3rd year student David talks about studying Psychology and living in Birmingham
Why choose Birmingham?
I went to see four or five different universities when I was choosing which one I wanted to go to. When I went to the Birmingham open day, it was a horrible day, chucking it down with rain. Despite that, when I came onto the campus, I thought, 'wow, this is the place for me!'
I really do think it was the campus that made me want to come to the University. If you come and see for yourself you’ll see that the buildings look pretty impressive. There is some really vast, big, old fashioned buildings and they look pretty historical and traditional. It really gives you a sense that it is a really academically respected university.
When you walk around the University, you start to realise that despite this grand appearance, the University is really modern and up-to-date. I think visiting on the open day was really what made me want to come here.
The campus itself has lots and lots of facilities. Obviously, you have your academic departments and all the buildings. The campus itself has plenty of shops and catering facilities.
There is a big library which is very useful and has a very welcoming feel to it. Even though, you sometimes might not feel like being there at 9.00am in the morning, you still enjoy going to the library and finding a space – and it’s easy to sit down and work in there. The computer facilities in the library are brilliant; you always find a computer. If not, you can bring a laptop with you and find a nice space to sit down and work.
Shops on campus, as I say are really good – you’ve got all the shops you need, really. There's a Waterstone’s where you can buy all of your academic materials; a stationers, and lots of banks on campus as well, so you don’t have to travel into town if you need to sort out bank things, pay in cheques, and things like that.
The cafés and shops are also really, really good. The University has a chain of cafés across campus including a healthy option that sells sandwiches, salads, jacket potatoes and things like that. The food on campus is really good as well.
Also, the sports centre is another facility which I like to use. It’s very reasonably priced for students in comparison to a lot of public facilities. It’s nice to have it on campus. When you finish lectures, you can go to the gym or the swimming pool or something like that.
I’m in my second year now, so I’m living in Selly Oak, in private rented housing with six of my friends that I made from halls of residence last year. The majority of second and third year students tend to live in the Selly Oak area.
It’s a great student community in Selly Oak. We are living in a house of six and it’s a really good experience, very different from living in halls. You have to get used to a lot of different things. In many ways, you really do have to become a lot more responsible for yourselves and you have to grow up and mature a lot. You need to get used to paying bills, paying insurance and rent and things like that and dealing with landlords.
When you are living in halls, simple things like having rubbish taken out gets done for you by wardens. When you are living in houses, you need to make sure you do things like that yourself. Living in Selly Oak itself is a really, really great place to live. As I say, there are lots of students living there; you're never too far from friends living near you. And there are lots and lots of pubs and shops and supermarkets very near. You really don’t have far to go to get what you need.
Advice to prospective students
I think if I had to sum up the University of Birmingham to prospective students, I’d say that it has everything that you’d want in a university. The campus itself is really nice. It’s a large campus and has a very historical, traditional feel to it. The University itself is modern and up-to-date and has a very friendly, positive feel about it.
Obviously, being in Birmingham you are in an amazing city. It has a great night life, there is brilliant shopping. It’s one of England’s bigger cities. The University itself is situated in a very nice part of Birmingham, near Edgbaston and it’s only ten minutes away from the city centre. The transport links means that it’s fairly quick and very, very cheap to get into the city.
I think the advice that I’d give any prospective student would be really just to come and visit the University and see for yourself, because that way you really do get a feel for what the University is like.