“Belfast is a city which, while not forgetting its past, is living comfortably with its present and looking forward to its future.” – James Nesbitt
Belfast, Northern Ireland’s colourful capital city, is widely regarded as one of Europe’s most friendly and fashionable major cities. Standing as the largest metropolis in this small-but-mighty country, Belfast is a much-loved contemporary city, complete with the benefits of being compact, easily accessible, and most importantly, a lively and affordable place in which to live and study.
Described as a ‘must-see visitor destination’ by the respected Lonely Planet travel guide, the city is a veritable treasure trove of tradition, culture, history, and quirky modern venues. “Belfast is in many ways a brand-new city,” the Lonely Planet states. “…in recent years it has pulled off a remarkable transformation…to a hip-hotels-and-hedonism party town.
“The old shipyards on the Lagan continue to give way to the luxury apartments of the Titanic Quarter, whose centrepiece, the stunning star-shaped edifice housing the Titanic Belfast centre…has become the city’s number-one tourist draw,” the publication adds. “New venues keep popping up…They all add to a list of attractions that includes beautifully restored Victorian architecture, a glittering waterfront lined with modern art, a fantastic foodie scene and music-filled pubs.”
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World-class arts, culture and music scene
From trendy, contemporary galleries to internationally-respected artists who influence the cultural world, it’s easy to see how Belfast earned a reputation for being the city of artists, poets, authors and musicians. With a diverse portfolio of arenas, concert halls, theatres and clubs, students don’t need to go far to experience the legendary ‘Belfast Buzz’. In addition, the city is also great for shopping, providing a wealthy combination of global brands, quaint boutiques and artisan markets.
But that’s not all – Belfast is also widely-known as a city surrounded by stunning natural beauty, perfectly blending rustic charm with a warm, cosmopolitan vibe. A riverside cycle down the River Lagan, for example, gives Belfast students the chance to explore countryside and stunning embankments.
Big-city benefits for a small-town price
Learning in a city that’s been named more affordable than any other UK city by Mercer 2016 means Belfast students spend more money on the things that matter most. After all, what would be the point in choosing a city with such a thriving cultural scene if a cut-throat cost of living leaves you without the pennies to enjoy it?
You’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that the average Belfast student spends just £16 a week on food, well below the national average of £24 a week. On top of this, the fact that it plays host to the cheapest weekly rent of anywhere in the UK has present and future students leaping for thrifty joy!
Image courtesy of Queen’s University Belfast
Queen’s University Belfast: Providing the door to your academic legacy
At the heart of Belfast’s spirited and cobblestoned streets lies Queen’s University Belfast, a popular choice among the international student market. As a UK top 10 university, ranked 8th in the UK for research intensity, and also a prestigious member of the respected Russell Group, Queen’s University students get to make the most of Belfast’s treasures and academics that are truly revered.
This, paired with the institution’s world-class reputation means Queen’s graduates receive global recognition, giving them a competitive edge in an increasingly complex market.
Outstanding Student Support
As a diverse education provider that understands the enrichment provided by international applicants, Queen’s University has unparalleled services in place to ensure you feel safe, supported and above all at home for the duration of your study experience. After all, it’s likely that you’ll be travelling a really long way, but Queen’s guarantees to make it worth your while!
“I love helping new students find their way,” says Dominique, a member of the experienced team at the Student Guidance Centre. “I get asked for directions, about tuition fees, and where student discounts can be used,” she adds – not to mention the advice she provides for accommodation and student visas.
Image courtesy of Queen’s University Belfast
On top of the Student Guidance Centre, Queen’s can even offer you help long before you arrive, with a qualified International Office Team well-versed in the international experience. Here to assist with your application, English language proficiency, academic requirements and beyond, these are the people who make life a whole lot easier from the moment Queen’s enters your mind.
“University has been a rollercoaster: from moving away from home; to discovering a new city; to learning to…live independently; to doing a course that has stimulated me every week,” Nathan Thiruvengadam, a Queen’s international student, explains.
“…University has been a blast and I will take the skills I’ve learnt to whatever I do,” he concludes, “but more importantly I’ll take the great memories the last three years have given me!”