So, you have dragged yourself through the painful UCAS application process, you have whittled down your selections, you have jumped through every hoop that the omnipotent Student Loans Company have thrown at you, and you are now finally ready to pack your bags, wave goodbye to your home comforts and embark on what may be the greatest adventure of your life to date – in the city of Sheffield.
The decision to attend university is one of the biggest you will have made at this point in your life, and for many of you, it will be your first time living away from home. This means it will be your first time paying bills for yourself and having to budget your money for more than just shopping and social time. Luckily for you, there is a ton of help available for persons such as yourself, and this article will provide a good place to start.
You are already off to a great start by selecting Sheffield as your place of study as the city boasts some of the best value in the country. You can expect living costs to fall about 10% lower than the UK average and roughly 25% lower than living in the nation’s capital. This is not to say, however, that you will not have to manage your money, and you are fortunate that the University of Sheffield provides an online tool to assist with this.
If you’re after books, then your student union will lay on regular fairs and other events where you can pick up some bargains. Also, the UKCISA provides budgeting tools and real life student case studies to assist you in managing your money, whether you are an international student or not.
Finally, if you find yourself struggling, don’t be afraid to seek help and advice. Both your university and the student union have people available that can offer direct assistance, or at least point you in the right direction and set your mind at ease.
Now you have paid your rent, put aside money for your bills and other necessities and bought more text books than anyone can be reasonably expected to carry, you are ready to get together with your new friends and explore what Sheffield has to offer. However, money is still tight and you aren’t just looking for a good time, you are looking for a good deal as well.
If big nights out with your friends are your cup of tea (or pint of lager, as the case may be) then Sheffield Nights is a great place to start. A comprehensive website, which lists hundreds of bars, clubs and restaurants throughout the city. It has a built in map to make sure you don’t get lost and even has separate pages for each night of the week, so you can find out what is on where, and when.
It will tell you which clubs have free entry on which nights and help you find where the best drink promotions are available. Another page will inform you on one-off or limited availability events which cater to all tastes; from bands and DJs, to opera, comedy and theatre performances. Rounding off this wonderful resource is an employment page, if you are looking to supplement your student finance with a little part-time work, and an Apple app (sorry, no sign of an Android equivalent), so that you can plan your night on the fly.
However, student life is definitely about more than studies and nights out, and you will surely want to spend some of your time off exploring the city for more cultural and cerebral experiences. Once again the internet is there to help you.
Sheffield City Council offer a tourist information site that will inform you on a plethora of events, leisure activities, museums and other attractions. The site can also point you in the direction of the city’s best shopping locations if some retail therapy is what you seek.
The Peak District website can give you advice on the best (and cheapest) ways to enjoy this breath-taking National Park. Whether you enjoy cycling, walking, climbing, wildlife watching, or just a great view, the Peak District has something to offer you for little or no money. The park also offers volunteering opportunities if you would like to enjoy this fantastic space whilst gaining some invaluable life and career experiences.
Finally, the Welcome to Sheffield website can offer you many of the same services as the Council site, with the added bonus of being able to filter your search based on things such as “free admission,” incredibly useful when exploring the city on a budget.
There you have it. Whether you are feeling flush at the beginning of the term, your bank account bursting with money and potential, or you are scraping those last few pounds together before the holidays, Sheffield has something to suit you. All that is left to say is this: work hard with your studies, and have fun with everything else.
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