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Lancaster University, United Kingdom

Greetings from Lancaster University! One of the most gorgeous countryside universities in northwest England. I have now been here for almost seven months and I’m still discovering something new every day. Lancaster is a small town just an hour away from Manchester. This makes it extremely easy to travel not only around the UK but also around Europe (many cheap flights leaving from Manchester and Liverpool regularly). It’s culturally quite similar to what we’re used to in Sydney but this quaint city is definitely a big change from our Sydney city living.

Prior to starting at Lancaster, I travelled around Europe for a month. Tackling the countries of Italy, France and Spain, experiencing some warmer temperatures before being thrown into one of the colder, rainier regions of England. After that month of travelling, I began my time at Lancaster. We commenced our first week with “Fresher’s Week” which I would recommend partaking in, it was an easy way to meet people (both exchange and local students) and to get a taste of what Lancaster has to offer. This is very much a campus university and the town is centred around the needs of students. With several take outs on campus (one of the best burrito places that is on par with GYG), a bar for each college, great sporting facilities with an amazing gym and running trails, and many societies taking over the university, there is something for everyone. For the majority of my first term, I travelled around both UK and Europe, venturing to other cities in England, Scotland, Ireland, the location of Lancaster makes it very affordable and easy to travel! After this term was over, I made the decision to extend my stay in Lancaster for another half year.

This term, I pushed myself to join more societies and travel less and embrace the student life at Lancaster more. Joining a sport I have found was an easy way to not only meet locals but also students our age. Joining hockey has proven to be one of the best decisions I’ve made. The academic life here is quite different to UTS. There is greater focus placed on coursework rather than exams for most degrees and the teaching for my business subjects have shown to be centred predominantly around group work which requires great organisation managing that around travels.

To sum up, I’d like to give you some insight into things to consider if you’re looking into choosing Lancaster:

  1. Selecting your college is not as important as it may seem. The rundown of colleges are basically Fylde and Furness are the ones located close enough to campus so if you want a nap between your lectures, you can walk back to your dorm but also just far enough to escape the chaos. Cartmel and Lonsdale are the furthest away from campus, about a 10-15 minute walk to lectures (which is good for feeling like you’re away from university but not the best during winter months). County and Bowland are located in the flurry of the campus and although close to lectures may feel like you’re never really home.
  2. Nightclubs in Lancaster. If you’re part of a society, I would recommend purchasing the “Sugarfree” card at the beginning of the year. The main nightclub in town (which is run by the student union at Lancaster) is only 45 pounds (roughly $90 – entry costs 5 pounds so if you’re going out each week – most students will be at Sugar on a Wednesday and Friday night, you’ll definitely be getting your money’s worth).
  3. Travelling from Lancaster is very convenient. If you’re travelling around the UK, you can just get a train from the station in town and it’ll be quite cheap (make sure you buy a 16 – 25 railcard as it saves you a lot of money every time you’re leaving Lancaster. If you’re travelling to Europe, don’t limit yourself to Manchester airport, sometimes the cheapest flights are from Liverpool and Edinburgh – but also make sure you consider train fares as these change from time to time (the earlier you book it, the cheaper they’ll be).

All in all, Lancaster University is an amazing place for a Sydney local to experience the life in a small town.

Alison Trang
Bachelor of Business
Lancaster University
United Kingdom

For more information about the UTS Global Exchange program please visit: www.global-exchange.uts.edu.au

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