker”. If you missed out on these events in September, we have over 30 welcome events running from 15 to 26 January, which you’ll be able to find out more about here.

Language Café

We held our regular Language Café each Wednesday where you’ve collectively learnt 42 languages with our 150 fabulous volunteers. Alex, one of our undergraduate volunteers, told us why he found volunteering so rewarding: “as a volunteer, I really enjoy engaging with people excited to learn. It’s a very relaxed […] environment, so has a wonderful atmosphere to practise what you’ve learnt already.”

Language Café will be continuing in the new year, so make sure to keep practising and come along to our next session on 31 January. If you’d like to apply to volunteer, please submit your application here by 28 January.

Image credit: Sirun Tang

Bristol Bus Boycott

Another of our recurring events was the Beyond Black History Month series, a standout event being ‘Remembering the Bristol Bus Boycott’ which honoured the 60th anniversary of the Boycott.

The Boycott was sparked by the colour bar which refused prospective black employees from work as bus crews in the 1960s. At the event we heard from a panel of speakers, including Guy Bailey (the man who sparked the Bristol Bus Boycott), Joyce Morris-Wisdom (one of the young protesters), and Vernon Samuels (the son of Bristol’s first Black Bus Driver). Mr Bailey told the crowd of students and staff: “The journey is long, hard and difficult, but we continue to make progress.

“All of you, whether you are a student, teacher or ordinary citizen, take this occasion and use it as a cornerstone for your journey.”

Angela, a member of staff who attended, told us she was inspired by “meeting the pioneers of change in the flesh, the atmosphere and learning about […] bravery and activism that changed history”.

Read more about the Bristol Bus Boycott event here.

Image credit: Sirun Tang


In November we joined the Bristol SU’s Hindu and Indian Societies to celebrate the Festival of Light… Diwali! This vibrant event was attended by over 200 of you and featured traditional activities including performances from Bollywood Dance Society, Taal and the East Meets West team, traditional games, Henna hand painting and an impressive spread of traditional food and snacks.

Humza, our Global Lounge Assistant who organised the event, said: “The Diwali event is always one of the largest events of year in our events calendar and this year’s event did not disappoint.

“It was so much fun putting this together with the societies. It was great seeing everyone from students to staff interacting with each other and all the performers were incredibly talented.”

Image credit: Sirun Tang

Romanian Culture Day

Our cultural events remained popular amongst students and staff this term where we took part in traditional activities and treated our taste buds to flavours from around the world. One of these was Romanian Culture Day, led by Bristol SU’s Romanian Speaking Society.

The evening started with a presentation all about Romanian culture – did you know that Romania is home to the tallest wooden church in the world, The Sapanta-Peri Monastery! We then joined in with some traditional folk mask making, clay cup painting and enjoyed a traditional feast of Sarmale (cabbage rolls), Mămăligă (Polenta) and cabbage salad!

If you would like to run an event in the Global Lounge to celebrate and share your culture, we’d love to hear from you.

Image credit: Sirun Tang

See below for a full list of events we ran throughout October and November.

Ola, Head of Global Lounge, summarised the autumn term: “I am so energised, inspired and motivated by student engagement with the Global Lounge this term. We now have a lot of ‘regulars’ joining our events and using our space, which is why we do what we do, and love what we do.

“We love seeing friendships forming, students from all over the world interacting with one another, and learning about each other’s cultures. There have been a lot of highlights for me this term, but I think the top moment was hosting Mr Guy Bailey in the Global Lounge – the Pioneer of Bristol Bus Boycott.”

We are still running our festive events up until 21 December, so if you haven’t already, make sure to secure your free ticket! From 22 December to 2 January the University, and Global Lounge, will be closed. For updates on support, opening times and activities over the break, please take a look at the winter vacation and services page.

Finally, we are very excited to share with you that our Winter Welcome events have been confirmed! These will be running from 15 to 26 January with booking opening from 10 January. This will be a chance for any of you who missed our September welcome to come along, make new friends and familiarise yourself more with Bristol and the University campus.

But until then, have a wonderful break and we will see you in 2024!

Lots of love, the Global Lounge team x

Full Autumn events listing: 

1 October – Colour Run

12 October – Universal City: Bristol interactive map launch event

12 October – Beyond Black History Month: Panel Event

17 October – Staff speed friending

24 October – Navaratri Feast

26 October – Thriving at University when new to the UK – intercultural workshop

2 November – Day of the Dead

7 November – Beyond Black History Month: Remembering the Bristol Bus Boycott

7 November – Beyond Black History Month: Film Screening with Florence Ayisi

9 November – Diwali

14 November – Japanese Fest

17 November – Global Food Fair

21 November – Challenge yourself to change the future with the Sustainability Team

23 November – Pancakes with Pictionary: Breakfast in the Lounge

28 November – Hanukkah – celebrate and learn

30 November – Romanian Culture Day

5 December – Beyond Black History Month: Quiz Night