If you’re weighing up your options about where to study, then look no further than Belfast.
This beautiful northern Irish city is bursting with life, history, culture and a plethora of things to do.
We’ve put together a list of just a few of the reasons why Belfast is a good place to study.
World class universities
First off, Belfast is home to some of the best universities in the world.
Queen’s University Belfast was ranked 173rd in the world and 26th in the UK in the QS World University Rankings in 2020.
Established in 1945, it boasts notable alumni such as C.S. Lewis (author of The Chronicles of Narnia), Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney, and BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac.
Meanwhile, Ulster University is in the top 10 UK universities recognised for its built environment, biomedical research, law, art and design, and nursing research.
It enjoys the top ranking for outstanding impact in law and joint first in the UK for outstanding and very considerable impact in education research.
Fascinating street art
When you’re passing through Belfast, you can’t help but be struck by the amazing mural artwork which is peppered around the capital city of Northern Ireland.
Each mural is loaded with symbolism and is a reflection of the ‘troubles’ in Ireland. In order to fully understand the rich iconography of these impressive images, it’s best to see them with a guide.
There are guided tours in taxis, led by locals who have lived through the troubles and can offer personal insight and in-depth knowledge of the artwork and its meaning.
A great location
Belfast and its surrounding areas have long been the favourite of film directors thanks to its golden beaches, stunning countryside and enchanting forests.
Its location on the Antrim Coast played a starring role in Game of Thrones, doubling up as Westeros. Close by on the coast, you can head out for a day to visit the incredible basalt rock formations of Giants Causeway, surf in the West Strand in Portrush, or brave the infamous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge.
A few miles outside of the city, you can enjoy panoramic views across Belfast at Cave Hill Country Park, or go hiking in the breathtakingly beautiful Mourne Mountains.
Belfast is also really well-connected to other parts of Ireland, so if you fancy a trip to Donegal, or Dublin, or even the rest of the UK, then you’re never short of transport links.
You’re never short of something to see or do in Belfast.
Just step outside the front door of your Belfast student accommodation in Aster House or Alma Place and you’ll be met with many museums and walking tours, as well as art galleries, and theatres.
In the Ulster Museum, based on the Queen’s University campus, you can learn about Northern Irish history, by taking in their significant art collection and contemporary exhibitions.
In the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum you can see what farm life and schools were like 100 years ago.
Take a stroll through the Botanic Gardens and enjoy the array of exotic flora and fauna, before heading over to the Titanic Museum.
The doomed sea liner HMS Titanic Belfast was built in the dockyards of Belfast. Now that location hosts a museum to retell the tale of the ship, and you can even board the SS Nomad. The Nomad is the ship that ferried Irish passengers from Belfast to Southampton to board the Titanic, so you get a taste of what the Titanic experience would have been like.
One of the best things about Belfast is its buzzing atmosphere. That’s largely down to the friendly locals. That, and the fact that you can also encounter live music played by locals in many of the pubs that line the Cathedral Quarter.
In this part of the city you’ll find arts venues, pubs, modern street art and local bands playing a blend of traditional and modern music.
If you’re a fan of shopping, then you’ll be glad to hear that Belfast has various shopping centres, independent boutiques and artisan markets.
High street needs are met in Victoria Square and Castle Court shopping centres.
The Queen’s Quarter is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat with friends to recharge your batteries in one of its artisan delis or hidden speakeasies, before heading over to St George’s Market, one of Belfast’s oldest attractions.
A big Belfast welcome
People in Northern Ireland have a reputation for being very friendly.
Here you’ll meet people from all over the world, with the city hosting international students from 85 different countries.
That means you’ll never be short of friends to accompany you on your Belfast adventures!
So go ahead, take the plunge – nothing beats Belfast!