History (Final Year)
From: Oxford (South-East)
School: The Cherwell School
‘I wanted to study at a Russell Group University and travelling outside of England really appealed to me’.
Eleanor, why did you choose Queen’s?
I wanted to study at a Russell Group University and travelling outside of England really appealed to me. Even though I do have family based in Northern Ireland it still felt like an exciting and new change.
I also wanted to have the perks of living and studying in a capital city, and experiencing a bigger city than my home city.
Has Queen’s lived up to your expectations?
The University has a lot more to offer than expected, with great facilities like the McClay library. Most of my lectures and tutorials take place around Queen’s main site just by the Lanyon building in the Peter Froggatt Centre, which has just been refurbished.
The social life around the university is also really good, with the Students’ Union hosting multiple nights throughout the week but also bars and clubs around Belfast all having various nights and being reasonably priced.
How would you sum up your experience at Queen’s and living in Belfast?
Overall my experience at Queen’s has been great. I really enjoyed my first year in halls, and made some great friends. Obviously moving to university is a big change and the move to Northern Ireland makes it seem even bigger, but Queen’s (and Belfast) has been a very welcoming and friendly place.
Moving out into my own house in second year was also a very easy transition, as finding a house was very simple, with area surrounding Queen’s university being mostly student housing. This means most friends and course mates will be living in the same area.
Can you tell me a bit about travelling over from England to Queen’s?
I fly from Belfast City airport to Birmingham International - the flight is 45 minutes, and getting to the City airport costs £2.50 on the bus.
Best tip for saving money is to book flights in advance, I normally do this when semester dates are published. Generally the flights cost around £60 return, however this does change obviously if booking closer to the date.
Have you got involved in anything ‘different’ outside of your degree?
While studying at Queen’s I have had a part-time working as a waitress. This included working three days a week. Having a part-time job was really useful, as it meant I always had a bit of extra money.
Queen’s also has a range of societies and clubs to take part in, there is a Freshers’ Fair at the beginning of the year where you can sign up. Since being at Queen’s I have attended many society events, mostly ones hosted by the History Society as it allows you the opportunity to meets people from your course.
Also I had some involvement with the Raise and Giving (RAG) Society by leading a group on the fresher’s pub crawl, which is always a fun night!
What about your degree, what is that like?
I am now in my third year of studying History at Queen’s. The main reason I love studying here is the variety of modules to choose from. I’ve studied the founding of America and the Old South, Renaissance Europe, the Famine period in Ireland, and a wide range of other topics.
Not only have I been able to study history modules - due to History being in the same school as Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics, it’s very easy to pick up modules from other subjects. For example, one of my favourite modules since being at Queen’s was an Anthropology module involving the study of Apocalypse theories.
Can you tell me a bit about your accommodation since coming to Belfast?
In my first year I stayed in halls. I chose to live in standard accommodation, which meant a single bedroom and sharing a bathroom with around six other people (there are a variety of options to choose from in accommodation, including ensuite rooms). This was never a problem, with bathrooms always being tidy. Queen’s Elms Village student accommodation is really nice, also since I lived there many parts have been refurbished so has a much more modern feel now.
The halls are split into blocks but still contained in small area so no matter where your friends are living everyone will be close by.
In second year I moved out of halls into a rented house with three girls I met in halls. This was easy to find with there being quite a few letting agents providing student friendly housing. And for my third year I have done the same, and chose to live in a privately rented flat still living with the same group of friends.
What advice would you give anyone who may be thinking about coming to Queen’s?
I would recommend coming to visit first, taking a look round the university campus and accommodation, and also around the city itself. This is to ensure you know the city and like the atmosphere. I guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised!