University is a costly investment, so you want to make the right choice when it comes to choosing the place that you’ll be spending a significant proportion of your time at! Much is made of the process of choosing a university – people pour over league tables proclaiming what university is best for subject, discuss the Russell Group or 1994 group at great length and check up on how the subject they want to study is taught at different universities. However, certain factors, that turn out to be important once you’re studying at university, are often forgotten about. Here are five things that you might not have thought to consider when you’re thinking about what uni to attend:
1) Does it have good transport links?
When you’re choosing a university, look into how easy it is to get from where you’d be living to home. Would you easily be able to get back via a train or coach (at first, most people don’t take their cars to uni as student accommodation often has limited parking)? This is important to think about especially if you can’t drive, as, if you’re like me and don’t travel light, you might want to be able to get a more direct train or coach home if you’re bringing lots of stuff home each holiday.
2) How easy is it to get from student accommodation to the university campus?
Sometimes, the areas where students live are situated quite a long way from the places where you’d be attending classes, which means students in this situation have to get a bus, train or drive to campus. Being able to walk onto campus could save you time and money.
3) Are there adequate societies and facilities for the extra-curricular interests you have?
I’ve spent a significant amount of my time at university doing things related to student media. If I’d got to the university I attend and found there wasn’t a student newspaper set up there, I would have been very disappointed. Check on universities’ union or guild websites to see what societies and facilities a university has, as they do not all have the same ones. For example, you could check whether a university has facilities for a sport you’d like to play alongside your studies.
4) What’s the nightlife like?
This is something to consider whether you enjoy going to clubs or not. I am of the opinion that the amount of clubs a university city or town has can give you a very good idea of how your potential new flatmates might feel about going out. For example, people who choose universities with a big party scene in the city or town (like Leeds, for example) might have chosen them with this factor being a reason for their decision. If you like going out, you might be more suited to a bigger city with more clubs and bars, whereas if you don’t like going out, a town or city with less nightlife might be better for you.
5) Does the university offer first-year accommodation that’s right for you?
The majority of university students live in halls in their first year of study, and they’re a great way to make friends with other students. However, you might prefer accommodation that has an ensuite or catered accommodation, where your certain meals are provided. Check catered hall provisions (some don’t serve lunch, for example) as well as self-catered ones.
If you have any ideas for other things that should be considered, comment below! 🙂