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and the general reputation of an institution may not be important if you are looking to work in a niche area. Indeed, some universities, which are not generally considered to be an elite university, may offer courses that are particularly respected in their specific field. You really need to do tons of research before making your choice!

The city… You will be living in the city where your university is based for at least three years, so you need to make sure you like it. It would be unwise to move to a city that you have never visited before, so go and take a look around before you waste a UCAS option or move to a city that you hate.

The nightlife is important to consider. Even if clubbing isn’t your cup of tea, it’s a good idea to go out and socialise with the people that you are living with. This will help you to build friendships and meet new people. Investigate the student union and the local clubs. Furthermore, try to check out the average price of drinks and entry into clubs. In larger cities, you might be looking at forking out £10 or more to get into a club on a Friday or Saturday night. Having said that, most places have student nights or student offers to help you get the most out of your loan. You can’t party hard all the time, so check out what other activities are on offer in the city you’re moving to, such as cinemas, sports facili- ties, galleries, places to eat and shopping cen- tres. It’s inevitable that you’ll get bored sooner or later and you’ll need something to do during an evening of procrastination. It might not have crossed your mind yet, but it’s also a good idea to consider the potential for getting work experience in the city where your university is. Getting work experience whilst you’re at university can be important for getting a job once you graduate. It’s difficult to get that

The nightlife is important to consider. Even if clubbing isn’t your cup of tea, it’s a good idea to go out and socialise with the people that you are living with

first piece of work experience, so you need to make sure that you maximise your chances. Do some research and find out if there are any companies in the city that offer opportunities which might interest you in the future.


Some people get homesick when they’re at university and other people don’t miss home at all. However, it’s likely that everyone will need to go home at some point. Therefore, it might be a good idea to make sure that you can get home when you really want to. For example, if you live in Newcastle and go to university in Plymouth, then it will be more expensive for you to get home. You also need to be certain that you will be able to adapt to living away from home. For many students, this will be their first experience of living away from their parents. For many people, it is the most free and exciting time of their lives. However, other people might not be able to handle not seeing their family for up to three months at a time. This is not a decision that can be taken lightly, as it may affect whether you stay at university or drop out. If you do like home comforts and the little luxuries that your parents offer you, then make sure you do actually want to move away from home.

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