Top 5 things to know before moving to Lancaster

Students laughing in a forest

Lancaster University is a top-ranking university known worldwide – but what about the city of Lancaster? A small city located in the northwest of England, Lancaster is a great place for you to live whilst studying in the UK.

1. There are friendly locals

People in the north of England are known for being friendly and approachable. Lancaster is no exception to this, and many international students at the University find it easy to speak to people living in the town. So if you worry about getting lost when you first arrive, you will always find someone to help you in Lancaster.

Northern people are also known for their distinct accent. If English is your second language, you may worry about understanding the locals, but you’ll learn to understand the accent in no time. On the campus itself, most staff members and students will be from other places around the country – so not everyone you meet will sound this way. By the end of your degree, you may even come away sounding like a local!

2. It's a small city

Lancaster is relatively small compared to some if its neighbouring cities like Liverpool and Manchester. The population in the 2001 United Kingdom Census was 138,375. Lancaster’s small size makes it easy to explore so you’re sure to get to know your new home very well.

Despite its small size, Lancaster is also a popular tourist destination – so there is lots to do once you arrive! From the ancient Lancaster Castle to the canal and the River Lune, all the way out to the seaside town of Blackpool or the beautiful Lake District National Park; people visit from all over the world to experience Lancaster.

3. There's a low cost of living

Compared to living somewhere like London, cities in the north tend to have a much lower cost of living. Not only is this useful when renting your student accommodation, but you will also benefit from cheaper grocery costs and travel costs.

4. There's a great student life

Lancaster University isn’t located in the city centre, but in an area called Bailrigg. Just 2.5 miles from the centre of the city, the University campus spans 360 acres. As well as lecture theatres and classrooms, the campus is home to a variety of college residences, as well as restaurants, shops, parks and even a cinema.

You can listen to the student radio station, Bailrigg FM, or visit the ducks at Lake Carter. At the heart of campus is Alexandra Square, a hub of student activity which includes coffeeshops, banks, an ice-cream parlour and a hairdresser.

5. You'll join a college community

Lancaster University is one of the few universities in the UK which uses a collegiate system. This means that when you join the University, you will also become a member of a college. Colleges are where you will live and socialise whilst studying. They are home to your accommodation, as well as cafes and social spaces.

Unlike other collegiate systems, such as Oxford and Cambridge, you will live with people studying a wide range of degrees – ensuring you make friends with a variety of different academic and personal interests.

For more information on moving to the UK, you can read our other pre-arrival blogs on coping with homesickness and improving your English.