How to make the most of the local area while being a student at the University of Warwick

25 June 2019

Anais Quispe, a second year BSc International Management student, shares her experience of living off campus and gives her top tips on the exciting places to visit in the nearby towns and cities.

I currently live off-campus, just like the vast majority of students in their intermediate or final year of studies. Some students choose to rent in the nearby area of Canley, in order to live within walking distance of the campus, others choose to live further away in Coventry, Leamington Spa or Kenilworth.

When I initially arrived at the University of Warwick, my first experience off campus was a short bus journey to IKEA which is located in the centre of Coventry. IKEA is the perfect place to find some great homeware bargains when you first arrive at university. There is a great variety of restaurants in Coventry if you fancy a change from the eateries on campus, as well as lots of popular high street stores. I had my first ice rink experience at Planet Ice which is located just next door to IKEA and there is a great karaoke bar in the city if need to take a break from your studies. Regular buses travel directly from the centre of campus to the middle of Coventry which is really convenient for students.

Coventry train station has great links to lots of towns and cities, and is only a bus ride away from campus. Birmingham is easily accessible from Coventry train station and is a fantastic place to visit during the festive season. Every year Birmingham hosts the annual German Christmas Market, where not only can you eat and drink speciality cuisines, but also enjoy a great atmosphere with lots of singing and dancing along to Christmas songs. The Bullring shopping centre is a great place to go shopping, and has all the stores you need. Birmingham is a short 20-minute train journey from Coventry, and I would definitely recommend that all students buy a railcard as it pays for itself very quickly, and gives you an element of independence and freedom to visit places outside of campus.

I currently live in Leamington and travel by bus to the university, which can take from 20-40 minutes depending on the traffic. There are lots of advantages of living in Leamington with lots of shops, restaurants, bars and nightclubs, as well as a cinema all within walking distance of the main high street. I enjoy socialising with my friends and going for brunch or dinner in one of the many restaurants and cafes located in the town. Lots of families live in Leamington, not only students, so there is always a great atmosphere especially on the weekends and during the market days. Jephson Gardens is located at the bottom of the high street, where you can walk around the beautiful gardens and take a relaxing break from your studies; it could also be a good revision spot! I have also visited Kenilworth and Warwick Castle, which host a range of events throughout the year such as firework displays and dungeon tours.

There is a train station located in Leamington, which is conveniently located 5 minutes away from my house. I can also catch a train from Leamington to London Marylebone which only takes 1 hour 20 minutes, this has enabled me to attend lots of events hosted at WBS London, The Shard such as the Marketing Insight Series which was a great experience. I have also visited the Microsoft HQ office in Reading for the day in October and took a trip to Nottingham with a friend to explore the medieval city. The location of the University of Warwick can open up lots of new opportunities for you and is perfectly located within the centre of the UK with easy access routes to many cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, and London from either the Coventry train station or Leamington Train Station. There are still so many places I would like to explore, and once my exams have finished I am already planning to spend a day in Oxford and a weekend in Lincolnshire. I am looking forward to lots of adventures in my final year!

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