Cassandra Hee, Malaysia
My name is Cassandra and I am orginally from Malaysia and studying my undergraduate degree at the University of Northampton.
Some people might feel the university life cycle is repetitive, especially studying in a small town, such as Northampton. Towns have their own advantages too though, and that has really helped me to feel at home here in the UK. Of course, when you think of England, the big cities such as London, Manchester, Nottingham etc. might appear in your mind first but my points below illustrate why you might want to make the University of Northampton your first choice for your UK studies.
Enjoy low living costs
Compared to big cities, accommodation and living costs in towns tend to be cheaper. For instance, you are able to get student accommodation for around £100 a week including all the bills. Additionally, the food is cheaper than the big cities, including eating out. From the money you save here, you can use the pennies you save to cover costs to travel and social activities. There are lots of interesting destinations to explore in the UK or around Europe and it is convenient and cheap if you buy tickets in advance. During Easter, Christmas or summer holidays, I advise always trying to plan some countries to travel with your friends or family. You might never get this opportunity again!
Receive more personal attention
The university of Northampton is not the biggest UK University but this is a huge advantage for your learning. They are focused on smaller class sizes and more personal attention. For example, inside my leather technology class, there are only more or less 30 students inside the classroom. The lectures are therefore able to pay more attention on the students and give more one on one support.
If you hope to make your studies more effective, I would recommend a town like Northampton as the students can be more focused on their studies. Although Northampton has its own night life, shopping malls and tourist attractions, it is easy to get to bigger towns by train, such as Milton Keynes, or Birmingham should you need to. In Northampton town centre, there is a theatre named Royal & Derngate, which students are able to enjoy – it hosts many shows, musicals and comedy performances so if you are into performing arts there is no need to travel too far.
The University has a brand new campus, Waterside. The facilities inside the campus are very focused on high-technology. There are lots of cafes and restaurants inside the campus, including a very relaxing area and rooftop bar in the learning hub. The Learning hub is my favourite building as the library is open 24 hours and the environment is very peaceful.
Varied Accommodation options
For accommodation, only first year students can stay inside the halls. Therefore, most second or third year students, choose to stay in private accommodation with friends. Again, as Northampton is a town there is lots of choice near the new campus which is not too expensive. Students can do grocery shopping at Morrison’s, which is just 5 mins away from the campus. If you face some problems on accommodation, you are able to contact the International Student Support team, firstname.lastname@example.org. They can help you with any problem you may face and this is very reassuring as an international student.
My university life in Northampton so far has been interesting and amazing. Remember, it all depends on how you think about the town, the University and the environment you choose. If you want a quieter experience but still lots to do and see with easy access to big cities, Northampton could be for you too!