Lauren Novelli is a third year undergraduate BA History and Theology student. Here she shares the reasons why she chose to study at the University of Birmingham.

 Written by Lauren Novelli

Choosing which university to go to is a daunting task. Being the first in my family to attend further education, I know how challenging and overwhelming the process can be. Looking at various results, consulting league tables, scrolling through websites and then visiting campuses all around the country… It can be a lot to take in, and often students are so concerned with the academic side of university life that they forget to take a step back and consider the bigger picture.

After being a student for two years I have compiled a few of my favourite things about the University of Birmingham, some of which may not be obvious to prospective students on open days. These are not to do with academics and results, but try to give a bigger picture of why I am so pleased I chose to study at UoB.

If you have visited us on a sunny day, you will have seen how beautiful campus is. With stunning red brick buildings and lush, green spaces all around (including the Green Heart right at the centre of the university) it really is a special place to study. The campus at UoB is the prettiest I have seen and my friends and I never get bored of walking around. Each season offers something new, from the beautiful cherry blossom trees that bloom in spring to the Virginia Creeper plant that covers the Arts Building in a wonderful deep red colour in autumn. One thing remains constant though, our friend Old Joe the clocktower who is always at the centre of the university. Make sure not to walk through when he chimes though… We students have a superstition that this will mean you fail your degree, so save it for graduation!

Lauren stands with hand on hip under a stone archway. In the background is the University of Birmingham clock tower.

Lauren loves exploring the redbrick buildings on campus 

The university is the only one in the country that has its own train station on campus. It only takes 7 minutes to get from ‘University’ station at the bottom of campus to ‘Birmingham New Street’ (Birmingham’s major train station). This is particularly useful for commuter students and those wishing to go into town straight after class. It is very cheap to travel to and from and there tends to be trains leaving every 10 minutes. On the same line, ‘Selly Oak’ station is another 3 minutes away and is where many students choose to live after first year. It only takes one minute to walk to the station from my house which means I can get into town very easily whenever I want to.

After spending less than 10 minutes on the train, you are in the centre of Birmingham. The Bullring is situated seconds away from the station and you can find pretty much anything you need there. Birmingham City Centre is the home of hundreds of restaurants, clubs, museums, theatres, pubs and more! Furthermore, if you want to get a part time job somewhere in the city centre it is relatively easy to do so. One of the things that I love about UoB is that it has its own secluded, pretty campus but also has a thriving city centre less than 10 minutes away which is hugely convenient for nightlife, shopping, work and travel.

Home to over 300 societies, the Guild of Students is an integral part of university life. Not only can you go there to hang out with friends or attend a society meeting or rehearsal, the Guild also hosts club nights especially for UoB students. ‘Fab n Fresh’ takes place every Saturday and ‘Sports Night’ every Wednesday.

There are so many other things I could mention about the University of Birmingham and why I love studying here. When you visit on an open day, make sure to pay attention to little details like these and please ask the Student Ambassadors about their experiences or voice any concerns you might have – we love talking to you and want to help you make the best decision possible!

I am so glad that I chose the University of Birmingham for my degree. Although studying is obviously really important, making sure you choose somewhere that you will enjoy living for the next stage of your life is equally as important. I would really encourage you to ask questions, attend an Open Day and look around – you won’t regret it.