Talk it out!

praatsessiesTalk sessions for international students by students

Due to the success of the Dutch talk sessions, interns and job students at UGent have taken the initiative to organize sessions for English-speaking and international students. We aim to create peer support groups by students, for students. In these sessions, we discuss diverse themes and topics that you can relate to. These are based on the requests you send in and would prove most useful to the students. We want to create a safe place where students can share their thoughts and worries, listen to each other, exchange tips, and find comfort in one another.

Topics

Exam stress & anxiety

  • “Palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy. Exams, let’s talk about ‘em.”
  • “Failure is never fatal, but it can feel like it. Let’s talk about it.”

We’ll talk about exam-taking and how it can make us feel before, during and after. We hope to bond over these experiences and help each other gain a better understanding of how we could change them for our benefit next time we get confronted with them.

Loneliness

  • "Sometimes we need to be alone, not to be lonely. Let’s talk about it.”
  • "There is no place like home, so let’s make our own.”

Loneliness is a feeling many of us go through and don’t necessarily open up about. For you, as an international student, this can be closely related to homesickness and missing dear friends and family at home. We want to hear your concerns and listen to how each of us deals with these feelings in hopes of helping one another feel a bit less lonely.

Self-care

  • “Have you tried turning it on and off? Your mind deserves a break.”

  • “A long shower after work, a good meal after class. Is this self-care? Let’s talk about it.”

There are a lot of things we manage day to day; time, finances, etc. We want to bring attention to one of them that we might not take into consideration often: the management of the self. Learning to cater to the needs of the body and soul and how to recharge after your battery has ran out is very important.

Time-management

  • “Getting started is difficult, planning is boring. Maybe we should talk about it?”
  • “When you’re running like a chicken without a head, it’s time to stop running."

Do you feel that you don't have enough time to adequately prepare for school and the rest of you responsibilities? Does your schedule seem overwhelming and intimidating? Would you like to talk about time organizing issues and stress related topics with people who understand you?

Registration

The talking sessions for this academic year have finished. Starting from september, we will organise new sessions!

Do you have suggestions for future sessions? Be sure to let us know which topics interest you - then we can consider them for future talk sessions.

Introductions

MariaMaria

Hello!
I’m studying industrial and organizational psychology and am currently in my third year.
Singing, dancing, drawing and writing are a few of my hobbies.
Talking to friends and playing games fill up the rest of my free time.

I’m elated to be a part of the talk sessions, to get to know each other and to give each other that much needed attention and connection we’ve been missing all throughout this pandemic.
Above all I’m excited to hear your stories and help create a safe space to engage in healthy discussions.
Hope to see you soon!

ConorConor

Hi! I’m Conor and I'm a 26 year old from Scotland currently studying for a masters in Bioinformatics. I play rugby, enjoy hiking and I put in far too much time organizing my Spotify playlists.

I love meeting new people and learning all about them, so I am very excited to meet everyone who wants to come along to the talk sessions! I have no qualms about making a fool of myself if it’ll make someone laugh, so I'm hoping that I'll be able to make people feel comfortable enough to open up during the sessions.

Looking forward to meeting you and if you see me in the street before/after/randomly then feel free to say hi!

BethanyBethany

Hiya everyone - my name is Bethany. I was born in England, and grew up in New Zealand.

I’m studying soil science here in Ghent - having first studied my bachelor in Amsterdam in environmental policy & science.

I’m really happy to be part of the talk sessions teams and to share/connect/spend time/talk with you all!

Kosta

Kosta

Hello everyone, my name is Kosta. I am correctly studying Clinical psychology at Ghent University. During the years I was always fascinated by psychology and the magnetism of this science. I have a keen interest in learning more and devoting my time to a better, greater understanding of human behavior, its functions, motivational factors, and ways of expression. It is fascinating to interact with individuals from different cultures, from all over the world, to learn about the variety of personal values and behavioral expressions.
I am excited to take part in the Talk Session initiative of UGent and hear and share stories with all of you!

VasilikiVasiliki

Hey you! Yes, you! I am a student and an expat, just like you! I am doing my Masters at the Conflict and Development Studies Department at the Political and Social Sciences of Ghent University. I identify as an enthusiastic youth worker, specializing in self-development and active citizenship programmes funded by the European Commision.
My passion is humans and their infinite ways of interplay with each other and their surroundings. I am looking forward to diving into meaningful talks with you about topics that most of us can relate to. Let’s chat, then!
See you soon!

Emma2Emma

Hello my name is Emma! I am also studying clinical psychology. This year I was an intern with the student psychologists. I am also a moderator at the Dutch talk sessions since the beginning of 2020. Besides school, I am a passionate runner and I ALWAYS have music in my ears :)

Sometimes we have to deal with difficult things in life. Whether it’s something big or small, feeling supported and heard can give you the strength to face these difficulties. In the talk sessions we try to make that connection because talking helps! Not only to feel supported, but also to gain perspective. That is why I think this initiative is wonderful.

claraClara

Hi there! My name is Clara and I'm studying clinical psychology. At this moment I am an intern with the student psychologists. Like Emma I also am a moderator at the Dutch talk sessions.
In my spare time I try to read a lot and I love listening to podcasts.

I am committed to these discussion sessions because I notice that many students urgently need an accessible platform, a listening ear and recognition. There are several other students who are going through the same thing. Students can support each other and these chat sessions are the perfect medium to do that effectively.

HamrazHamraz

Hi everyone! My name is Hamraz and I’m a 22 years old veterinary medicine student from Iran. I’m kind of a movie buff, I enjoy reading and wandering around in the city and of course my greatest passion is animals.
Upon my arrival in Belgium I was lucky enough to find a great group of international friends with whom I always talk and we’ve always supported each other through the challenges of living abroad. I’m looking forward to meeting new international students via these talk sessions so that we could be each other's helping hands and listening ears.
Hope to see you soon!

Contact

Student counselling office