My semester abroad in Birmingham was a great experience that I can only recommend to everyone!
Since I major in English, it was important to me to spend some time in an English-speaking country and now that I have it behind me, I am very happy to have made this decision. MicroEDU relieved me of all the bureaucratic hassle with the university, was able to place me quickly and supported me so well. It is worth booking a flight relatively quickly, as you can then fly directly to Birmingham Airport with Flybe, Easyjet or Germanwings. From there you can quickly take the train to the city or take the university shuttle service to the university.
The apartment search
The search for a flat proved to be difficult at the beginning, there are a lot of offers on the Internet and there are also some vacancies in Birmingham, but the quality of the accommodation is sometimes poor. So I can only recommend everyone to look carefully. The student district, which is only 15 minutes’ walk from the university and 10 minutes by train from the city center, is called Selly Oak. Most of the exchange students have lived here and the majority of the locals also live there. Usually these are small terraced houses with 4-5 residents; the prices are okay, but you shouldn’t expect hygienically perfect apartments.
I myself lived in the Edgbaston district, which is very close to the city and you can get around by bus, but you can’t walk to the university and the bus takes 45 minutes. Before that, I had teamed up with another German exchange student from MicroEDU and searched together apartment websites via agencies. We came across “Brighton Grove Estates”, which we definitely cannot recommend. Communication is poor and there were also financial problems with them. However, our rooms were great and were in a house with 14 residents from different nations, which was really a great experience because we ate together in the evening and could exchange ideas about the different cultures. In summary, I recommend looking in Selly Oak, making sure that “all bills are included” and, if possible, looking for pictures and international residents. Unfortunately, the student dormitories have hardly any vacancies, but for those who are worth investing £ 200 in advance, the university’s house hunting event is a great opportunity to find a room!
Short for UOB according to ehuacom, the University of Birmingham is an excellent university. In the first week there is an introductory event where you get all the information you need to know about course selection and get to know many other exchange students and are therefore well prepared for the first few days; therefore you should definitely not miss the event. In the first two weeks you then choose the courses you would like to take. The range of courses at the university is huge, because, unlike at many other universities, you can choose from the full range of courses from all courses. Regardless of which department you are enrolled in, like me, for example, in the university’s business school,You can find great topics everywhere and you can also take courses from all other specialist areas. Basically there are no limits to your imagination. The teaching quality of the individual courses was also excellent! The lecturers are extremely friendly and you really enjoy studying! At the end of the semester, there are either exams or essays, whereby in my management and English studies only essays were written that were absolutely feasible. The university is also well equipped.
The first two weeks are the most important here! The first people you meet are the roommates, and that’s why it’s great when you can get to know other cultures or native speakers. If you attend the house hunting event, you will get to know some fellow students from Europe. We have taken part in many introductory and introductory events that you are invited to at the beginning, and so quickly got to know a lot of lovely people. The friendships that I still maintain to this day, however, I got to know by addressing them directly, so: Trust yourself!We experienced great things together in Birmingham. Those who like to get involved can also work with the Guilt of Students or other groups, which is the best way to get to know locals.
In Birmingham itself, a boat tour of the Canals is an absolute must! Otherwise, Broad Street is the hotspot in Birmingham, where most of the clubs and bars are and where there’s always something going on in the evenings. The SeaLife, the chocolate factory (register in advance!), The Digbeth sprayer district and the Botanical Garden are definitely worth a visit. In addition, Birmingham has a huge shopping center with the BullRing, where shopping can really be celebrated. Otherwise one can make good day trips from Birmingham. I recommend MegaBus and NationalExpress, with which you can travel cheaply to Liverpool, London, Nottingham, Oxford, Cambridge, Stratford upon Avon or the Iron Bridge. I would definitely do that, preferably in the first few months, because in the end the university gets involved because of the essays. The Guilt of Students and the English faculty also offer great excursions, so it is worthwhile to browse their websites from time to time. There is also the FAB student party every Saturday at the university, which is great! Those who prefer the quiet or the cultural should also have a look at the program at MAC Birmingham, where theater, dance and films are offered. The university also has its own sports center with squash, tennis, badminton courts, swimming pool, fitness studio etc. For the three months that I was there, the leisure time offerings in and around Birmingham were really good, but if you stay for a year it could be a bit limited with time.
Here are the only downsides. The tuition fees are immense, but still one of the cheaper universities compared to England. The cost of living is very high, rooms start at around £ 350, but you have to be careful. I paid 420 pounds a month and had a great and above all clean room. Groceries are much more expensive than in Germany, here it is advisable to go shopping at Aldi and avoid Sansburys. My tip is always to write down what you have spent in the evening so that you can keep an overview. The BullRing even offers a 10% student discount in most stores.