GUEST POST: Top five student cities in the UK
Studying in a different city can be an enriching experience – or a total nightmare. Deciding exactly where to spend three or more years of your life can be a daunting decision and one that’ll leave a lasting effect on your life at university.
First and foremost, you should narrow down your decision to the cities that provide the exact course you’re interested in. Don’t settle for a similarly named course that doesn’t contain the modules you’d like to study.
Then, once you’ve picked your course provider, cross-reference it with this list of the top 5 student cities in the UK. If you can get your chosen course in one of these, you’re practically guaranteed a good time.
A beautiful, historic city situated in the North East of England, Durham is home to one of the most prestigious universities in the country. Near to Newcastle and Sunderland, the city has plenty of reasons to be proud. From the iconic cathedral, where some of Harry Potter was filmed, to the amazing collection of bars and clubs, Durham has something for everyone.
It’s also fairly cheap – with housing costing an average of £84 per week. This makes it far cheaper than the other prestigious universities such as Oxford or Cambridge.
Newcastle Upon Tyne is a half hour bus ride away from Durham but couldn’t be more distinct. The city of Geordies that is famous for Ant and Dec, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Greggs the bakers is as warm and welcoming as everyone suggests – but has a very urban edge to it that makes it appealing to a wide variety of students.
If going out and getting drunk on sub-£3 trebles then stumbling into clubs is your thing, Newcastle is home to some of the cheapest bars in the UK. If you’re more of a refined drinker, there is a burgeoning craft beer and high-class bar scene in Newcastle.
It’s also a relatively small, pedestrian friendly city and contains two universities – meaning you’ll be able to find the course you’re after in at least one of them. Student letting agents provide cheap accommodation throughout Newcastle in its many trendy suburbs, from bar-heaven Jesmond to student-haven Heaton.
Capital city of Scotland and a cultural melting pot, Edinburgh is a beautiful city with a lot to offer. The city’s population is 1/5 students, so you won’t feel alienated as you take to the streets. There’s plenty to see and do – from the jaw-dropping sites of Edinburgh castle and Arthur’s seat to the cheap drinking (around £2.50 for a pint.)
There’s plenty of shopping to waste your student loan on in Edinburgh, with the famous Royal Mile and Princes street offering shops galore. In the winter, the city centre is taken over by an enormous Christmas market and becomes absolutely magical.
What is there to say about England’s capital city that hasn’t been said before? Put simply – London is where everything happens. For students, it’s an eclectic mix of cultures and experiences and always at the forefront in fashion and lifestyle. It can, however, be very expensive if you don’t stick to student deals and offers.
An average pint in London costs more than anywhere else in the country – but many would argue the extra cost is more than worth it to be at the very centre of the UK. Not only that, but graduates flock from all over the country to work in London. If you’ve already spent your university life studying there, you’ll already be familiar with the city and ready to get a head start into employment.
If Wales appeals, look no further than Cardiff for a tremendous student experience. Cheap and cheerful, Cardiff is also relatively small so it’s easy to get around on foot. There’s plenty of entertainment to be had from the cinemas to the high street retail therapy on offer on Queen Street.
Nightlife is Cardiff is diverse and exciting – indie rock venues like Live Lounge mingle with higher-class clubs like Buffalo.
Cardiff also has one of the highest rates of job satisfaction for 18-30’s, so if you stay there after graduating you’re more likely to find a job you enjoy.