By Nicola Hayman, Studential
Coming to study in the UK as an international student is a hugely exciting step into your fully-fledged adult life, but alongside a world-class education, the UK has lots to offer outside of your studies – from cultural experiences, a great nightlife to fantastic sporting and outdoor pursuits, and all this alongside the facilities available on your doorstep, at your university itself!
Whatever you’re interested in, the UK has something to offer!
The UK has a long history of great cultural endeavours in all areas of the arts – from literature to theatre, sculpture to fine art – there’s something for everyone! Most universities are in, or are a stone’s throw away from, larger towns and cities, so you will undoubtedly have a local art gallery, museum and theatre on your doorstep. A quick internet search should bring these up, but the tourist information centre in your university town is a great resource to find out more about what’s on offer. What’s more, your student status usually gets you a discount on entry fees!
Nationally, some great options include:
- The National Gallery, London – Free to enter, and with access to over 2,300 painting across a range of styles, this is a great introduction into European Art!
- The West End, London – Home to a range of theatres, and shows, the West End showcases some of the most well-known and big-budget theatre productions…
- The Edinburgh Fringe – As the world’s largest arts festival, and with nearly 54,000 shows over three weeks in August, and across a range of genres, there’s something for everyone!
University towns and cities are usually well-catered for in the nightlife department – with a whole host, of nightclubs, bars, restaurants, music venues and more on offer, usually with great prices with a student budget in mind… however if a student-catered entertainment scene isn’t so much your thing, if you look a little deeper, you will be surprised to find the variety of options available, many of which don’t need to include partying or alcohol.
Most university towns have comedy and music clubs, which offer a great night-out for very little money, with lots offering student discounts and deals, which can help stretch your student budget further.
You will also find that your university will have a plethora of organizations and societies to join, with meetings and events held throughout the week, so you’re bound to find something that fits your interests and schedule. These offer a great opportunity to meet other students, improve your language skills, and develop a greater understanding of life in the UK, with lots of details available either from your Freshers Fayre, Student Union, or International Students department.
Sporting and Outdoor Pursuits
Your university is certain to have some great sports venues on hand, from gyms and swimming pools, to cycling tracks and sailing facilities, so if sport’s your thing, you’re likely to be catered for at university, both in terms of facilities and clubs. Again, Freshers Fayre is a great opportunity to find out more about the options available, but your university will be likely to have a sports department too – check with your student services department or tutor if you’re unsure where to find out more!
Further afield, the UK is home to some of the most popular sporting events, with Football, Cricket, and Golf some of the most frequently spectated, and again, there’s a good chance of a student discount here too!
Top events include:
- The Premier League – The highlight of English Football, with matches played from August to May, this offers a great opportunity to see some top English football teams in action.
- T20 Cricket Matches – Running from April to September, this showcase of English county cricket offers evening matches, which are great fun!
- The Open – If you are interested in golf, The Open, usually held in July, offers the chance to see some top international players, on some of the best courses in the UK!
- Wimbledon – Held at the height of the summer, the Wimbledon tennis tournament is world-renowned and attracts the best tennis players (and lots of celebrities too!) – anyone for strawberries and cream?!
This is just a bite-sized look at what’s on offer to expand your social horizons whilst at university, but there’s lots, lots more – too much to mention here! Want to find out more? Our top tips include:
- Your fresher’s fayre will give a great introduction to the options available within, and through, your university directly.
- The tourist information centre in your university town/city can offer lots of in depth, local knowledge and can even book tickets and tours for you!
- Checkout sites like TripAdvisor for top rated activities across the UK, with traveller reviews which can be helpful.
Based in the UK, Studential was founded to help give every student who wants to further their education, both in the UK and Overseas, every opportunity to do so, with advice on choosing GCSEs and A Levels, applying to university, post-graduate education and more, and we were delighted to help with this article.