Top 10 things to do in Sheffield for international students

Student riding a bicycle in Sheffield

Our reputation for academic success isn’t the only thing that attracts thousands of international students to Sheffield each year. Sheffield is a British city that’s especially geared towards students, with The University of Sheffield located right in the centre. It makes for a city that’s incredibly welcoming to students, with many local shops, restaurants, theatres and other businesses offering student discounts.

Having a high student population also means Sheffield is packed with all the things that students love – gigs, comedy, cafes, bookshops, record stores, sports clubs, and more. Lots of annual festivals take place every year, and with everything within easy walking distance or just a short bus ride away, it’s easy and affordable to get to where you want to go.

In the latest Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey, the University of Sheffield was voted number one for student satisfaction in 2014-15. Here are just some of the reasons why international students love being in Sheffield.

1. International College events

The University of Sheffield International College does far more than just teach. Our international student calendar is packed with events throughout the year, all designed to help you meet new people, settle into the city, and experience new things – like trips to the Peak District, and our annual #BigSheffieldWelcome party at the start of term. If you want to get to meet more people at uni and around Sheffield itself, check out our homepage for the latest event updates.

2. Movies at the Showroom

If you’re a film fan, you’re in luck. Sheffield is home to the Showroom – the biggest independent cinema outside London. It’s a mecca for serious film fans, showing the latest blockbuster releases alongside an inspiring programme of classic cinema, arthouse cinema, foreign films, cult and forgotten masterpieces and more.

3. Go gigging

Rock, pop, indie, reggae, dance, jazz, hip-hop, house, post-rock, shoegaze, heavy metal – you name it, Sheffield’s got it. The city that gave you Britpop heroes Pulp, the Arctic Monkeys and the Human League has a seriously impressive music scene. Check out sites like Songkick for the latest gig listings and you’ll soon find the venues that cater to your music tastes.

4. Get arty

Sheffield has lots of galleries to check out, but the premier destination for art and design in the city is the Millennium Gallery complex. Linked to the V&A and Tate in London, it’s a huge, modern museum that’s home to a vast metalwork collection, archaeological finds, art collections, social history exhibits and exciting events throughout the year – it’s a great place to find out about Sheffield and its history.

5. Eating out on London Road

If you’re looking for affordable food from all over the globe, this is the street to head for. Packed with restaurants serving up food from Mexico, Vietnam, Poland, Turkey, Japan, India and more, it’s a vibrant street where you can try out exciting new cuisine without spending much money.

6. Tramlines Festival

The biggest music festival in Sheffield takes place over three days every July. Tramlines is an inner city music festival, with bands and artists playing at venues indoors and outdoors all across the city. It’s a great way to see your favourite artists, discover new ones, and check out venues you might not have been to before. 

7. Shopping at Rare and Racy

Rare and Racy is everybody’s favourite bookshop. Crammed with secondhand bargains, rare, weird and wonderful books, you’re always sure to find something inspiring here. It also sells CDs, vinyl records, prints and old maps.

8. Relaxing at Sheffield Botanic Gardens

For a little peace and quiet, head to the lovely botanic gardens and soak up the greenery. With 5,000 species over 19 acres of green space, and some spectacular glasshouses packed with exotic plants, it’s a real treasure, and a great place for a picnic.

9. Weston Park Museum

This is Sheffield's biggest museum and it’s housed within a beautiful Grade-II-listed building in Weston Park. Here you can really get to know Sheffield and its history, from its geological roots and its industrial past, to the people, politics and music that have shaped this modern city. 

10. A taste of the theatrical

Sheffield is home to a host of wonderful theatres, including the award-winning Studio and Lyceum. But the most well known is the Crucible, famous for hosting major snooker tournaments as well as the best theatre and musical productions in town.