A Guide to Student Nights in Pubs for International Students

When you don’t know anyone else in town, and you’re stuck in a new city with limited friends, what’s the best way to meet other people who are also studying at the same uni as you? Student nights! These events are specifically geared towards students, so it means that everyone there will be on the same wavelength as you. Finding student nights can be tricky though; if you’re an international student starting out in Bordeaux, here is a guide to some of the best student nights in pubs.

International students can face a number of challenges when they first arrive in Bordeaux. Settling into a new city, finding your way around and making friends can all be rather daunting. Thankfully, there are plenty of opportunities to meet other expats and native frenchies alike. One of the most popular social events among young people in British pubs is going out for drinks or “pub crawls.” These types of events are also commonly known as student nights. 

Pub crawls are informal gatherings where attendees have one or two drinks at different pubs throughout the evening. They’re usually open to anyone over the age of 18. Read on for more information about student nights in pubs for international students!

Happy Hour at the HMS victory from 5pm to 7pm

What to Know Before You Go

Before you go out on your first student night, there are a few things you should know to make your experience a good one. First of all, it’s important to know how much drinks cost so you can manage your budget. It’s important that you know how much you’re willing to spend before you go out so that there are no nasty surprises. Luckily public transport in Bordeaux goes on until the small hours of the morning so it’s very likely you won’t need to splurge on taxis or Ubers. Renting bicycles is also an option but be careful to not drink & drive as that is unsafe and you may get a fine. Pubs such as the HMS Victory offer special prices for students on Thursdays so make sure you have a student ID on you.

Finding the Right Pubs for Student Nights

You’ll want to do a bit of research to find the right pubs for your student night. The best pubs for student nights are those with cheap drinks, a lively atmosphere and a convenient location. Be careful about finding the perfect student night, though. Another good way to find student nights is to contact your local university’s student union. They may be able to recommend certain pubs or even host the event themselves. Find out what drinks are available at each pub and how much they cost. If you plan on going to more than one pub, go to the cheaper ones first so you don’t run out of money before the end of the night.

Happy Hours and Good Deals

The HMS Victory has special deals for student nights. This includes free entry to the bar & drinks at reduced prices on Thursday nights. If you like a dance around and good music, you’re in luck as the HMS Victory also hosts DJ sets every Thursday with free entry. It’s also good to know they have Happy hours every day from 17h – 19h. Happy Hours are periods of time during the day when certain bars offer reduced prices on certain drinks. You can usually find out about happy hours and special deals on our website or social media pages. Outside of Thursday nights and Happy Hours, student groups are able to book part of the pub for student nights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, depending on the group size, the pub will offer special deals. You can part take in activities such as beerpong, darts tournaments, pool tournaments, etc. A fun challenge you can also take part in with your friends is the 50 drinks challenge, where you get a stamp for each drink on your passport, and if you complete it all & in the right order (not in one go)  you win your very own HMS hoodie and photo on the wall of fame.

Fun Activities to do with your friends

Meeting new people can be intimidating. A great way to break the ice is to play games. Pub activities are a great way to get to know someone and stay entertained. Every day you can watch your favourite teams play live sports on the pub’s screens or take part in a darts game or pool tournament.  Events such as Quiz Nights, Open Mics, Karaoke and Beerpong are a weekly occurrence at the HMS Victory. Check out our socials and websites to see what events are lined up. 

Eating Out Before & After Your Night Out

Depending on where you go, you may be able to eat before you head out for your student night. Alternatively, you can go for a quick bite after your night out ends. If you want to eat before going out, try to stick to places that are quick, easy and inexpensive. La Victoire is a fantastic place for quick, easy & cheap options, not to mention delicious. If you want to eat after your night out ends, it may be easier to find a place that is open late such as kebab shops which are a classic dish amongst students. You can also check for places that deliver, or you can grab a takeaway. We recommend Kubo Canteen (1 Place Général Sarrail) for authentic Filipino food or Kairos (3 rue de Candale) for tasty homemade doner kebabs.

Important Safety Tips for Student Nights in Pubs

Before you leave for your student night, make sure you have your phone charged and with you. You may want to consider downloading a mobile app that allows you to keep track of your location and make emergency calls. Keep an ID card with you as well as some cash. Keep an eye on your drink at all times and never leave it unattended. Your safety should always come first, never go home with a stranger – drunk or sober.  If you see someone tampering with it, or something strange, report it immediately. If you feel that something is wrong, tell the staff immediately and they will take the necessary steps to ensure your safety in a discreet manner. In Bordeaux “Angela” is a safe word you can say if you feel unsafe in any way. Simply go over to staff and ask for Angela, the staff on sight will know you are unsafe and take you to a quiet area to chat and help you if you feel worried. Check out this map to see all the spots you can “Ask for Angela” if you feel uneasy or in danger. 


At the HMS Victory, you can also ask the team for a drink cover which will ensure your drink, whatever it may be, will not be tampered with !


Student nights are an amazing social opportunity for young people to explore their city and meet new people. They’re also a great way to meet fellow expats and natives alike. When going out for student nights, be sure to bring a small amount of money with you in case you get stuck in an area that’s not close to any pubs. Remember to check for happy hours to get the best deals, and keep an eye on your drink at all times. Most importantly, don’t forget to have fun! If you’re out with friends, make sure to look out for one another throughout the night. Now you have these handy guidelines, enjoy some of the best years of your life!