Every year, thousands of Indian students leave their homes and travel to other countries to educate themselves and to be on a par with global standards which can help fulfill their professional and personal goals.
Studying abroad has been a huge trend for Indian students as it provides overall development, acts as a gateway to employability for job seekers and ensures exposure to different cultures. It also helps them to make diverse friends and connections, opens their eyes to the world of possibilities, and exposes them to the superior quality of education, lifestyle and so much more.
The UK has long since been one of the most popular destinations, thanks to its rich history, culture, proven academic excellence, and great living conditions. Foreign students are discovering hidden gems in the country which can fulfill their requirements of education, employability, and livelihood.
International students often remark on how the compact, easy and safe the city is to explore. Riya Popat, who is from Kolkata, West Bengal, in India and studying master’s in international business law, said: “I decided to study at Queen’s because of its high academic and research standards as it is a part of the Russell Group of Universities and global reputation. However, I didn’t expect Queen’s and Belfast to be so beautiful and safe. It’s such an interesting, friendly, welcoming place and its size means that everywhere is easily accessible. Belfast has a very special feel to it – there is a vibrancy and positivity about the place – as well as a spirit of inclusivity – and I feel very engaged, encouraged and exposed to great potentialities for future here.”
Belfast is one of Europe’s most hip and vibrant cities, best known for its energy and lively atmosphere. In 2018, Lonely Planet named Belfast and the Causeway Coast the Number One region in the world to visit, highlighting that it is the ‘dynamic young population that keeps the city on trend’. But it is not just tourists flocking to Belfast. There is an ever-growing international student population studying at Queen’s University Belfast.
The historic Queen’s Campus
Queen’s University Belfast is one of the oldest universities in the UK and is also considered one of the most beautiful. It is in the top 180 universities in the world (QS World University rankings 2019) and is a member of the prestigious Russell Group, a collection of 24 world-class, research-intensive universities.
The university is located just a twenty-minute walk from Belfast City Centre, in the south of the city known for its parks, tree-lined avenues, coffee houses, restaurants, and cultural destinations. The campus itself blends rich heritage and beautiful red brick buildings with state-of-the-art research facilities. Besides the campus lies the beautiful Botanic gardens with its green spaces and stunning gardens. In spring, the tulips and cherry blossom are in full bloom which gives way to fragrant roses come the summer.
The good news for students is Belfast’s affordability. It is more affordable than every other major student city in the UK (Mercer, 2016) and was found to have the lowest student rent in the UK in 2018 (Natwest Student Living Index).
The average student in Belfast only spends £16 a week on food shopping, well below the national average of £24. A standard cinema ticket will cost you £1.55 less than in England and Scotland, and an incredible £3.80 less than in London (Source: Odeon), while university gym membership is 20 percent cheaper than in England and more than 40 percent cheaper than in London (Source: University websites).
Immerse in culture and heritage
The culture and history of Belfast is as deep as it is rich. Discover the story of the Titanic at Titanic Belfast, which was named the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction in 2016. It is a city of artists, poets, authors and musicians whose influence is felt everywhere. Visitors won’t have too far to walk for an art exhibition or music recital.
And for those who prefer the countryside to cities, just a short drive from Belfast you’ll find the breath-taking beauty of the North Antrim coast, made all the more famous thanks to HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones. The Giant’s Causeway – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and geological wonder – is one of the many attractions.
For the international student, Belfast offers the perfect package: a world-leading university, a vibrant city with the renowned countryside on its doorstep. It’s also very well connected, with London only a one-hour flight away and Dublin a 1hr 30minute train journey. With all that’s on offer, Belfast’s growing attraction and reputation come as no surprise.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors’ and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house