Top 5 UK cities for students

With regard to the number of international students, the United Kingdom is the third spot among European countries and is ranked sixth in the world. The UK is increasing in popularity to foreign students and despite the Brexit phenomenon, it is still one of the most sought-after global destinations for education. Moreover, seeing that the current population of foreign nationals undergoing university studies in the UK hovers around half a million people, we can safely assert that the high-profile educational prestige of the kingdom is not going anywhere.

In today’s article, we’re taking a look at the cities which foster not only great student populations, but also the best living conditions and opportunities for young people looking to further their education. We’re taking into account a wide array of criteria, ranging from the prestige of universities and the diversity of courses, to leisure, living conditions, safety and all the factors that one could associate with a student’s life. Hence, here’s the five best UK cities for students.

5. Edinburgh

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and is a city that is blessed with natural beauty and top-notch universities. With a large student population, especially compared to its overall size, Edinburgh is a popular choice thanks to social diversity, rich history, spectacular architecture and friendly residents. Communal apartments are quite common, so accommodations does not cost an arm and a leg, and the public transport system is extremely reliable. 

The Scottish capital is regarded as a city that can provide a complete student experience. It is generally affordable and provides students with an amazing nightlife, a variety of employment opportunities and a wealth of cultural events, including the world-famous Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

4. Leeds

Moving to northern England, Leeds is a well-known historical location, buzzing with a rich cultural life and a large student population. Known for its music, sports and arts scene, Leeds presents international students with an appealing experience. In 2022, the city received the highest score in the international student view indicator, a measurement that is based on a survey with over 85K responses. Most of these students appreciated the wealth of restaurants, pubs and leisure venues, all comfortably spaced in a small-town atmosphere. 

Leeds Light Night and Leeds Carnival are major attractions that draw both tourists and residents and enjoying everything the city has to offer is affordable for most people. Moreover, the transport system is reliable, but the urban center is also linked well with other places by means of train and coach services. Finally, what keeps Leeds going is the diverse student population, drawn to the north by world-class higher education institutions.

3. Liverpool

North-western England is home to Liverpool, a city with fantastic universities and great people. Liverpool has the second-highest number of museums, art galleries and parks in the country, and fosters a rich music and arts scene, as it is primarily known for being the birthplace of The Beatles. Boasting consistent transport connections and a generally low cost of living, the city does not only appeal to certain types of students, but is actually called home by around 50K international students  who live in and around the city.

Over the past few years, the demand for places at Liverpool university has constantly been increasing among foreign students and that is mainly because of the international prestige of its institutions. Likewise, people who want to further their studies and obtain qualifications can enjoy the mix of traditional British and vibrant modern culture. Currently, international students make up around 20% of the total student population.

2. Manchester

It’s no wonder England’s second-largest city made it here. Manchester is well-known at a global level thanks to its diverse culture and nightlife, as well as for its Victorian architecture. In a nutshell, Manchester has something for everyone, ranging from culture, arts and major sports teams, to historically significant destinations and world-class universities. In recent years, the city has progressed in some ranking, with students reporting higher levels of quality for a multitude of university programmes. 

The good thing about Manchester is that it is large enough for people to feel the big city vibe and enjoy its opportunities, yet small enough not to overwhelm students with faulty or unreliable transportation networks and a skyrocketing cost of living. People appreciate Manchester’s combination between a sense of community and a multicultural landscape. At the moment, the city boasts one of the largest student populations in Europe.

1. London

Sorry, there’s simply no beating The Big Smoke. This top pick might be quite obvious, and despite being the one of the most expensive cities in the UK, London still attracts people from all over the world, plenty of them looking to get a higher education degree. It is reported that the city has the third ranking among the best cities around the world in certain rankings and the wealth of educational institutions in and around Fog City cannot be overstated. 

19 of London’s universities are regarded as being among the best in the world and the sheer fact that over 300 languages are reported to be spoken in the city attests to the impressive diversity that is appealing to international students. London is also ranked second for employer activity, ensuring that people can find a job, especially with a higher education degree. In the UK’s capital, you can do something new every day and live the experience of a lifetime.

With so many great options, it is more than difficult to choose the right place for you. Obtaining a qualification in any of these cities will substantially improve your career prospects and will provide you with a better understanding of what the labour market needs and wants. If you’re unsure where you want to study or what the best course for you might be, allow us to lend a hand. We’ve literally done it thousands of times before. Contact us for more details!


Top 6 winter vacation spots in the UK

Some people find winters depressing, because of the short and cold days, the snow, the frozen natural landscapes and the overall vibe. Others love the snow and can’t wait to get their skis out, or simply take a hike and admire some beautiful scenery. Regardless of the exact category you fit in, what’s clear is that most people think that a winter vacation is what they need in order to relax at the start of the year and then get back on track.

UK winters are known to be cold, with below-freezing temperatures, ice-covered cars and fields full of snow. The month of December usually sees the least sunshine and January is typically the coldest, with Western and Northern UK being the most affected areas. With London seeing only 8 hours of daylight at the beginning of January, it’s normal for people to want to escape the urban centers and take a vacation from the hustle and bustle of their usual lives. Consequently, here are 6 of the best winter vacation spots in the UK.

1. Lake District

If you’re looking to go as far as possible from civilization and get in touch with nature, Lake District is the place for you. It is a holiday destination all year round, but it truly turns into a wonderland during winter. It’s also the quietest season, so you can admire the wilderness in peace. You can find routes for every difficulty, from lakeside strolls to more challenging hikes. If you make it to Lake District, consider the most popular spots: Wasdale Head, Lake Windermere, Coniston Water, Derwentwater and Ullswater.

2. Edinburgh

If you’re looking to stay close to other people but switch things up a bit, consider visiting Scotland’s capital, often considered one of the best tourist attractions in the UK during winter. This is thanks to the busy Christmas markets, the fairground rides, the largest open-air ice rink in Europe, all accompanied by festive food and world-class restaurants. You can walk up to Arthur’s Seat or Holyrood Park to get some majestic views of the city. Visitors love the ancient buildings and cobbled streets and vow to return to wintery Edinburgh.

3. North Wales

If underground zip-lining or mountain biking sound like your cup of tea, the northern coast of Wales is the place to be during the winter months. Make sure you stop by Llechwedd and Snowdonia National Park, but also pay a visit to the towns of Conwy, Wrexham and Bangor in order to get a taste of a true Welsh winter. If you’re willing to make the drive down south, the Brecon Beacons is a veritable winter wonderland, a national park that amazes all tourists. Wye Valley and Abergavenny are only a short distance away and they are also worth a visit.

4. Bath, Devon & Cornwall

Starting from Bath, one of the architectural delights of England, you can kick off a roadtrip through Devon and Cornwall that will make your winter holiday. These areas are also beautiful all year round but the magical winter scenery cannot be overstated. Exmoor and Dartmoor are good places to stop, as they are known for their picturesque beauty, while the southern parts of Devon are known for warmer temperatures. Check out the palm-tree lined English Riviera, spend a night in Torbay and then move on to Padstow, St Ives and Mousehole, in Cornwall.

5. Giant’s Causeway

Northern Ireland’s iconic World Heritage Site draws tourists from all around the world and for good reason. Known as the Giant’s Causeway, this area made up of tens of thousands of interlocking basalt columns is the majestic result of ancient volcanic eruptions and looks simply spectacular. Access is free of charge and visitors usually also pay a visit to the Bushmills distillery, located only a couple of miles away.

6. Aberdeenshire

You don’t need to go to Austria or Switzerland for great skiing. Glenshee in Aberdeenshire is the most extensive skiing area in the UK, with over 25 miles of slopes, a vast diversity of natural terrain and accessible runs for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. If you’re looking for an area that is dedicated exclusively to beginners, consider going to Lecht, one of the smaller nearby resorts. It is essential to be prepared with the appropriate outdoor gear, but other than that, you’re good to go if you fancy hitting the slopes this winter.

Horourable mentions: York, Glasgow, Orkney Islands, Isle of Skye, New Forest, Cairngorms