When picking where to go for university, many of us look to the prestige of the institution or the rigour of the course itself. However, people rarely put as much time into researching the location of the university.
Is it far away enough from your parents? As long as it’s not in your home town and you want to experience some freedom, the answer is probably yes (not that there’s anything wrong with picking somewhere close to home, if that’s what you’re looking for).
Campus or city?
However, an equally important question is whether the university is part of the city or built in a separate location. Although it may not seem to be the case initially, there can be significant differences between a campus and city uni, which can affect how you enjoy your time there.
The most obvious advantage that city unis have over campus-based ones are the much better amenities. Because the clubs in city universities will be catering to the locals and students equally, there is usually a greater variety of places to go at night (and day!) Not only that, but you can usually be guaranteed a cheaper night out.
It’s also usually easier to travel in city universities. If you know you want to visit a lot of friends, remember that travelling from a campus university necessitates an extra step (usually in the form of an expensive bus). And that’s something that a campus-bound fresher has to take into account for everything. Even a trip to the nearest town becomes a complicated event and means it’s hard to break out of the “bubble” that most campuses create.
However, campus universities are much easier to study at, thanks to everything being in walking distance of you. In a city, you could find yourself an hour away from the nearest library on foot. On campus, the worst-case scenario is 15-20 minutes. This gives you valuable sleeping time in the morning and generally makes the exam period less stressful, as even off-campus students simply have to get to one place instead of haring around all day.
Ultimately, it’s about the experience you want to take away from university, and whether you think you can balance yourself. If you can, then don’t worry about where you go too much. If not, then you should obviously be taking that into account. Try to find what works for you, and don’t be afraid to talk to current students to find out what it’s all like – they’re the best resource.
Do you have any tips on choosing between a campus and city university? Let us know in the comments below!
Photo: Navaneeth KN / Flickr