The University of Bristol Global Lounge is a multicultural hub in the heart of campus, open to all students and staff.
The Global Lounge has two main functions:
- It brings together home and international students and staff through a vast range of social events and cultural celebrations, offering everyone across the University the chance to share experiences, learn from each other and make friends from around the world.
- It supports international students during the arrivals period, helping them to settle into Bristol and university life through a vast array of welcome events and activities, as well as offering practical support with opening a bank account, setting up a phone or signposting to other services.
Global Lounge physical space: a cultural hub on campus
From celebrating significant dates in the global calendar – such as Day of the Dead or Ramadan – to hosting weekly events (Language Café and Travel the World), the Global Lounge runs a variety of activities which are available to everyone, giving the entire University community the chance to experience and learn about different cultures right on campus.
Events are open to all students and staff members. The majority of them are free and typically include free refreshments and entertainment! (Check out our past events).
The Global Lounge has operated as a pop-up since Autumn 2019, however a long-awaited physical space will be opening in Senate House in September 2021. The space will be a place where both UK and international students can connect and learn from each other, broaden their social circles and increase their intercultural awareness. They can also find out about opportunities for studying, working, volunteering and travelling abroad, through the Global Opportunites team who will be situated in the same space.
Supporting international students:
As well as holding events which aim to encourage intercultural communication and social exchange, the Global Lounge helps to support international students before, and after they arrive in Bristol for their academic studies, through fun and social events, as well as practical information sessions:
‘I have attended events since first joining the University, and they were such a promising resource for me when I was in quarantine after arriving from Dubai. The Global Lounge is incredibly creative, welcoming and proactive, with a team that genuinely sets out to support and mobilise the community’ – Tala Youhana, Honours Law LLB.
As part of the initial support for international students the Global Lounge organises airport transfers, as well as a three-week welcome programme prior to the start of the academic year.
How can I get involved?
The Global Lounge collaborates with groups and individuals across the University – including Bristol SU, Student Inclusion, staff members, student societies (and so many more) – enabling everyone to experience and learn about different cultures from their peers, whilst providing a platform in which to showcase their heritage and culture. In the past, students have approached the Global Lounge to hold their own large-scale event and have hosted virtual events during 2020/21. These encourage all members of the community to celebrate the rich and diverse Bristol community, giving attendees the chance to speak to people outside of their regular social circles. They also offer the students who run them valuable development opportunities, and a chance to build on their transferable skills.
Many activities are led, and run by, a brilliant team of Global Lounge Ambassadors, who support and help facilitate events – be it in person or virtual. Ambassadors play an important role in supporting the University’s recruitment activities, such as campus tours or presentations to prospective students. Many of them have previously supported the Global Lounge as volunteers before applying for paid roles, for example as Travel the World hosts, Language Café volunteers and as mentors to new arriving students.
‘A lot of the opportunities I’ve received at University that have built on my leadership and soft skills have come through the Global Lounge team. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being involved in all their events’ – Siddharth Sreekanth, BSc Economics and Politics.
If you have any questions, or would like to discuss any ideas you might have for Global Lounge events, please head to the contact us page to get in touch.