Why did you choose Lancaster University?
Originally I favoured institutions closer to my home town, thinking that Lancaster would be too heavy a commute to stay in touch with the family. As it turns out, I ended up living about three minutes from the railway station and campus is a stone’s throw from the M6.
What do you feel is the best aspect of studying at Lancaster University?
Feeling like you’re at the cutting edge. I know of no other university that can boast Lancaster’s academic reputation while being a relatively new university. There is a sense of youth here that can’t be found at any other top ten establishment. I guess I’m a city boy at heart, but I much prefer glass and steel to dusty Victorian libraries. Here you can feel like a professional in training, as opposed to some sort of 19th Century scholar more at home in Downton Abbey.
What’s best about the social life at Lancaster?
Study in Lancaster for a term and then come back to visit before the next one kicks in. The difference is palpable. The city sleeps while the students are away, as any taxi driver will tell you in Freshers week! There’s a sense of ownership and camaraderie here that is lost in bigger cities, where the student population simply gets absorbed amongst the locals. You can ask anyone in a nightclub in Lancaster what college they’re in or which degree they study, any night of the week, and be pretty certain that they’ll be one of our crowd! My Mum also likes the fact that Lancaster has the lowest crime rate of any student city in the UK and a determined police service. Good to know that even if I can’t look after myself on a night out, someone else will!
How does Lancaster University provide you with support, advice and guidance?
This is where studying at a campus university really helps. It’s much easier having everything in one place, from the Medical Centre to legal drop-in sessions, counselling service to careers events and advisors. The University goes to great effort to make sure there are contact points between students and the people who can help – be sure to meet your Personal and Academic Tutors early on!
Personally, if I’m having a bad day I rectify this with a pasty and a visit to Grizedale bar, but for anything more serious LUSU’s job is to take care of your welfare too, and it’s a job they take seriously.
What advice would you give to students considering studying at Lancaster University?
Try and make it to as many open days as you can, but be realistic about what you can gain from them. Settling in at university is all about developing a rapport with the town, the campus and the people. It’s about making friends and growing as an individual. Don’t be surprised if a campus tour on a rainy morning in the middle of March doesn’t exactly swell you with excitement, you won’t fall in love with Lancaster until you actually move here. Short of that, genuinely try and make conversation with people on the course you are interested in. This is where you can pick up a real insight into what your life here could be like. Insider knowledge is the real commodity when it comes to picking a university.