A guide to living in Coventry (as a student)
After your first year at Warwick, you will most likely be tasked with finding housing outside of campus. Coventry and Leamington Spa present themselves as the two most popular locations for student housing as they are the two largest cities/towns close to the university. Despite the fact that most students were drawn to Leamington, I chose the closer option of living in Coventry. Coventry was awarded the title of the 2021 city of culture in the UK and it is undeniable that the culture and diversity in the city is greatly noticeable. As many students are still deciding where they want to live in their final years, I thought it would be helpful for me to provide some friendly tips about living in Coventry and how to essentially make the most of your stay here as a student.
Interestingly, when looking at Coventry from a bird’s eye view, you will find that most of the modern, tall, beautiful buildings are indeed student accommodations. This is because the city houses students from Coventry University as well as Warwick University. It is very much a student-friendly city as most shops, restaurants, and pubs offer multiple student discounts. My biggest advice about living in Coventry is that if possible, select a location that is close to the city center. I currently live 2 minutes away from the train station and 5 minutes away from all the shops in the city center and I can honestly say that the location is what has made my experience so great. Like every other city in the world, there are safer and more violent parts of the town so I would suggest that you conduct a decent amount of research before living anywhere as a student. I find that living in an area where there are many students is usually safer as it creates a more student-friendly environment and community. As well as this, it is also important to make sure that you have a convenience store or supermarket nearby for your convenience. It is also useful to have a hospital or health center in close reach.
Coventry has many supermarkets scattered around the town. However, it is important to note that they vary greatly in price and quality. I personally find that Asda or Tescos provide good quality items for reasonable prices (especially if you have a Tesco’s Clubcard). There are also many local alternatives at the market for fresh meat and vegetables but it is important that you first search up when the market opens and closes because, unlike supermarkets, they can run at a more flexible time. While there are certainly many dining out options in Coventry, I would like to highlight that there are not that many healthy options. You could certainly order a salad at the many restaurants and bars around the city but I would definitely recommend cooking at home for the healthier and cheaper option.
Traveling within the city is very easy and most places are within walking distance from the city center. Otherwise, you could also take the buses which connect the city, ubers, or taxis if you wish. The 12X is the number on the bus that runs from the University of Warwick to Coventry and vice versa, it runs extremely frequently but I would recommend that you show up slightly early to the bus station to prevent possible delays that would make you late. The buses to and from Coventry are definitely much less packed than the buses to and from Leamington and this is ultimately due to the great demand for student housing in Leamington. Thankfully, I have never had to push people out of the way to get on the bus. Coventry itself is also great if you need to travel around the UK as the train station is right at the heart of the city and it connects you to places around the West Midlands as well as the rest of the country.
Overall, I would honestly say that my experience living in Coventry has been extremely enjoyable. I have made multiple friends from Warwick and Coventry University and have had the perfect balance of work and fun in the city. Overall, I would say do your research well before signing any tenancy agreements as this is where you will be living for an entire year so it is important that you are happy, safe, and supported.
Thank you for reading this blog and as always please reach out with any questions or comments!