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Visits From Friends and Family as a Student

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 11 Oct 2010 | comments*Discuss
Family friends friendships old

When family and friends from home make the effort to visit you at university it is usually for one of three reasons: to spend quality time with you to become more familiar with your new life or to use your new location as a starting point for exploring the area. Regardless of their intentions, it is your duty as a gracious host to make sure that they feel welcome and have some say in the itinerary. Whatever you do, don’t schedule every minute of the visit without their input or misunderstandings will be sure to arise. Instead, plan for fun, expect to have fun and no doubt you will have fun!

Spend Some Quality Time Together

Whether you want to be or not, you are the shining star of any visit from family or friends. Without you there’d be no reason for them to make the trip, so make sure that you incorporate plenty of quality time together into your plans. This doesn’t mean that you need to have heartfelt chats over endless cups of coffee, but it does mean that you need to expect to spend time together. Great activities for this could include:
  • Shopping for items for your new room/flat/house together.
  • Arranging for a meal out with family and friends.
  • Organising an informal party to introduce friends old and new.
  • Enjoying a silly afternoon at the cinema, bowling alley or even skating rink.
  • Getting tickets for a concert, exhibition or theatre production running at the time.
  • Getting tickets for a sporting event at the university or nearby.
  • Spending some time wandering the nearest village or park.

Let Them Become Familiar with Your New Life

Family and friends who love you will necessarily want to become involved in your new life at university. While they obviously can’t become a part of your new life, showing them around will help ease their mind and give them a context to your stories for years to come. When family and friends come to visit, be sure to:
  • Introduce them to new friends, flatmates and study partners.
  • Show them around your hall of residence/flat/house.
  • Take them on a tour of the university campus and surrounding areas.
  • Speak with them about the courses you are taking and the subjects you are studying.
  • Involve them in discussions about or activities organised by clubs and societies to which you belong.
  • Treat them to a meal at the student canteen!

Explore the Area

In addition to spending some quality time with you and becoming familiar with your new life, friends and family who visit you at university will probably appreciate a tour of nearby attractions. Even if you have seen them several times already, be patient and remind yourself that it is all new to your friends and family. Offer to accompany them to:
  • Famous sites in your city or town.
  • Nearby natural areas, parks or nature reserves.
  • Museums, theatres or zoos that might be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
  • Sports stadiums and matches.
  • Historic or National Trust sites.
  • Catch a bus or train to an interesting day trip.
Visits from family and friends from home can be daunting when you are university. Suddenly you will be the host for eager guests which, though it promises plenty of fun and excitement, also promises a bit of responsibility. Check in with your guests before they arrive as to what they’d like to do or where they’d like to go and make plans accordingly. If they can’t think of anything they’d like to do and insist that just spending time with you will be enough, then relax and believe them. After all, who wouldn’t travel hundreds of kilometres just to be with you?

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