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Deciding where to attend uni, specially as a PG student, should be as much about the academics as about the location. Hopefully, apart from having to set up camp in the library to get assignments in on time, you will feel the desire to explore and do as many things as possible to truly enjoy and make the most of your uni experience. I know I’m certainly trying my hardest to be out there, enjoying myself as much as I can. I’m not sure I’m trying as hard to get to 9am lectures on a Monday, but who’s counting?

When thinking of cities you could live in while getting that golden MA, you of course know that if the university is in England, it will rain 400 times a year (since it rains more than one time in a day). WRONG! Bournemouth, in the south of the south of England, enjoys a dryer weather and three or four days a week where you can actually see and get a bit of warmth from the sun (even in mid-january). Not bad when you compare it other cities (London, anyone?) where our previous predictions would probably be short by the thousands. Yes, we are amazed by the green, rolling english countryside that Downton Abbey has made us fall in love with, but let’s just say they don’t really need sprinklers there to water those lawns. I’m not saying it doesn’t rain in Bournemouth, I’m just saying it rains LESS. That, together with the promise of a warmer climate due to the proximity of the sea, made me think that if I was embarking on the adventure of living in England, Bournemouth was the place for me.

Girls paddle boarding

Apart from this, and if you ask Nan a friend from India, all she had to know about Bournemouth was “it has a beach”. Dreams of learning to surf, walks on the beach that would be 10min from her house and the cry of seagulls were enough to get her to fly halfway around the world to do her MA at BU. For me, it was pretty much the same, although I guess you could call me more “extreme” since what I’m planning to learn is kitesurfing.

Last semester, the BU Free Your Fitness program gave Nan, among other students from BU, the opportunity to go surfing. I went as well and it was AMAZING! Being able to bathe in the Atlantic in mid-October without dying of hypothermia was as incredible as the feeling of the wave picking you up and pushing you towards the shore. Well that and not having to break our piggy-banks thanks to the special fees we got though BU. Apart from surfing, they also organize lots of other activities and events, so make sure to check their schedule on the Student Portal.

But enough about the beach and the weather (I think I’ve become half Brit with this obsession

about it!). If you are a bit geeky like me, and enjoy fossils and history, being this close to sites like the whole Jurassic Coast and Stonehenge means weekend day-trips are a must. And even if you are not geeky, you can still enjoy the change of scenery and the photo-ops (just sayin’). After all, it never hurts to go on a trip while on a trip, does it? Other popular destinations include London (only 2h away by train) and nearby towns such as Poole and Christchurch that are less than 30min away by bus.

All in all, I have found Bournemouth a great place to live. I cycle from my student hall in the Town Center to Talbot campus (15-25 min depending on how lazy I feel or how late I am for class) and I know that if I lived in the hall in Winton I’d already be halfway there when stepping out my front door. Clubs, pubs, restaurants and bars are everywhere, teeming with students from all over the world. Living here has been a life changing experience of the very best. Why not come and see for yourself?

Bonus: if you still need inspiration for things to do in this amazing seaside town, be sure to check this website.