Durham vs Bristol Watch

Anniechong
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Hi everyone, I'm an international student thinking of doing an exchange in the UK. I would like to be in a place where I can experience the different sides of England. On one hand, Bristol is a vibrant city, on the other hand, Durham is more historic. Where do you guys think is the perfect place for me to get to know England? I'm kind of introverted but at the same would like to maximise the exposure. Also, can anyone tell me about the accommodation in these two unis? Quality living matters a lot to me.
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ThirdCultureKid.
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Hi! Last summer I visited both Bristol and Durham's universities. Personally, I automatically fell in love with Durham. If you really want to experience England, Durham is by far the place to be. Everything is so traditional and old - plus, the cathedral is beautiful! Although it's small, if you ever feel too claustrophobic in the town, you can always take a 15 minute train ride to Newcastle. There you'll have most of the vibrancy that you'd get in Bristol.

The accommodation in Durham is very different, because of the collegiate system. Durham's website does a good job explaining the entire system, so I'd check that out. Basically, you choose a college to live in (there's even a little quiz you can take!) and therefore, your living standards will be different for each college. I visited Hatfield, St. Mary's and Hatfield. All of them had really nice rooms, common rooms to watch TV and whatnot, and mooost have dinning rooms too. Some have full catering, and from what I've heard and read the food is quite good! Accommodation outside of colleges can be quite expensive. That's all I know about accommodation outside the colleges, but I'm sure you can do research and find out a lot of information.

Bristol is a nice city, but when I visited it, I was somehow put off by its vibe. It's a very hilly city and being there did not make me feel like I was in England. The accommodation in the city is nice, though the university's was kind of weird. On the open day, we had to take a bus to the uni's 'accommodation area'. It was near a big park, but was out of the city. Since I wouldn't have a car if I went to uni there, I'd be kind of stuck - especially if it'd be raining! The university does have a bus that goes from this area to the city centre, though that constricts your movements in town. If you do decide to go to Bristol, I'd find a flat in town. That way you'll also get a better feel for the city. However, Bristol is in a very interesting area! Bath is a short train ride away, and is such a beautiful and historic town. And London is also quite close!

If I were you, I'd probably choose Durham, and that way you'll be completely immersed in English life. I chose not to apply to Bristol, but now that I've received an offer from Durham I will most probably going there for uni! If you have any more questions feel free to send me a message
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kss2660
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(Original post by Anniechong)
Hi everyone, I'm an international student thinking of doing an exchange in the UK. I would like to be in a place where I can experience the different sides of England. On one hand, Bristol is a vibrant city, on the other hand, Durham is more historic. Where do you guys think is the perfect place for me to get to know England? I'm kind of introverted but at the same would like to maximise the exposure. Also, can anyone tell me about the accommodation in these two unis? Quality living matters a lot to me.
I would say Durham...first it has an excellent reputation and the college system will mean your fill right at home. I lived near Bristol for many years and it doesnt have the feeling of home like Durham or Bath, which is nearby. Bristol wont offer you a true picture of England and the uni doesnt have the same feel although it has a great town centre !
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Катя
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In all fairness, neither will give you a "true picture of England". For that, head to Blackpool.

Honestly, both are fantastic cities and universities. I prefer Bristol, but that's just because Durham is too quiet.
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