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The city possesses a distinctly modern feel, and not just because much of its architecture is a product of the last century due to its being heavily bombed in the war. Birmingham is a major commercial center with a vibrant and influential art music scene, not to mention its six universities making it the largest center of higher education in the country outside of London.

Things to see while studying abroad in Birmingham:

Art and culture: The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is noted for its outstanding collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings and English watercolors. St. Philip’s Cathedral is another site of cultural significance, as is Birmingham Central Library, whose Brutalist architecture could not provide a starker contrast.  

Entertainment: The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Birmingham Repertory Theatre are all internationally recognized. For something more casual try the Bullring Shopping Center, which revolves around a massive Selfridges.

Music and nightlife: With bands such as Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Led Zeppelin having come out of Birmingham, it is something of a home to heavy metal. Nightlife in the city is largely concentrated along Broad Street and Brindleyplace, outside of which exist the trendy underground venues.

Parks and nature: Contrary to Birmingham’s reputation of being something of a concrete jungle, the city hosts more parks than any other European city, and Sutton Park is the largest urban park in Europe. A stroll in the Birmingham Botanical Gardens are also a must if you fancy a break from the hustle and bustle.

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