Societies Guide: International and Culture

These societies offer a great opportunity to meet people from the same background, learn about others’ cultures and take part in more culturally linked activities such as arts, film and poetry

These societies offer a great opportunity to meet people from the same background as you as well as offering a chance to learn about others’ cultures and take part in more culturally linked activities. They are not just about specific nationalities, with the Anime & Manga Society and the Poetry Society being strong favourites among many students. For any student going to university can be hard but it can be particularly difficult if you’ve had to move from an entirely different country. These societies offer a great way to keep in touch with your roots, make friends in the area and learn about varying heritages.

York Arab Society
The society hopes to bring together people from Arab student community living in York. They also aim to incorporate people of other nationalities so members can get a broad education about a number of cultures.

The University of York Belgium Netherlands and Luxemburg Society (BeNeLux)
The BeNeLux Society brings together this small, but enthusiastic, group of people. Instead of focusing only on Dutch-language speakers, BeNeLux encompasses the social, cultural, and even habitual mutualisms that the Belgians, Dutch, and Luxembourgers share.

Brunei York Society
Also known as Bru-Yo! Brunei Soc welcomes everybody regardless of nationality to join. They provide support for people of Bruneian nationality, in terms of academic or welfare events. They also aim to increase awareness about Bruneian culture within the University and build up relationships with other international student societies.

Estonian Society
Estonia is a small country on the coast of the Baltic sea with endless forests, cold winters, saunas and Skype. Estonian society seeks to share and introduce their diverse and unique culture to other members of the University.

Folk and World Society
If you like to listen to Folk music or even play along, then Folk Society will be for you. The society creates a friendly atmosphere in which others that share your love for this style of music can play, sing and dance along to some classic Folk music. There’s even some opportunity to indulge your creative juices and bring along your own repertoire for others to try out.

German Society
The German society aims to promote the German culture and language and to provide a platform for communication and exchange of experiences for those interested in it. Their events strike a balance between culturally oriented ones and practicing/learning the language through regular meetings and movie nights. They hope to create a network for German-speaking students so that people with similar interests and backgrounds have a place to meet.

Ghanaian Society
Ghanaian Soc aims to strengthen the university’s community and to collaborate with other universities around Yorkshire to share ideas and promote community experience. They also hope to learn from the cultures of the numerous societies we have on campus and use those opportunities to showcase Ghanaian cultural heritage.

Hellenic Society
This Greek society aims to spread their culture and history to non-Greek people on campus. By doing this, they can uphold their Greek traditions as well promote friendship with other ethnic groups. The society is therefore open to Greek and non-Greek students who want to learn more about their Greek heritages or just meet Greek people.

Hungarian Society
The Hungarian society aims to promote Hungary’s unique culture, spirit and language, and to provide a wide platform for exchange of experiences, communication and help all students to integrate at University. In their events they aim to involve everyone in their traditions, as well as teach and practice the language. There are also plans to invite Hungarian economists and politicians to the uni to discuss current issues.

York Hong Kong Society
York Hong Kong Society was found in 2005 and has been recognised as one of the largest cultural societies on campus. The society helps those who want to learn Cantonese, or students who are struggling with mahjong. Throughout the year, they organise a wide variety of events such as Freshers’ orientation camp, Halloween party, Christmas party and Chinese New Year party.

Islamic Society
Islamic Society aims to represent all Muslims on campus, as well as bring together all those from other faiths and those without a faith. The society has discussion sessions about their faith. They also organise socials and lectures from guest lecturers. Such events aim to educate Muslims and non-Muslims on the Islamic faith, and help increase the awareness of Islam on campus.

Italian Society
Being active for the last three years, the Italian society has grown consistently. They promote the italian culture in all its aspects through social events, open to every nationality. The Italian Society allows students to keep in touch with their roots as well as bring Italian culture to the UK.

The International Students’ Association (ISA)
YUSU’s international arm connects international students, provides support and coordinates events involving all the societies on this page, most notably its annual ISA Fiesta, Global Week and the Annual Beverage Festival. It was founded over 20 years ago and now contains around 4,000 members who host nearly 100 events and over 40 trips around the country per year. Events are open to all students at the University with the aim to represent the interest of EU and overseas students whilst promoting cultural exchange.

Japanese Society
The Japanese Society is a very multi-cultural society aiming to educate Japanese students about the British culture and provide students and staff the opportunity to learn more about the Japanese culture. They organise various socials and take part in ISA’s International Week. They take pride in their consistently high performances in the ISA Fiesta’s ‘cultural performance’ competition. They run events such as sushi par tie, conversation classes and boast a welcoming and joyful atmosphere.

Kazakh Society
Kazakh Society was created to introduce Kazakh culture to campus. The society does many things to help raise awareness, such as raise money for charities by selling Kazakh souvenirs. The society also recognises the culture shock that can present itself to foreign students when they arrive in York. They therefore try and support all new Russian, Kazakh and Turkish speaking freshers to help them integrate.

Korean Cltural Society
Aiming to bring Korean students together, and their culture to York, the Korean Society does exactly that hosting film evenings, food tastings, and language classes.

The International Student Association Beverage Festival, back in February.

Latin American Soc at the International Student Association Beverage Festival, back in February.

Latin American Society
The aim of Latin American Society is to promote Latin American culture on campus. The society emphasises that members don’t have to be from a Latin American country, but merely up for a good time with friendly people. They celebrate Latin American holidays, which can help open member’s eyes to the culture. Weekly activities also include movie nights, Salsa, Spanish and football.

Lithuanian Society
The Lithuanian society seeks to unite all Lithuanians and anyone who has an interest in Lithuanian culture and traditions at the University of York. The society organises national celebrations, parties, sport events and promotes cultural awareness too. So if you are Lithuanian, you love basketball or simply want to learn more about Lithuania, then this is the society for you.

York Malaysian Society
York Malaysian society aims to introduce and promote the unique Malaysian culture to the university. They also aim to represent and create a ‘home away from home’ for the Malaysian community in York. If you’re interested in Malaysian culture, tradition and food, then this may be the society for you.

Modern Buddhism Society
The Modern Buddhist Society offers bi-weekly meditation classes based on an accessible and modern presentation of Buddha’s teachings, which emphasize practical ways to improve inner peace and happiness in daily life. Classes last an hour and are open to people of all (or no) faiths, and include a short teaching on finding inner peace and a simple guided meditation. There are also plans to arrange trips to the Buddhist Centre in Pocklington, or further afield.

Nigerian Society
All things Nigerian: this society brings together the people, culture, traditions of this nation.

Persian Society
The Persian Society is for anyone who takes an interest in Persian Civilization and Culture, past and present. Geographically it covers a rather large area of the Middle East and Central Asia and historically it extends well over three Millennia. The society organises cultural events, seminars and conferences both to introduce one of the oldest civilisations in the world to the general academic population and inform its members of the new academic findings and developments related to the Persian culture and civilization.

The Poetry Society
The idea of Poetry Society is simple and self-explanatory. If you fancy yourself as a future poet laureate, or simply want to learn how to write poetry, then this is the society for you to share your ideas with other budding poets. There are also a whole variety of events on campus devoted to poetry, for example ‘Poetry and Pints’, popular recitals held in bars and puts in town. Here’s Nouse’s interview with last year’s Poetry Soc chair.

Polish Society
Witajcie! Polish society is open to all Polish students at the University of York and the people who are interested in Polish culture. They aim to provide support for both current and prospective students, promoting Polish culture and establishing relationships with other international societies.

A member of German Soc at the ISA beverage festival

A member of German Soc at the ISA beverage festival

Portuguese language Society
Portuguese is spoken by over two hundred million people around the world. This society aims to represent those who speak it at the University, and help and encourage those who wish to learn such a dynamic language.

Russian Speaking Society
The Russian Speaking society welcomes all Russian students as well as native Russian speakers. It is an opportunity to discuss issues surrounding Russian politics, social and cultural life, as well as practice Russian language. The society is also a great opportunity to get to know Russian culture for those who are interested in discovering an unfamiliar country.

Scandinavian Society
NordicSoc aims to gather students from the Scandinavian countries (also including Finland and Iceland) or anyone interested in them for Scandinavian celebrations and and cultural socials.

Singapore Society
The Singapore Society is a student-run society which aims to provide a ‘home away from home’ for all Singaporean students. They’re also here to provide an insight into Singaporean culture for anyone interested in Singapore’s quirky little island-city-state.

South Asian Society
Bringing together the traditions and customs of over a billion people, speaking countless numbers of languages, practices different religions and call South-east Asia home. Uniting people through socials, education and campaigns, this is a vibrant society to join.

Spanish Soc
An informal society concerned with everything related to Spain, starting with helping Spanish students at the university but also concerned with its culture (language, food, arts, history), customs, institutions and way of life. It’s open to anyone from any nationality who shares a love for Spain.

Taiwanese Society
Taiwanese society aims to promote the language Taiwanese Mandarin and Taiwanese culture. By holding activities such as informal gatherings, trips, sports competitions and reunions on special holidays, it seeks to create a supportive environment where members could enjoy their lives in the UK while working hard on their studies. On the other hand, it encourages cultural exchange between members of different nationalities. Therefore, any students interested in Taiwanese culture are more than welcome to join.

Thai Society
Thai society aims at providing support for Thai students coming to study at the University of York. It also wishes to foster a relationship with other international societies as well as promote cultural awareness about Thailand. Activities range from trips to national festivals to movie & Thai food nights. they hope to run workshops on tourist attractions in Thailand, basic Thai language class for holiday-makers, and traditional Thai food cooking classes. Anyone interested in Thailand or Thai culture is more than welcome.

Turkish Society
A celebration of all things Turkish. The society are keen to welcome non-Turkish members, and they hold a varied collection of events throughout the year celebrating their culture and providing a support and network for Turkish students at York. They organise events around traditional food, music, dance and games. Hosgeldiniz!

Victorian Society
A newly-formed society for enthusiasts of the Victorian Age. They hold events inspired by the bygone era of top hats, crinolines and enviable moustaches. These include day trips to historical sites and buildings, play readings, genteel afternoon teas, and period drama film nights (usually with the slightly less Victorian accompaniment of pizza). VicSoc is an inter-disciplinary society with roots in literature, history, art, architecture, and even science, but most of all they’re a friendly group who would love to swell their ranks with some fellow Victorian-loving freshers!

Find contact details of each society on the YUSU website

Have we missed your society off, or does your society’s profile need updating? Email [email protected] to update your listing.

2 comments

  1. There is a mistake in the first photo. It is not the Spanish Soc at the International Student Association Beverage Festival. It is the Latin-American Soc.

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  2. Thanks for pointing that out Martha, corrected now.

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