I have spent my semester abroad in Bristol and can only say good things about it. I arrived on the official day of arrival, September 17th. After using the weekend to find my way around, I met new people and made friends very quickly. This happened not only in the dormitory run by the university, but also at the numerous events that took place in the first week – the orientation week. In addition to some compulsory events for foreign students, there are also many voluntary events, such as the so-called “fair”, which takes place at the end of the introductory week. It is advisable to take part in the majority of all events in order to get to know the city and the people around you better.
The fair consists of many “societies” and sports clubs that introduce themselves to the students and advertise their membership. Personally, I can highly recommend the Real Ale Society, as a membership, which is only around € 5 for one year, also brings many discounts in numerous pubs with it. In addition to these, there are also a number of meetings where you meet a lot of people and make further friendships. Also, one should always keep an eye out for coupons and discounts that are being given out to students these days. The Dominos voucher catalog is particularly helpful here, as it was the main source of food for most people during their time in Bristol. At the events of the International Office, you can also find out which of the courses you have previously chosen at home. If you do not agree, you can still try to come to other courses in the first week, which usually works and you can change courses up to 3 weeks after the start of the lectures. Visit ehuacom.com to get information about study in Slovakia.
Overall, Bristol is an extremely beautiful city where you can see something new and interesting around every corner. One of my favorite places here is definitely the very popular and inexpensive Bekeley’s, which is part of the JD Wetherspoon’s pubs chain. Here you can drink very well and also eat quite well. Unfortunately, as in almost every other pub in England, curfew is already at 1am on the weekend. After that, you can only move on to clubs. Another very nice place that you have to visit at least once is the park around the Cabot Tower as well as this itself. It is located on a small mountain not far from the university. Once there, you can see a very nice little park with mostly a lot of squirrels, which like to be fed. But it’s even nicer when you take the trouble To climb the stairs of the Cabot Tower, because from the top you have a wonderful view of Bristol and the university buildings. Enclosed are some photos that give you a little insight into the view.
Another must-see in Bristol is definitely Bristol’s landmark, the Suspension Bridge. This offers a breathtaking view of the river below including the gorge and the beautiful surroundings of Bristol. So if you are not afraid of heights, you will not be able to miss this excursion, as the bridge is also very close to the university (walking distance approx. 10-20 minutes).
Bristol also has a very beautiful harbor with adjoining docks that you can stroll along. Bristol also offers many smaller places that are best discovered by walking through the city and the university district.
As I have already briefly mentioned, the Cabot Tower is located on a small mountain. You definitely have to get used to this when you come to Bristol, because the city is a single up and down hill, which also brings out beautiful views again and again. If this sport is not enough for you, you can register in the university gym. This offers a variety of training options and also different passes to have access to different areas, such as the pool. For students who are only there for one semester, you can apply for a membership for half a year for the equivalent of about 125 €.
Generally speaking, the people of Bristol are incredibly friendly and helpful. In addition, the city is culturally very diverse and open. Here you meet a lot of people from different parts of the world. So everyone can find their place here and the city offers enough locations or sights for everyone.
I found university life here to be relatively relaxed compared to my studies in Germany. Since normally only 3 units can be chosen, you have to attend an average of 6 events of 1-2 hours each. Depending on the unit and professor, you have to do most of the work at home, but this is within limits. The courses are generally much smaller than in Germany, as a lecture has a maximum of 30 and a seminar has 15 participants. In addition, most events – whether lectures or seminars – are designed to be quite interactive, so that it doesn’t get boring easily. The lecturers are really very helpful and look forward to inquiries. It does happen here that you go out for a coffee with your lecturer. I visited the units “ Contemporary British Cinema ”, “ Introduction to Disability Studies ” and “ Personal Welfare Services ”, which I can only say good things about.
Now to my place of residence. During these months I lived in the university dormitory “Durdham Hall”. This is a very nice and small dorm, in which you share an apartment with 5 other students, as is usually the case in England. Here you have your own room with bathroom and a shared kitchen with dining area. The dormitory and its staff can be rated very positively, but it is far away from the university and the city center and some also refer to it as “Dulldham”, as there is not too much going on here. Still, I can only recommend this and would definitely recommend a self-catered dorm in general, as I haven’t heard good reviews from others. In dormitories that are not self-sufficient, for example, the meal times are set very inappropriately because they are set far too early on the weekend, for example. Here everyone should find out more for themselves. It has to be said, however, that the university dormitories are generally all quite expensive. I paid around € 750 a month here.
If you like to travel, you should definitely take advantage of this opportunity. There’s so much to see around Bristol. The best way to travel here is either by train or by National Express. The train is very cheap to get to beautiful places such as Bath or Weston-Supermare. Bath is the hometown of Jane Austen and has many attractions, such as the Roman Bath or the Fashion Museum. There is also a nice Christmas market here at Christmas. Weston-Supermare has a very nice sandy beach with an even more beautiful sunset over the sea. Cardiff can also be reached by train within 2 hours. This drive is also definitely worth it, as there is a lot to discover in Cardiff, such as Cardiff Castle, from which you can look down on the whole city. London or Oxford. You can get to London for € 5-10.
For everyone who would like to know a few more figures about their stay in Bristol, here are my average expenses. The dormitory cost a total of around € 3000 for 4 months. The tuition fees for me were around 5700 €. On average, I spent between € 100-150 in a week. In total, I spent almost € 15,000 on everything over the period of 4 months, traveling a lot and often going out. To collect the money in England, I got a savings card from my home bank, so I didn’t have to pay any conversion fees at the ATMs. However, everyone should find out about the possibilities in advance from their bank. All figures vary depending on the current euro to pound ratio.
All in all, my time in Bristol was the time of my life. I made a lot of new friendships, saw and experienced a lot of new things and absolutely took the city into my heart. If I could go back, I would definitely choose the city again. I hope the report helped you with your decision and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask me. I hope you enjoy your stay abroad!