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Why Winchester is the perfect study abroad destination

By Talya Honebeek• Last updated: Nov 22, 2023
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World-class universities, quirky British traditions and a rich cultural heritage make the United Kingdom one of the best places to study abroad. International students come from far and wide to study in the country’s 130 universities every year.

When it comes to choosing where exactly in the UK to study, the vibrant Hampshire city of Winchester should be at the top of your list.

The University of Winchester ranking is as high as 94th in The Guardian University Guide with a strong record of academic excellence, it’s also set in one of the country’s most beautiful and historic cathedral cities.

From the excellent teaching and learning facilities to the historic surroundings, here are five reasons why Winchester is the ideal place to study abroad.

1. The unique surroundings

As the former ancient capital of England, Winchester City is steeped in history, and was once even the seat of King Alfred the Great. 

Nowadays, Winchester is one of the UK’s most quintessentially English cities, blending its rich heritage with contemporary culture and an easy-going vibe. 

From the medieval buildings and handsome Georgian townhouses that seem to be straight out of a Jane Austen novel to the impressive cathedral at the green heart of the city, Winchester is a dream come true for lovers of period architecture.

If you ever find yourself wanting to take a break from the city, Winchester also benefits from being on the doorstep of miles of beautiful surrounding countryside.

Take in the city from St Giles Hill or venture less than an hour out of the centre for sandy beaches and coastal views, including Bournemouth Beach, one of the UK’s favourite seaside destinations.

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2. The never-ending list of things to do in Winchester

When choosing a university, the course content and the institution’s academic reputation are the first things to consider, but perhaps just as important is how you feel about the wider area.

Some people like big, bustling student cities, while others value the close community feel of a smaller city or town. The good news for those who choose to study in Winchester is that you’ll get the best of both worlds, with all the pros of city life, just with a smaller population of around 45,000.

The university campus is ideally located within easy reach of the city’s wide selection of cafes, restaurants and shops. 

The nightlife in Winchester is equally varied, with a range of pubs, bars and clubs, as well as a popular social club featuring everything you need for a good time including a pool table, bowling alley and poker table.

Winchester also holds the national Purple Flag status, which recognises cities that provide a safe and enjoyable environment for a good night out.

Plus, because of its central southern location, it’s really easy to travel to other parts of the UK, with the capital city just an hour away by train.

3. The top-class academic facilities

Winchester isn’t just a pretty face however. The University of Winchester is internationally recognised as an excellent higher education institution, renowned for its culture of sustainability and social justice.

Upon arrival, you will be placed into one of the university’s five faculties according to your area of study. Your allocated faculty will handle all of your modules and academic support during your time at university. Here are the five faculties for study abroad students:

  • Faculty of Arts
  • Faculty of Business, Law and Digital Technologies
  • Faculty of Education
  • Faculty of Health and Wellbeing
  • Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

With such a diverse range of courses on offer across these five departments, you can choose any course from Accounting to Philosophy to Musical Theatre, and be confident that you’ll be getting the very best teaching.

What’s more, the university has a strong international outlook, and offers a variety of services and support for study abroad students, including an English Language Teaching and Support Unit (ELTSU) and dedicated advisors for non-academic issues and enquiries.

4. The active and varied Students’ Union

Based in the King Alfred Centre, the Winchester Students’ Union is an independent organisation committed to representing and supporting students as well as providing them with a huge range of exciting opportunities, activities and events.

The university’s lively campus features 45 student-led societies and around 54 sports teams. The teams are open to people of all abilities, and give students the chance to try out sports like American football, athletics and climbing and mountaineering.

There really is something for everyone at the University of Winchester, with societies for everything from K-POP and Harry Potter to fashion and Irish dancing on offer.

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5. The great range of student accommodation options

Winchester student accommodation is consistently ranked highly by students, coming 10th in the Student Crowd’s Best UK Universities for Accommodation in 2018 as well as 15th out of 116 universities for accomodation in the 2018 Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey.

There are a range of quality living options for international students to choose from, both on and off-campus.

Those wanting to make the most of the campus experience can opt to stay in the university’s catered halls for larger than average study bedrooms and stunning views across the city. Alternatively, the self-catered halls all have en-suite rooms and lots of social spaces.

And when it comes to off-campus University of Winchester accommodation, it is full of student-friendly university-managed houses, so you won’t be short of options.

Interested in studying abroad and want to find out more about your options? Let us help you find your perfect course and university today!

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Meet Talya, a part-time journalism master's student hailing from North Yorkshire. With a knack for assisting students in...Read More

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