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By Karen, BA History

With the start of a new academic year at UCL, I decided it was time to step out of my comfort zone, try new things and gain new experiences.  After all, as an international student, I figured I should make the most of my time here in London. Perhaps I should go for some society taster sessions, gain some new skills and uncover more of London’s hidden treasures.

As the term rolled on, however, I began to feel the pressure of being a second-year student with more work and commitments to juggle.  Besides the daily routine of crossing busy London roads (and working my way through the horrendous traffic) to get to class, I was hoping for something enjoyable to refresh my mind away from the monotony of my daily schedule. 

My friend came across Project Active sessions on the Union’s website and suggested to sign up for the Zumba class. The Zumba instructor was really enthusiastic and approachable, making sure we focused on working out and building confidence in ourselves rather than technical accuracy.  She helped everyone in the room feel empowered through exercise, introducing some useful dance moves amidst core-biting exercises. The atmosphere was comfortable and I really felt like there was no judgement if you were slow to follow a step or jumped in the opposite direction. Everyone was friendly, welcoming and excited to be in the class.

As classes are once a week around lunchtime (there’s also some in the evening), the commitment isn’t too heavy and I enjoy going for the programme to energise myself for the rest of the week.  It’s been a great way for me to learn new skills, meet new people from all over UCL and make the most of my time here in London.

I really felt like there was no judgement if you were slow to follow a step or jumped in the opposite direction.


Project Active sessions are beginner-friendly, inclusive activities (there are women’s-only sessions too) that don’t break the bank. With no commitment or experience necessary you can come and enjoy a range of activities from yoga and HIIT to 5-a-side football, rugby and hockey - it’s all about having fun and being active in whatever way works for you. studentsunionucl.org/project-active

See all sessions running during Welcome and beyond: studentsunionucl.org/tags/project-active-events