Choosing the right place for you to go to university can be a daunting and difficult task. There are so many factors to consider such as getting the grades that you need to apply, considering your selection of universities and finding a course that interests and inspires you. Often, it is said that choosing a university means finding the right place for you but how exactly can we do this? One way of narrowing down your important decision could be deciding between studying in a city, at a university like King’s College London, or instead, opting for a campus experience in Bath or at Exeter.
Whilst moving to a big city might not provide you with your typically-imagined university experience, it comes with certain advantages that are unparalleled elsewhere. However, if you grew up or are used to living in a big city, you might not consider anything but city life. Studying in the city means that you are a person that enjoys and thrives within a fast-paced and busy environment. It provides you with the opportunity to meet different, international people from all walks of life and not just other students that go to the same university. Studying in a city like London, for example, provides you with incredible access to libraries like Senate House or the chance to visit exhibitions at the Tate Modern. Furthermore, it means that you always have a variety of places to choose from when going out, so if you enjoy discovering new haunts for dinner or to go clubbing, a city experience might just be for you. Living in a city also provides you with many more work opportunities – both part time to support yourself whilst studying, as well as internships, which could lead to finding a job after you finish. Unlike your friends who might have become more accustomed to living outside of a city, you won’t fear the commute across the city as it will have become a regular aspect of your everyday routine. It is important though that if you do decide to study in a city, you are someone that can be self-disciplined and focused, as there is so much to do and be distracted by!
A campus university experience can feel safer, especially if it is your first time living away from home. It is arguably easier to make friends as you are constantly surrounded by other students who understand exactly what you’re going through. If you are someone that is worried about your safety in a big city, then a campus university might be a better fit for you. It also means that when going out or to the library, you will recognize most people – so the familiarity may be a comfort to you. Another positive – particularly for those who struggle to get out of bed in the morning – is that you can roll out of bed five minutes before your 9am lecture! Most importantly, though, you will feel as if you really belong within a community. Whilst there is more to do in the city, at a campus university you will be encouraged to take full advantage and be more involved in all of the extra-curricular activities or societies. If you are hankering for the “classic” university experience, then a campus experience might be a better choice for you.
Both campus and city experiences have their own advantages and disadvantages, which can heavily impact how much you enjoy your time at university. It is important to remember that living in a city or on a campus will not determine whether you have a “better” experience but it will mean that it will be different. In order to best make your decision: do your research, speak to your friends or people that you know that studied at a campus or a city, and visit both environments so you can decide for yourself which is right for you.
- By Lili Melvin