Note: At the time of this write-up, I'm only half-way done my ~4 month study abroad stay here, so I don't know a great deal about the university. /msg me if any of the information here happens to be wrong.
The learning thing
The University of Leicester, located in Leicester
, was founded in 1921 and was granted the Royal Charter
in 1957, giving it full degree-awarding powers. It was given a rating of "excellent" in all departments by the Quality Assurance Agency
over the last four years and was ranked in the UK's top 20 Universities by The Sunday Times League Tables
in September 2002. It's also known as one of the leading space research universities in the UK, performing work on the BEAGLE 2 Mars
probe and serving as the UK's Mission Control
center for that same project. It has over 19,000 students (although it sure doesn't seem like that many), making up 10% of the Leicester city population during terms.
What...is this place?
The campus, maybe only a mile or so wide, is jam packed with buildings, all of which have their own look and personality
. Upon arriving, the first three towers you'll probably see are the Charles Wilson Building
(short and stout), the Engineering Building (red with a crane (?
) on top), and the Attenborough Tower
(the thinnest and tallest of them all). The latter offers a great birds-eye view of the city, making for good photo opportunities
. All important buildings are clearly and uniformly marked (including the off-campus dorms), so it's not hard at all to find your way around. There are even maps dotted
around campus if you truly have no directional sense.
, which is just south of the main campus, is beautiful during the day, but not so much at night. There have been many accounts of robberies
, minor assault
s, and boogie man sightings
reported by students. No, but seriously, just avoid passing through there when it's dark.
s on campus (something I'm sure many E2 noder
s care about) are all connected to what they call the "CFS" System, which runs Windows 2000
and requires you to have an account to use. While it doesn't give you access to root
level functions like installing new software, you can access your account and your files from any computer on campus. This way, you don't have to worry about carrying around floppy disks that end up breaking on you after two weeks
. Most computers also have USB
ports for USB sticks
and headphone jacks
. The library
(located on the northern side of campus) has a computer lab that is often filled to the brim
during the day, but there are many other labs all over campus you can make use of. There's even one near some of the dorms, but that gets packed in the evening.
Most of the dorms are located about two miles southeast of campus. You'll want to take either the 80 or the 80A bus to get to and from campus. I would suggest catching the bus to class an hour early to be safe. At seemingly random
times, the roads can get really congested and it takes a while for the bus to reach campus. But usually, it only takes about 10-15 minutes.
Mom, I'm booooored
In terms of things to do, there is plenty (besides heading to the pub for a pint, of course):
- International Student Association - Being one myself, I've made use of what they have to offer. They plan inexpensive weekend trips around the UK, although they have been known to cancel at the last minute. They also hold weekly film nights, dances every now and then, and a Cultural Night every semester which includes foods from around the world and an after party.
- Religious Groups - Includes Muslim, Jewish, and Christian groups.
- Cultural Groups - Such as Taiwanese and Turkish groups.
- Academic Groups - Such as an Engineering Society and Math and Computing Society
- Campaigning Groups - Such as Amnesty International and Socialist Students
- Performance Groups - Such as a Choral and Band Society
- Recreational Societies - Including various sports, a Film Society, an Anime Society, and, yes, a Jedi Society.
- For a complete list of activities and other student-related things, visit this site: http://www.leicesterstudent.org
The Percy Gee Student Union
building, located in the center of campus, is host to all kinds of things. Aside from the token convenience store
and school store
, there's a squash
court, a pub, and a night club. Also, if you plan on doing any traveling, I highly suggest checking out the Travel Centre. This place, staffed by very
friendly and helpful people, is great for getting rail tickets to places within the UK or planning trips to other countries. A word of advice
. If you plan on doing traveling within the UK, I highly suggest getting a UK student rail pass
. It will save you bundles
on rail tickets.
The City Life
I don't want to dive into the details of the actual city, since this isn't the node for it, but here are just a few. People say Leicester is a small town, but coming from a college town with nothing but students and cows
, I beg to differ. To get to the City Centre
, located just north of campus, you can either walk or take the 80 or the 30 bus routes. Besides pubs and shops, there are a good many clubs here, which, if you're a clubber, I'm sure you'll find to meet your satisfaction. Also, if you're into good films
, dance, or musical performance, I would highly suggest checking out the Phoenix Arts Theatre
also located in the City Centre. Be sure to ask for the student discount
when you buy tickets there.
I want more!
The University's website - http://www.le.ac.uk/
Leicester student life website - http://www.leicesterstudent.org/
I'm not impressed
Some other schools in the area include:
That's all I have to say. If you find this guide to be helpful or not, please /msg me and let me know.
first hand experience