When I was deciding where I was going to apply for university, the fact Game of Thrones was filmed in Northern Ireland wasn’t the exclusive reason for me to apply to Queen’s University Belfast (though I won’t lie and say it wasn’t an influential factor). Belfast is a great city for students and being completely honest, it’s the city life that has made my university experience.
Belfast has a lot of points of interest, although I appreciate that the historical and political legacy might not be the most compelling factors for anyone other than, maybe, a history or politics student. Here are all my favourite reasons why Belfast is the best city for cash-strapped students!
Belfast Has the Lowest Cost Of Living For Students Living and Studying In the UK
Granted, you’re not going to experience the true benefit of this in the first year. Wherever you’re studying, halls are expensive enough to bankrupt even the most frugal of students on the maximum student loan. By the second year, however, you’ll certainly find your purse is less strapped.
The average cost of rent in a house share in Belfast is £250 a month – compared to £400 in Leeds or Edinburgh, or £350 in Manchester. Rent prices in Belfast are a mere fraction of the cost of rent for student houses in London. All the more cash for Freshers!
An Affordable – Not Non-Existent – Social Life
If you’re not one for wasting your money on drinking (though I guarantee Belfast will change that) then you won’t find yourself bored in an attempt to save money. Living in Belfast myself, I can tell you there’s plenty to do even if you’re sticking to a strict budget. Fancy yourself a film buff?
A standard cinema ticket will cost you £1.55 less than in England and Scotland. Enjoy old architecture? Belfast is a compact enough city you can walk the length and width of it – taking every opportunity to photograph the beautiful Belfast buildings for your Insta all without spending a penny.
Here at Society19, we know a good food scene when we see (or taste?) one, and as previously established, Belfast is an unexpected champion for any foodie, including the one on a budget. Belfast and Boojum are synonymous – this burrito joint may be humble, but it’s a much-loved favourite of every student in the city. Mexican not your thing?
The residents of Belfast clearly have a taste for Japanese cuisine, with two of the best ramen joints (Bia Rebel and Kamakura Sushi & Ramen) located in the Queen’s University Quarter, which means their price points are especially suited to the student’s purse.
Procrastinating For Professionals
Northern Ireland (and Ireland for that matter) may be a small island, but it has a lot to offer for the student looking for a good enough reason to put off than essay without spending the dolla. As much as a night out in Belfast never disappoints, sometimes it’s nice to treat your body to some fresh air rather than alcohol every weekend. The north coast – where you’ll find the famous Giant’s Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge – are a mere bus journey away, and a day ticket won’t put you out of pocket by much more than a tenner.
For something closer to home, Belfast Castle and Cave Hill country park can be a mere 20-minute walk away depending on where your student flat is located. If you prefer to get your steps in on the pavement, then trains to Dublin from Belfast are as low as £8.50.