Welcome to Surrey

Friends International supports and encourages International Students, connecting you to our community!

Who are we & What do we do?

We wish to welcome all students from outside the UK, both European and International – a very warm welcome to Surrey!

Life can be very different moving to a new country and studying abroad. We understand that you are facing new challenges, new languages and a different culture. Finding your place in this new area called Surrey will take time and we are here to help!

Friends International is a local Christian charity, which aims to support you in building friendships with other students, make local links with families and explore life in the UK. We organise events, experiences and social meet ups (online and in-person), to help you learn about and take part in British culture to get the most out of your time here while at university – learn more about us below.

Meet the team - Hello from us all!

Lilli is our Centre Team Leader. Originally from Germany, she leads the team as well as organises and runs events. She is a Senior Chaplain at the University of Surrey and enjoys meeting students.

Phil is our Staff Worker. He is British but grew up in Papua New Guinea. He runs event and courses, including Life Leadership. Phil is also an International Christian Chaplain at the University of Surrey.

Jasmine is our Digital Communications Staff Worker. Originally from America, she is here to support international students through managing our online presence as well as meeting and befriending students. 

This is our staff team above: Lilli, Phil, and Jasmine. We all have different roles and backgrounds. Learn about us in our short “Who We Are” video. 

Meet some of our volunteers - The people that hope to make your time here memorable

Our volunteers come from different backgrounds too, some having lived abroad, some with amazing stories to share. The videos below give you an example of some of the people you will meet when spending time with us!

Jenny (Host & Volunteer) 

Hugh (Host & Volunteer)

From International Students!

Friends International has been a fantastic experience for me, one I will remember my whole life. I feel part of the big international family!...

So how do you join our community?

We would love for you to join us in person or online as much or as little as you feel comfortable to. Click the icons below to visit our social media. We share lots of content regularly including recordings of talks, information on events, updates and useful resources for you while at university. Our App below is the best place to see when events are on and book to attend. Don’t forget to subscribe to get the latest content! 




Sign up to our useful Email Updates

Our email updates are a great way to learn of new local events we are running or interesting news we would like to share with you. You can unsubscribe at any time and we will only send you useful emails!

Download our FREE International Student App (Events, UK Life, Local Link)

Our App is a useful, quick way to connect with us and know what we are doing both now and for the future so you can plan your time better!

  •  Know when our events happen and book to attend
  • Connect with our “Local Link” programme (hosting with local families – more information below)
  • Learn about life in Surrey and the UK
  • Contact us or arrange to meet our Chaplains for support / questions
  • Be part of our training programmes to develop your life skills whilst at university (Our Life Leadership Course)
Friends International have an app, you can find all our events and extra information about Guildford here

Click below to download

Meet with local hosts! (Local Link)

One of our students’ favourite experiences is being able to spend time with a local hosts, often visiting their home. Our Local Link programme gives you an opportunity to do this – simply use the Local-Link section of our App to sign up! (COVID-19 restrictions may apply – Please check our App for the latest information)

A few reasons you should sign-up to find a Local Link host:

  • Experience a local home
  • Enjoy a home-cooked meal or other activities
  • Meet friendly local people
  • Visit more than once if you wish

You might also want to check out the local Churches in the area. We have listed some of the most well known and easiest to get to, providing great opportunities for friendship and to explore the Christian faith. Use our Churches page in the top menu above, or simply click here

Our events - a few examples of what we offer

Our events are part of the reason our students love to spend time in our community! We offer a large range of events and experiences over the year which often include BBQ’s, Walks, Firework events, Christmas parties, trips to London, Rendezvous ladies only events, social game events, adventure days to parts of the UK, cultural experiences, English conversation clubs, online cook alongs and many more!

Here are examples of some of our regular events, or find full details on our Student App or calendar below.

Walk Events are always a student favourite! We explore beautiful parts of Surrey. Watch a video HERE

Let’s Talk About is a live conversation about interesting and important topics with audience questions

Chaplaincy Drop-In is a supportive conversation with Phil, Lilli or another Chaplain
on campus during the week

Cooking Collective is a creative way of learning new cooking skills and recipes while chatting through

Rendezvous is a ladies only event helping you make friends. It usually takes place in a volunteers home or local venue

English Conversation Club helps you improve your English skills, talk about exciting topics and meet new people

Your event diary - helping you plan ahead!

Our events in pictures!

Pictures capture the story better than words! Below is a small example of the experiences you can enjoy…

Learn about Surrey with our video tour

Join Julian, one of our friendly volunteers to take you on a quick but useful tour of Guildford and get to know the town better. Download the QR codes to the right, so you can also visit the same places yourself. A Chinese version is also available!

Click the image above
to download a copy!

How can we support your health & wellbeing?

Sometimes life in a different country can be tough, especially during COVID-19 times. We would recommend the following resources in supporting your health an wellbeing. We are always here if you would ever like advice or to talk. Contact us easily below.

Surrey Chaplaincy

Both Lilli and Phil are part of the 16 person (multi-faith) Chaplaincy team. They are here to listen to and support you in a safe, relaxed environment on campus.

(Click to book online)

(Click to book in person)

MySurrey Wellbeing

Specialist advice on campus to advise and support your wellbeing and health needs while at university

Visit: (Click to view)

Call 01483 689498

Healthy Surrey

Information on the services available for mental wellbeing local services in Surrey.

Visit: (Click to view)


A free national charity offering a safe place for you to talk about whatever you like anytime night or day.

Visit: www.samaritans.org

Call (free) 116 123