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Student with Study Abroad questions about UK

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1. Posted by jagroves (Budding Member, 9 posts) 19 May '09 18:03

jagroves has indicated that this thread is about United Kingdom

I'm preparing to study abroad in the UK next school year and need to decide on a school. Other then a 3 hour lay over in Heathrow I have no experience in the UK and don't really know anything about the cities. I want to be in a city that has a good nightlife and bar scene, lots a major events (concerts and sporting events), and just has a lot to do and see in general. I would assume London would solve most of those problems but the size of it is really intimidating and i know it's expensive. Cost of living is also a big deal. Here's a list of the schools I'm considering just based on my majors and minors with the city it's in in parenthesis if it's not already in the school name.

Warwick (Outskirts of Coventry)
Sheffield
Birmingham
Southampton
Leicester
Cardiff
Leeds
Newcastle
Nottingham Trent
Sussex (outskirts of Brighton)
Goldsmith (New Cross, London)
Lancaster
UEA (Outskirts of Norwich)
Hull
Brunel (Very, very west side of London; 3 miles north of Heathrow)
Kingston
Queen's, Belfast
Coventry
Portsmouth
UWE Bristol
City (London)

Anything you guys have will help. Thanks.

2. Posted by apiabroad (Budding Member, 2 posts) 19 May '09 19:00

Dear Jagroves,

My name is Jeramy Johnson, and I am the Director of Programming and Communications at Academic Programs International (API). API runs study abroad programs across Latin America and Europe, including the UK.

Regarding the locations that you listed, we have programs in Leeds (the University of Leeds) and in London (University of the Arts, London, London School of Economics, and the University of Westminster).

I don't know what your major is, but considering the cities you listed as desirable, and the criteria for the city you are interested in, I would HIGHLY recommend Leeds. Leeds is know as a university town, and is very welcoming and accommodating for young people of all backgrounds. As a university town, there are many cultural and extracurricular activities available, a good nightlife, sports scene, and the second biggest opera/theatre center outside of London. Leeds is also centrally located for travel around England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and other points in northern Europe. Leeds is also generally cheaper than London.

Regarding academics, the University of Leeds is one of the largest undergraduate schools in the UK, with excellent schools of business, English literature, and a wide variety of other majors (see API's website for extensive listings (http://www.academicintl.com/city.php?program_id=23&country_id=9&city_id=23&country_image_id=9&city_image_id=42&content_id=585&page_type=program_schedule).

I could tell you much more if you are interested :) Please feel free to follow up with me if you would like to discuss API's study abroad options in the UK.

Best of luck to you!

Sincerely,

Jeramy Johnson

3. Posted by jagroves (Budding Member, 9 posts) 19 May '09 22:29

My major is Journalism and my 2nd major is either Politics or History. I haven't decided yet.

I saw on your website that the fee for a year at Leeds is $30,500. But according to the Leeds U. website it says it's a little more than $13,000 for the whole year. What's with the huge discrepancy in the tuition? What can you guys give me that I can't get by going abroad independently.?

4. Posted by Buzzcock (Full Member, 178 posts) 19 May '09 23:22

If living costs are an issue then you'll find that Coventry is fairly cheap in relative terms. As far as student nightlife is concerned it is generally OK. Other than that the city centre is pretty dead during the evening. For seeing bands and so on you'd need to travel to the NEC 'Arena' (12 miles west of Cov, 7 miles east of Brum) or into Birmingham itself, though some bands have started performing at the Ricoh Arena 3 miles north of the city centre.

The University of Warwick is a self-contained campus on the south-western edge of Coventry with its own Arts Centre. Whereas the Coventry University students live mostly in or near the city centre, University of Warwick students live mostly either in the south-western suburb of Earlsdon or in Leamington Spa, to where there are regular bus services but where housing costs are about a third more expensive on a like-for-like basis. The University of Warwick also has a lot of campus-based accommodation, there being a shopping centre called Cannon Park within 5 to 10 mins walk.

5. Posted by travelbug_ (Respected Member, 110 posts) 20 May '09 01:35

Hi Jagroves

I actually live in B'ham and find that it has everything to cater to your every need. It's also cheaper than London.
We do have concerts, musicals, plays etc .
If you base yourself in B'ham you could easily commute to Warwick University, Coventry Uni and as you know there are the Uni's in B'ham as well.

Good Luck

travelbug_

6. Posted by apiabroad (Budding Member, 2 posts) 20 May '09 05:55

Jagroves,

That is a very good question - why would you consider a provider versus directly enrolling?

You are correct that directly enrolling can be a less-expensive option for some students, particularly if they already have housing arranged, and know the area quite well.

That being said, many students prefer to study abroad with program providers such as API because of the additional support services included.

In addition to the tuition, API study abroad programs in Leeds include housing, comprehensive medical and life insurance, mobile phones, organized excursions, weekly cultural events, and amazing on-site staff who are there to assist you in every step of the process (among other features).

The actual cost of tuition for directly enrolling at Leeds is somewhat higher than what you quoted, and does not include housing (a substantial portion of your overall expenses for the year), nor does it include the extensive pre-departure or on-site services that API can provide (some of which I briefly mentioned above - insurance, excursions, phone, cultural events, resident director, etc).

I hope that I was able to answer your question. Please feel free to follow up with any additional questions or concerns should you be interested.

Sincerely,

Jeramy

7. Posted by janesgarde (Budding Member, 37 posts) 20 May '09 12:16

Hi Jagroves
THat is quite a list.

I can tell you not to go to Norwich, my daughter is there, loves the uni, but it is QUIET.

London is expensive, tho you learn where to eat etc. cheaply. And you will never be bored.

Other cities, Cardiff, B'ham, Bristol, S'hampton, Sussex, are all going to be good. Cardiff and Bristol particularly, and good countryside nearby if you want to get away
The northern cities, hey, I know it's just me, but I think people can be a bit tougher up there. It depends where you are from, what you will be happy with. But they could be pounding with what you want.

Balfast, Northern Ireland, it's going to put your costs up a lot simply to get there. have a look at a map.

To get an idea of concerts have a look at ticketmaster and you will see if concert prices vary from north to south.

Good luck
J

8. Posted by jagroves (Budding Member, 9 posts) 20 May '09 13:28

Ya I know it's a long list. I've just started looking though. It's going to be cut down pretty soon. I know I can get rid of UEA, Brunel, Sussex, and Warwick. I'm just going to get rid of those because they're on the outskirts and i'd rather be in the city center. I did a little research on Cardiff and it looked really interesting. Campus near the city center and it looks like there's a pretty good night life. Anyone have an opinion on Cardiff?

9. Posted by Clarabell (Travel Guru, 1696 posts) 20 May '09 14:39

Hi

From my own experience I can recommend Sheffield as great city to be a student in. I came to University here in 1997 and stayed and made it my home. Since there are two large universities, nightlife etc is great. Big enough to have loads to do, but not so big its impersonal or daunting. People here are very friendly. Living costs are cheap.

If you wanted to see more of England, Sheffield is a great location since its so central, well connected by train to London, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds etc, all within quite short journeys. Also if you like outdoorsy stuff, there is great countryside on the doorstep, with the Peak District National Park just outside the cit to the west, only about 30 minutes by bus.

Sheffield University had a good reputation but I have no idea what costs etc are for international students.

10. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru, 2026 posts) 21 May '09 10:44

Don't rule out Sussex just yet - Brighton is top for nightlife and it's quite feasible to live in the city and study at the university, it's a small place so travelling doesn't take long. I went there and thoroughly enjoyed it - I recommend you check it out before you discount it.