Make your student memories and live your Uni life..
Choosing a university can be tough. Depending on your degree and your wants from your future education can be a daunting aspect for anyone looking to make their first steps to getting their degree. However, just as important is picking the city or area that you want to study in, after all it’s where you’ll be living for the next three years or more.
Deciding factors can include culture, cost of living, atmosphere and of course how much fun it is. It will always be beneficial to go and take a quick look around at the universities that catch your eye, most offer open days where you can take a look around the campus and the towns and cities that you could potentially spend your student years at. While having a snoop around, why not take a peak at what the area has to offer, perhaps have a coffee at a local cafe, grab a beer at a local pub or students union and just generally stroll and tour around the city to get a feel for the place.
If you enjoy sports and watching them, many cities have a great array of amateur sports clubs outside of the university, or if you enjoy the buzz of game day why not check out cities that are home to some of the best sports teams the country has to offer. Cities such as Cardiff, Edinburgh and the Twickenham area of London are hosts to both universities and the six nations every year, a rugby fans paradise as European teams battle it out on the pitch and create a fun and vibrant atmosphere across the cities. Cities that host high level football teams will also have an exciting and electric atmosphere when the local club plays at home.
It’s important to think of cost effectiveness as well. Different universities will be situated in areas of mixed prices, whether that be for accommodation, food or a pint in the pub. Cities such as London are more pricey compared to other locations across the UK, but do not despair as student finance offer a maintenance loan of nearly £3000 more than those who will attend outside of the capital, this can go towards rent and other essentials. Generally the north of England, Wales and Scotland are on the cheaper end of the scale meaning more bang for your student loan buck.
Living in a city can be fun, however you may prefer the feel of the campus style universities. Though Uni’s such as Hertfordshire, Warwick and Sussex may be a public transport ride away from the liveliness of the town centre they often boast great student unions and a very central student atmosphere for those studying in their first year. However, if you like the idea of being in the thick of it, consider a city style university with only a short walk to town and social hotspots.
You don’t have to go to university to have a deep appreciation for the British weather, up and down the country it rains and sleets so don’t think we will be divulging some secret tropical micro-climate where you can do your coursework under a palm tree. However, certain places are known for their dismal weather, South Wales is a major contender for the cats and dogs award, Edinburgh and Scottish locations as well as cities such as Manchester can tip it down, but hey that all just adds to the flavour, right?
Let’s not forget one of the big reasons you’re going to university, the one that you don’t tell your grandparents… drinking. Most university towns will accommodate for students with a wide range of drinking holes suited to different tastes in music and atmosphere, many student unions have pubs attached to them, which are especially handy in those tucked away campus style accommodations. While universities such as Durham and Hertfordshire may be a bit out of the way of the action at times, they make up for it near the student digs and often run cheap transport to the hotspots. Cities such as London, Glasgow, Brighton and others often find students just a stones throw away from a decent night out.
So go and take a look around at where you think your university dwells and whether the surrounding areas suite your pace of life and what you want to get out of your three years. Just remember though each University town has its own upsides and setbacks, and it is truly what you make of it that defines your student experience.