Why I Chose the University of Birmingham for my Undergrad

4 February 2019

I’m in final year now but I still remember how difficult it was to be in year 13 and have to make the huge decision of which Uni I wanted to go to. My main priority was that the university had a good reputation and that I would enjoy the course, however that didn’t really narrow it down too much. 

Actually going and visiting the Uni’s in person really helped me to decide; I liked the campus and social scene at Warwick but it lacked the ‘city life’ I was used to at home, I tried Sheffield and the city was great but I didn’t like that the buildings were spread across the city centre. From this it was clear that I wanted a University based in a city, but which had its own campus, that helped narrow it down to Nottingham and Birmingham, which were both about an hour away from my hometown.

Both Notts and Brum are great student cities, both Uni’s had beautiful green campuses and were well regarded for English Literature so in the end my decision actually came down to rather specific points. So, if you’re curious, these are the points that tipped my decision and made me choose Birmingham. 

Transport – Arriving to Birmingham via the Uni’s own train station really showed how well connected everything is in Birmingham. I was really surprised to learn that people get the train into town, rather than getting the bus like in most cities, but its only 10 mins from Uni station and an off-peak ticket is less than £2 so it’s a no brainer really. Furthermore, being in the centre of the UK geographically and having easy access to major transport hubs means that most other cities are cheaply and easily accessible from Brum, which makes it perfect for weekends away or visiting friends.

City – Birmingham is often referred to as the UK’s ‘Second City’ after London, its true that living in a big and vibrant city certainly has its perks. There’s so much to do in and around town from shopping to world class museums, quirky bars or crazy golf. Birmingham already has a lot to offer but the rapidly expanding city is only set to get better in the next couple years. If you’d like to see some of the best things to do in Brum have a look at my other blog posts or my Instagram

The Guild – Every Uni has a student’s union but I really loved how involved the guild was at Birmingham, particularly the fact that the weekly student nights (Fab n Fresh and Sports Night) were actually held on campus in the guild which is just a short walk from first year and private housing. 

Accommodation – Before I came to Uni I knew that I wanted to be in catered halls, but I didn’t realisejust how different each approach to catering could be. A lot of the catered halls I looked out elsewhere were very old and dated and the meal system was quite inflexible. As well as this, some other Uni’s had a first come first served allocation for accommodation which meant by the time I had made up my mind everything I liked was full! This couldn’t be further from the case at Birmingham, all the accommodation I looked at was frequently updated and the meal plan system allowed me flexibility and choice in my meals rather than the take it or leave it approach I saw elsewhere.

Facilities – Again, other Uni’s that I visited where nice but the facilities tended to be quite tired, going to Uni is an investment in your future and students want to feel like they’re getting good value for money for their fees. The year I started at Birmingham a brand new library opened in September, followed by a new gym and various other study spaces which had been refurbished. Overall the campus was the perfect blend of traditional and modern and I could really see myself living and studying at Birmingham.

The one piece of advice I would give to anyone deciding where to study is to come and see for yourself! The best way to see which Uni is the best fit for you is to just walk around and soak up the atmosphere, see if you get ‘the feeling’ everyone talks about, try and picture yourself living there for three years. Visiting Birmingham myself allowed me to really get to know the University and see the little differences that made it stand out as the place for me. It’s been nearly three years now since I set my heart on Birmingham and honestly I couldn’t be happier, I’d love to do it all again. 

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