With September just around the corner, many students will start thinking about where to study in a year or two years’ time. When it comes to studying abroad, not only is it important to prepare well in advance but it is also key to think about where you would like to study. Choosing a university goes beyond the choice of course, students should also think about the type of university they wish to attend. Remember that at undergraduate level you will be living somewhere for three or possibly four years (if you study languages or study in Scotland for instance).
At postgraduate level, masters courses generally last one year in the UK. Many students will then go on to continue their professional careers in their university town or city following graduation. The two main types of university can be split into those in cities and those on campuses, and their attributes may or may not suit your needs.
Before you make your UCAS choices or send off your Masters application, think about the experience you would like in the UK and about your personality. Do you like nature and getting out into the great outdoors? Are you keen to live in a fast paced environment? Is it important to you to be able to connect to major train lines and airports easily?
- will give you access to a broad range of cultural and social activities associated with city life
- will enable you to participate in city life outside of your studies and to meet local residents
- will give you the opportunity to get to know the city, as you may have to travel extensively to get to the different parts of the. On the plus side you get to keep fit, on the other you may have to set aside a travel budget.
- will be challenging when you have to find your own accommodation outside of student halls (usually reserved for first year students. The advantage is you get to develop your house hunting skills for later on in life.
- will tend to be located in rural locations or on the outskirts of a town or city, ideal for nature lovers if the university is located in the countryside
- will mean easy travel as university buildings tend to be close to each other, making you feel you are living and studying in a small town. You can walk easily to everything as lecture halls, the library and halls of residence are generally grouped together
- will enable you to form friendships easily with other students on campus where many social events are organised
- won’t always offer the same variety as big cities in terms of cultural activities although student associations tend to be very active enabling you to partake in a broad range of sporting and social activities.
Whatever decision you make, try and visit at least one university during an open day to get a real feel for the location. Most universities hold these several times a year or will give you a tour with a student if you are unable to attend on a specific date.
Find out more on the dedicated StudyUK website.