University of Birmingham

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City of Birmingham


Life in Birmingham is quite campus-based. The university campus is enormous and gorgeous so people usually hang around the cafes and shops within campus. Life here isn’t as busy as it probably is in places like London, and people here are generally quite friendly and it is generally quite safe here as well. You will make friends with people in restaurants and shops quite easily. Although it’s not a very picturesque place, Birmingham is quite a cosy place to live in.


The weather is generally very unpredictable- expect cold( I mean extremely cold) weather from September to late April. The weather gets progressively colder as the months go by. It also snows quite frequently in Birmingham, especially in December/January. The weather starts getting warmer from April to July.

Activities and Attractions

There isn’t much to see in Birmingham- but for entertainment there are 3 main areas that I know of:

Birmingham New Street

2 train stops away from campus and is a massive shopping district. There’s a huge shopping mall called the Bullring and tons of restaurants scattered all over the area. Chinatown and a cinema can also be found within this area.

Five Ways

One train stop away from campus and it has 2 cinemas, a bowling alley and some decent restaurants. It’s a good place to go to for a movie and dinner if you don’t want to stray too far away from campus.

Selly Oak

Located just beside campus- it’s a student-based area that’s full of restaurants- you can choose a nice restaurant to have a meal at if you’re reaaaally lazy and you can’t even be bothered to go to five ways.

There’s also a Cadbury World in Birmingham, where they show you how they make chocolate and give you tons of free chocolate.

Cost of Living

Estimated cost of living: £600-800 per month in total(including all the above and random things like paying for societies, shopping and going out).

Accommodation University
Food Home Cooked
Eat Out £3-£25/meal
Mobile Bill   £10-20/mth
Transport Campus and accommodation
are within walking distance
and there’s a
free shuttle bus within campus so there’s rarely any need to
a proper train or a bus

UoB Aerial View 2014

University of Birmingham


The university is in Edgbaston, and it is the only university in England that has its own train station. Therefore it is quite easy to get to the university and to other parts of England from the station.

School life

Lessons are conducted in a lecture/tutorial fashion, and the hours of lectures vary between different courses. (For medicine, we have 9-5 days on Monday, Tuesday and Friday and 9-1pm days on Wednesdays and 9-6 days in GP clinics on Thursdays.)


Life in Birmingham is quite different from life in most other universities. Life is interesting because it has a lot less international students than the top universities. Therefore you will be forced to socialise with the locals or people from other countries and this provides you with a proper overseas “experience”.

Settling in

Settling into university life is easy, as the welcome team is very efficient and friendly. They will pick you up from the airport and help you settle mind boggling things like bank accounts, vaccinations, and insurance for your laptop. There is also a Singapore society and although it is quite small, the people are friendly and will help make you feel more at home when you are here. There is also a pre-departure event organised by the Singapore society that you can attend before going to Birmingham.

Yuen Huay Shan
Medicine (Second Year Undergraduate) ’09/10
VJC 06S33