Choosing Your University: Campus or City?
Campus uni or city uni? This can be one of the toughest decisions to make when choosing your university. Both have pros and cons, so the decision ultimately comes down to what kind of lifestyle and environment you think will suit you best as a student. Warwick is a campus university, but I also briefly attended a city university. Having experienced both, I wanted to talk you through some of the advantages and disadvantages of each, hopefully giving you a sense of the kind of things to consider when choosing what is right for you.
The biggest benefit of studying at a campus university is having everything nearby. At Warwick, facilities like the library, the SU and the Warwick Arts Centre are only minutes away from many of the halls which really saves you time and energy day to day. Being close to the SU and the Sports Centre is ideal for getting involved with societies and creates a strong sense of community on campus, as does the closeness of the various accommodation blocks to each other. The campus also feels very safe – in my first year, I felt confident walking to the library in the dark because the paths were well lit and I knew that campus security were there to help in an emergency, a feeling which you might not have walking around a city at night.
The only real drawback that I’ve encountered when studying at a campus university is that it can sometimes feel like you’re living in a ‘university bubble’ (especially when you’re living on campus) as you’re surrounded primarily by students and the university facilities rather than more general public spaces like you would be in a city. This said, the campus is only a bus journey away from Leamington Spa and Coventry so there are plenty of opportunities to branch out and explore beyond the campus.
Studying at a city uni also had pros and cons. I loved the excitement of living in a city and really enjoyed exploring its history and culture. There was also a greater variety of bars, clubs and restaurants as well as lots of different attractions like museums, cinemas and theatres. The downside to being based in the city, however, was that my accommodation was quite a distance from the campus so I had to get the bus everyday which was very time consuming, especially if I only needed to make a brief trip to the library or to meet with a member of staff. On the other hand, I think living in the city centre away from the campus made it easier to experience the city’s atmosphere more fully.
The decision between campus and city university is very personal and it’s important to make a choice that you will be happy with for the duration of your degree. As well as finding somewhere you can study productively, feel safe, experience independence and enjoy your free time, considering how you feel about the prospect of traveling to campus and the facilities you’ll have around you can help make your decision easier. Listing the pros and cons on paper is useful, but the best way to work out what feels right for you is to go and explore the campus and surrounding area first-hand at an open day!