International College
Student pathways to The University of Sheffield

Why students love Sheffield

Posted 08 December 2015
First impressions of Sheffield

Want to hear what new students have to say about Sheffield in their first week here?

Some of the students had been here for only a couple of days, some for a week. For most of them it was their first time in the UK. They’re overwhelmingly struck by the peacefulness, cosiness and inclusive nature of the city, the University and the University’s International College. 

Sheffield is one of the UK’s most student-friendly cities. Last year it was voted the number one city for students in the UK in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey. The University of Sheffield ranked number one for ‘high quality facilities’, ‘good social life’, and ‘good accommodation’ and its Students’ Union was voted the best in the country – for the fourth year running.

So just what it is that students love about Sheffield compared to other cities and universities?


Sheffield is a city on a small scale, making it far easier to get to grips with, find your way around, settle and feel at home than you might in a huge sprawling city like London. It makes it easier to feel part of the community, both on and off campus. Getting from A to B is easy, with many places within walking distance. Friends, nights out, entertainment or an escape to the country is never far away. This has an effect on living costs too – with everything within easy reach, you’ll spend less time and money commuting, which means you can save on transport costs and benefit from more free time too.


Sheffield has a high student population, and the University of Sheffield is located right in the city centre. As a result, the city is incredibly welcoming to students, and local businesses cater to student needs. Nearby cafes, restaurants, bars, theatres, cinemas, gyms, swimming pools and shops rely on student trade, and many offer student discounts too. 


Going to university is a serious investment, and students rightly want to make sure that they’re getting value for money. Another reason students from the UK and all over the world love Sheffield is that they can access world-class teaching without paying the expensive rents found in bigger cities like London. Rent is cheaper here, making living more affordable, and it means you’ll get more space for your rent money too. Transport is cheap, food and drink is cheap – all the essentials you need are easily affordable, meaning your limited student budget goes much further. 


Sheffield is a city with a high student population, which means you’ll find a lot of entertainment here geared towards students, and run by students for students. From club nights and gigs to sports and theatre events, there’s something going on in Sheffield every night of the week. Throughout the year major festivals take place in Sheffield too, including the renowned Tramlines city-wide music festival. Get in touch with the Student Union to find out about the latest essential events going on both on and off campus, and to get involved with clubs and societies that interest you.

Green space

As a lot of the students in our video commented, Sheffield is a very green city. In fact, it’s one of the greenest cities, not just in Britain, but in Europe. Almost three-quarters of the city is taken up by natural vegetation and waterways – more than a third of the city is located in the Peak District National Park. No other city has a National Park within its boundary. You’ll find 150 woodlands and 50 public parks to explore within Sheffield. With an estimated two million trees, Sheffield has the highest ratio of trees to people of any city in Europe. This makes for a beautiful and peaceful place to study, with plenty of space to escape to and relax.