As a student looking to study abroad in the UK, the first question you’ll be presented with is “what university should I pick?” By extension, this also raises the question of “what city?”
The City of Birmingham has often been described as the second city of the UK, after London. The multitude of reasons it has been awarded this status may also prove to be some of the key factors that sway you towards choosing Birmingham as your chosen university city. Here are some of the top reasons to consider studying in Birmingham as an international student.
Birmingham is in an excellent location in the UK as it is very central. With its train stations and airport, you can get to most places you need to go with relative ease.
The size of the city also makes it a hub for Universities and businesses that are known around the world. With the numerous apartment buildings in the centre of the city, and the student houses located outside of the centre, there are several great options for student housing in Birmingham.
The city is home to 5 Universities, all offering a range of courses and specialities with amazing facilities. We won’t go into the specifics of what each university offers but rather the facilities available to all the students in the city.
The most notable student-friendly feature of the city is the Library of Birmingham. This stunning building is located in Centenary Square next to the REP and Symphony Hall. With separate levels and two outdoor garden spaces, this library is one with plenty of spaces for you to complete your university work.
Birmingham is one of the most diverse cities in the UK, meaning the food on offer is a huge melting pot of many different cuisines. From traditional British pub grub to some of the best Indian food you can find in a restaurant, there’s a lot of variety for what’s on offer here.
Restaurants in the city aren’t just famed for their food either, with certain places being notorious for celebrity sightings. Asha’s on Newhall Street has seen the likes of Tom Cruise, Ed Sheeran, and the Rolling Stones in recent years!
One of the biggest draws of Birmingham is the vast amount of culture within the city. From hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games to producing some of the biggest names in music of all time (Black Sabbath, Duran Duran, and The Streets), Birmingham has it all.
The major shopping centre located at the heart of the city is home to one of only four Selfridges department stores in the world! Named ‘The Bullring’ as a nod to its long history of being a site for handling livestock, this shopping centre sits on the site of the old Corn Cheaping.
You can explore more of the city’s unique industrial history by taking a walk along some of the 35 miles of canals running through the city, which is said to be almost 10 miles more canals than Venice! These waterways were indispensable in the transportation of coal, heavy goods, and metals throughout the city, assisting in its development into the second city of the UK.
Located along the canals are a wealth of bars and restaurants in areas such as the Mailbox and Brindleyplace. Alongside these watering holes and eateries sits the impressive Utilita Arena, more commonly known as the NIA to locals, which hosts a multitude of live events ranging from three days of Elton John’s farewell tour to numerous nights of Peter Kay’s comeback tour in 2023!
With these huge acts playing in a large arena in the city, you would be right in assuming that the local scene is just as lively, smaller venues in the city where you can catch up-and-coming bands include the Sunflower Lounge and a local favourite the Hare & Hounds (the venue has hosted acts such as Ed Sheeran and UB40 in the early days of their careers).
As well as the thriving arts scene, the city plays host to 2 football teams in the top flights of English football. With Aston Villa playing in the Premier League, and Birmingham City playing in the Championship, there’s definitely a decision to make for who you’d want to support out of these local rivals.So whether it’s sports, music, or studies that draw you to Birmingham, studying there is one of the best decisions you can make.