Jemima Ashdown, BA Geography, Student Ambassador

My time at Birmingham

Jemima Ashdown

"In no other subject could you attend a lecture in the morning about glaciers and a seminar in the afternoon focusing on prison architecture!"

I wanted to study at a campus university but also experience student life in a busy and exciting city. At Birmingham you get the best of both worlds. I fell in love with the campus at an open day and continue to be surprised by the new developments happening in the UK’s second city.

My first year absolutely flew by, probably because I was having so much fun. I got involved with Kinvig, the Geography society, and became social rep which was a great way to make course friends.

My favourite thing about Geography is the diversity and flexibility of the course. In no other subject could you attend a lecture in the morning about glaciers and a seminar in the afternoon focusing on prison architecture! You are able to pick and choose from a huge range of modules which means that you only study topics which interest you.

There is always something happening on campus and often you can bag yourself a freebie. In the summer, I like revising in the sunshine on the grass by Old Joe.

There is a lot more than just the Bullring shopping centre so I love going out and exploring all that Birmingham has to offer . The Ikon gallery in Brindley Place is a great little art museum. Digbeth is the cultural quarter so look out for pop up dining experiences and street art festivals. The viewing platform on the 7th floor of the new library gives great views of the city. I love visiting the Balti triangle to sample the best curries and my favourite bars are hidden away in the Jewellery Quarter.

After I graduate I’m hoping to move to London and work in PR or communications.

About the Student Ambassador Scheme

I actually became an ambassador entirely by accident. One morning I couldn’t quite remember which lecture theatre I was meant be in and felt terrible having gone out the night before. Luckily I noticed a few course mates ahead so I followed after them. Once I had sat down in the room I realised that I had actually stumbled into an ambassador training session and not my cultural geography lecture! I was too embarrassed to admit my mistake so I ended up doing the training and it was one of the best mistakes I’ve made.

It’s nice to give something back to the geography department as I feel that I’ve got so much out of it. Being an ambassador is really easy as I spend most of my time just chatting about my experiences of student life in Birmingham and the geography course too.

My top tips for prospective Birmingham students

  1. Come to an open day and have a chat with an ambassador! We will honestly answer any questions you might have and are more than happy to share our experiences and stories.
  2. Take a good look at the details of the course. You’ll be studying it for at least three years so do have a look at the modules and ask yourself whether it sounds like something you want to learn about.
  3. Go for it and get your application in!