Living in Belfast as a student
Belfast isn’t just known for its music! As the capital of Northern Ireland, Belfast is home to 333,000 inhabitants, a major port, and, yes, some famous music history. It has two universities, Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University, covering a total of 48,000 students in its 132.5 square metres, and is only 90 minutes away from Dublin by train.
Located on the east coast, Belfast was, at one, point, the largest linen producer in the world, with Belfast Harbour being the location where the RMS Titanic was built. There are over 40 public parks within the city, appropriate for a city bordered by mountains and greenery. Belfast has incorporated parks and gardens as part of its heritage, with over 100 festivals per year, such as Rose Week, which attracts thousands of visitors, and the Victorian Botanic Garden itself welcoming over 670,000 visitors a year. Belfast is known for its music scene, and the city has inspired hits by U2, Van Morrison, Snow Patrol, Elton John, and James Taylor, just to name a few. The underground club scene and nightlife is based heavily on music, and students can find multiple pubs with great local musicians on all the days of the week. Belfast also has the highest concentration of Irish speakers in Northern Ireland, so be prepared to learn some while living there.
Queen’s University Belfast has over 25,000 students spread out over 200 buildings, and its campus is located south of the city centre. Ulster University’s main Belfast campus is located centrally at the Cathedral Quarter, but it has multiple centres, with one at Jordanstown and another at Coleraine. With some of the lowest rents in the UK, Belfast has a large number of student accommodation choices, with popular areas being Stranmillis, Botanic and the Holylands.