Living in Southampton - All You Need to Know as a Student
Within this blog we will be discussing all you need about living in Southampton for university, from the cost of living to the history and culture, as well as tips to prepare.
Moving to university is the biggest shift in lifestyle for the vast majority of new students when they are entering their first year for a wide range of reasons, especially for those who are moving into a new area.
This change can be a lot to try to prepare for, and so, it seems useful to try to establish some tips and tricks for those who are getting ready to start their first year in Southampton in this blog.
Let’s get started…
The Cost Of Living In Southampton
Some facts to begin with: Southampton’s student population is around a whopping 43,000 and studies have found that Southampton is around 34% cheaper for living costs when compared to London. Considering the relatively short distance between the two, this is a huge difference!
This is great news for students who’re looking to save money whilst studying and are worried about the cost of living – you’ll save more of your student loan whilst living in this city! Whilst also being able to travel to nearby places very easily, and for a good price too.
In fact, if you want to put the cost of living into perspective, the average cost of a pint here is £3.83 (not bad really, is it?!).
History & Culture Of Southampton
Connection With The Sea
Southampton is quite largely focused around the sea given the fact that it’s a port city.
The Titanic left from Southampton and its ports played a large role in the Second World War. A surprising amount of the local jobs are focused upon the ports, too, and on keeping that sea life alive.
This makes the city perfect for those interested in the sea or studying a topic related to the sea.
The city centre has a museum focused on the city’s historical relationship with the sea, and again, this is a large point of interest for many looking to the city as a potential place to live.
Why not visit the SeaCity museum upon moving here and see what it’s all about?! If you’re keen to learn more about the history and culture of the city, we really recommend a trip here.
You can even grab something to eat or drink in the museums cafe, The Galley, after having a stroll around the exhibitions.
The sea is not Southampton’s only important historical feature, however.
The city centre features walls built as early as 1180AD, and the term ‘air port’ was first used in reference to Southampton, as the city was one of the first to have flying vehicles (interesting, right?!).
For one final fact, Southampton was home to one of the most famous authors of all time – Jane Austen, writer of Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility.
She lived in the Old Town of Southampton from 1807 to 1809, and there are many plaques around the city to commemorate her living there.
Yes, English majors – this does mean you will most likely be studying some Austen on your literature modules!
There are also 90 minute tours available for the city, for those curious to see the city in person, which are done by See Southampton. These tours last around 90 minutes and cost £7 per person. You can find more information about those tours here.
Tips & Tricks For Moving To Southampton
We’re prepared some tips and tricks straight for adjusting and finding your place in Southampton once you arrive as a fresher – aren’t we kind!
1. Get To Grips With Your Surroundings
The first thing to do once arriving in your new city, regardless of whether it is Southampton specifically or not, is to learn your surroundings in whatever way you find most helpful.
Learning your surroundings in a new place will make the new city feel far more comfortable, and will help to ease any feelings of being overwhelmed.
It’s a great thing to do before your classes start so that you can adjust more gradually and allow yourself more time for any emotional changes.
Plus, it can also help a great deal to have some navigational sense when first socialising.
Knowing your way around the city can do two things: help you yourself know where to go to meet people most obviously, but it can also help you to make friends as you can guide them to certain places to help them find places, too.
To help with this, there is a previous blog which serves as a travel guide for Southampton, going over the best places to visit and perhaps more importantly how to get to them, including advice on how to save money on travel which you can read here.
2. Shop On Weekdays
This might sound cliche, but our second piece of advice we have for you guys as Southampton experts would be that (again, as with many places), it is definitely best to shop on weekdays.
The city in particular can become extremely busy at the weekends with tourists, and for those looking for a less stressful experience, it’s a certain recommendation to head out to shop on weekdays before 5pm to try to avoid any rushes.
In fact, Southampton is labelled the cruise capital of Northern Europe with over four million passengers a year coming through the city. So if you don’t believe us, believe that!
So, whether you’re heading out for a day of shopping at Westquay Shopping Centre with your pals or heading to the Southampton Market on Bargate Street, we suggest going before peak times and avoiding weekends if you want to avoid busy crowds.
3. Perfect Your Timing
One piece of Southampton specific advice would be to make yourself aware of the time between the various campuses at both of the universities.
First impressions are important, and being late isn’t a great way to begin a relationship with your lecturers, so it’s always best to visit your classrooms before your lectures or seminars begin if you have the time to do so.
Once you have access to your timetable it is certainly worth going to campus and finding your rooms, figuring out how long it’ll take for you to find these rooms again when the time of your first lectures come.
In fact, familiarizing yourself with your timetable generally is a good thing to do. Planning things ahead to make the most of your time is a great idea, and again, that extra preparation can help to ease any nervousness or anxiety before classes begin.
4. Make The Most Of Living Here
Lastly, we strongly urge you to enjoy your time here, three years will fly by (if you don’t stay for longer, that is) and it really is a great city to live in with so much to do for students and locals alike.
Not to mention, the student community is super diverse so you’ll meet all kinds of people from all walks of life, and hopefully, you’ll make some great friends.
You really will love your student life in this city as there’s a range of activities to make the most of, trust us.
We’d also suggest getting used to the fact you’re going to hear a lot of boat horns, a lot of the time whilst living in this port city – it’s only natural!
There we have it, our guide to living in Southampton and all you need to know as a student. We wish you all the luck with moving to the city to study at the University of Southampton or Solent University – the next academic year has come around so fast!
Why not explore our range of student accommodation properties whilst you’re here eh?!