Second thoughts... Watch

poppatom
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#1
Report Thread starter 10 years ago
#1
I have a place to study Econ at UCL next year, and have been really looking forward to it, but recently I've been having a few second thoughts which is a bit worrying!

It might just be a normal thing but I need to make sure I've made my decisions right otherwise it's going to be a very expensive mistake!

One of our friends started me doubting, because she claimed that in second year students live all over London and your a long way from your friends, and you don't get a proper university experience because of that.

There's also the expense issue which I've been aware of since I applied but how bad is it?! Will the loan cover me, and is it easy to find work?

She also said that there are a lot of students who come to study from abroad who are very withdrawn from uni life in London and again this detracts from the uni experience.

Can anyone currently at UCL share their thoughts on this please? My back up is Manchester and she says that I'd have a much better uni experience there, but I don't know what to think. Obviously UCL has a much better reputation than Manchester and therefore, perhaps, better career prospects? Let me know what you guys think. Thanks
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crackingod
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#2
Report 10 years ago
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It is true people are starting to live in different locations in the second year (although most students are going to live North). But then again its not that much of a problem,I was living in a flat this year and I didn't have any problems socializing. You're gonna see most people at uni and at student's nights. Plus the good thing is you're gonna get loads of house parties.
Honestly, except if you really need to live 2min away from your friends (why?) don't throw away UCL because of this.
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Mumintroll
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#3
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London does have relatively good public transport - or at least good "coverage". Of course, it has its bad days, isn't always exactly punctual and isn't particularly cheap, but it does get you anywhere and increasingly at any time of the day (more and more night buses). So, you should always be able to get to your friends' places.

Also, although UCL isn't technically a campus university, for a city uni it does benefit from having most of its site in one concentrated area which I really liked. I think it's as close to a campus uni as you can get in London West Central 1. The area of UCL certainly feels like a 'university quarter' with UCL, the union, ULU, SOAS, Birkbeck, Senate House, many of UCL's halls etc all in a fairly concentrated area; it certainly means lots of students.

Personally, for me, the fact UCL's in London/a city is a bonus. You can get all the advantages of student life without ending up in a student bubble; you can have the best of both worlds.
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Lacks Organisation
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#4
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Hey!
I was exactly the same as you before I started at UCL (apart from the subject).
I too, had Manchester as a backup and immediately started having second thoughts when I put UCL as my firm. I don't regret it, I think I made the right choice.
It's true that in the 2nd year, people will be more spread out than they would be at other unis, BUT there.s the tube, so you can get around very easily and as someone else said, most people move north (I, for example, am living in Finsbury Park next year, which I think is common). You'll see people on nights out and stuff just as often as you would before, because the uni organised events will all be at the same places, and you'll still frequent most of the biggest and best clubs anyway, regardless of where you live. Public transport in London is excellent and most people will live near a tube station (it was one of the most important factors for us, when choosing a flat).

It's true that there are a fair few international students at UCL who group themselves together and form fairly impenetrable circles, for example, on my course I *think* there is quite a sizeable group of chinese people that I've never even met because they've made absolutely no effort to bond with the rest of us, I only know they exist because they have pigeon holes in our common room. There are LOADS of other people to make friends with though. To be honest, the vast majority of my friends are natives-not necessarily white, but native. There are quite a lot of Londoners at UCL, who I've found to be friendly. If you're northern though, no-one will understand you propperly at first because there are only about 5 northerners there. This can be useful as an icebreaker though since there'll be plenty of friendly banter. I've been asked if I have electricity at home on several occasions.:rolleyes: You'll develop a "uni voice" after a while, with a softer accent.

London isn't AS expensive as people will have you believe, but accommodation costs a bomb. We're paying £110 a week each for our place next year and that's actually quite cheap considering. Shopping and that is about the same as everywhere else, but there are no super cheap supermarkets (Lidl, Aldi etc). Boozing costs about the same if you go to the right places (which are easy to find).

You can definately get a "real student experience" from UCL. Like someone else said, it's effectively a campus university within a city-best of both worlds.

Also, there's just something special about being in London. You see things you've only seen before on TV, got to famous places, can see something happening on the news, then just leave right then and go and see it for real. There's SO MUCH going on in London.

Getting a job in London is a peice of piss, and better paid than in other places.

London is sweet. Wish I was there now instead of in this crappy town.
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username43584
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I think it's worth it. Yes, it's expensive, but it's only three years and I bet you won't forget them. Public transport is actually quite cheap, easy to use and regular compared to other university towns/cities, and UCL is in a prime location so from halls you can walk to Camden, Oxford St, Piccadilly, Chinatown etc. Alcohol is cheaper here than at my home, and there are lots of free days out that you wouldn't get elsewhere...lots of free museums, parks, festivals etc. Provided you intend to make as much use of these bonuses, then I think London's awesome. If all you're going to do is sit at home watching daytime tv or drinking when not working or at lectures (like all my other friends from school seem to do) then you may as well go anywhere else.
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poppatom
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#6
Report Thread starter 10 years ago
#6
Thanks guys for your help, you've done a lot to ease my worries.

I still have to get the grades of course...!
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