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Living in Northern Ireland

Relocating to another country, away from your family and friends, for university can be a daunting experience. However, as you embark on this new chapter of your life, remember that you're not alone. We have welcomed many international students over the years and Northern Ireland is known for its warm hospitality and friendly locals who are eager to welcome you to your home away from home.

Where to live as a student in Belfast

Choosing the best place to live as a student in Belfast depends on your preferences, budget and proximity to the university.

International, GB and ROI students accepted onto a course are guaranteed a place in our student accommodation. Many students also choose to privately rent in areas surrounding the university such as Stranmillis, Queen's Quarter, Ormeau Road and the Holylands.

When considering your accommodation options, it's essential to visit the potential neighbourhoods, explore ammenities and consider factors such as transport and safety. Ultimately, the best place to live while studying will be one that suits your lifestyle and enhances your overall university experience in Belfast.

Living Costs

As a student, your living expenses can vary based on your choice of residence, lifestyle preferences, and financial responsibilities, including any dependents you may have.

It's crucial to carefully assess your anticipated living costs while at university to effectively budget and manage your finances. Many students choose to study in Belfast because it has the lowest cost of living (Mercer Cost of Living City Ranking 2023).


International students in Northern Ireland will encounter many customs and cultural practices that are unique to the region. Here are some of the most important customs to be aware of:

  • Hospitality: The people in Northern Ireland are known for their warmth and hospitality. It is common to receive a friendly greeting and offers of assistance from locals.
  • Punctuality: Being on time is considered respectful in Northern Irish culture. Whether you're attending a lecture, meeting with an academic or even social gatherings, it's important to arrive promptly or even a few minutes early.
  • Cultural sensitivity: Northern Ireland has a complex history, and discussions about politics and religion can be sensitive topics. It's advisable to approach these subjects with caution and respect for differing viewpoints.
  • Queuing: British queuing etiquette applies in Northern Ireland. Whether you're waiting in line for public transport or at a shop, it's customary to wait your turn patiently.
  • Please and Thank You: Using polite language such as "please" and "thank you" is important in Northern Irish culture. Expressing gratitude for assistance or hospitality is greatly appreciated.


The Northern Irish accent is often difficult for people to understand, especially if they're not familiar with the accent. We have also created our own unique slang and phrases, which can be confusing for some. Check out our video on NI Slang, where our students try to guess what some popular phrases mean!

Lanyon at day time
Semester Dates

It's important to familiarise yourself with our semester dates and university closure days and bank holidays to ensure you have a smooth integration into academic life here in Belfast.

Semester dates & Closure Days