Sheffield is a UK city known for its significant student population and acclaimed education system. As Yorkshire’s second-largest city, Sheffield is home to many international and local students alike. The city is multicultural, diverse and plays home to plenty of shops, restaurants and bars.
You’ll get to choose from two of the best universities in England, The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam. The University of Sheffield is a member of the prestigious Russell Group, and Sheffield Hallam was awarded the title ‘University of the Year for Teaching Quality’ by The Times in 2023.
We understand that settling into university in a new country can feel overwhelming at first, so we’ve put together a short guide to help you settle in and embrace your new home.
Cool student bars and restaurants
For many, the motto at university is work hard, play hard. You can do plenty of that in Sheffield, thanks to an impressive array of student bars and eateries. When you’re keen to wind down between lectures, bars such as Bar One, Frog & Parrot and Tiger Works await.
When a good meal is on the agenda, restaurants like OHM, The Wick, Inox and The Street Food Chef are a big hit among students. You’ll find plenty of student nights advertised at the university, as well as finding your feet during Freshers Week.
Furthermore, DesignMyNight is a great site to discover some of the best bars and restaurants in the city. If you’re looking for a night out, West Street is a hive of activity for students. You’ll find lots of live music and specific drinks deals for students across the many bars.
Speaking of live music, no student experience in Sheffield is complete without a night at The Leadmill. As Sheffield’s longest-running venue, you can catch up-and-coming bands, comedy nights and theatre performances.
What’s it like to study in Sheffield?
Sheffield is a city geared around student life, making it a popular choice for both international and domestic students. When you choose to study in Sheffield, you’ll find the universities are centrally located. This puts students at the heart of city living and makes it much easier to travel between classes.
No matter which university you choose, you’ll learn through a combination of lectures, tutorials, independent studies, and more, depending on your course. As with all universities in the United Kingdom, the primary way you’ll study in Sheffield is in lectures. Lectures tend to last for one or two hours and will be delivered by a member of the academic staff, who will be your professor. During lectures, you can expect to join 50-300 students.
Alongside lectures, you may also attend tutorials. Tutorials are much smaller than lectures and will help you to understand your course subjects further. You might also participate in practical or lab sessions, depending on your course. When you’re not in lectures and tutorials, you’ll have lots of spare time for independent study.
What makes Sheffield great for international students?
Whether you choose to study at Sheffield Hallam or the University of Sheffield, the city attracts students from over 150 countries to study in the city each year. You’ll find a welcoming community of friendly people to help you feel at home quickly. Students come from a diverse range of countries, including China, Malaysia and Nigeria.
What’s more, according to recent studies, Sheffield is one of the safest cities in the UK to live in, and it’s also one of the most affordable. The large student community means there are plenty of discounts to take advantage of, from retail to restaurants.
Traveling around Sheffield
Sheffield is a well-connected city, and you’ll be able to get around on foot, by bicycle, by bus, tram or taxi. When you want to explore the UK further, you can also take trains all over the country. As a student in Sheffield, you’ll have access to discounted travel for buses and trams.
With discounts on single fares, weekly tickets and longer tickets, you can take your pick from several options covered on the Travel South Yorkshire website. For trains, you can purchase a 16-25 railcard from Trainline for £30 per year, which will give you 30% off your journeys.
Things to do in Sheffield
As home to the Millennium Gallery, the breath-taking Peak District National Park and Stanage Edge, you won’t be short of things to do in the city. For the culture buffs, a visit to the Rare and Racy bookstore or to one of the city’s several music venues such as O2 Academy should be on the agenda.
The city also has a thriving cultural scene, with emphasis on music, theatre and the arts. There are several unmissable festivals throughout the year, including Tramlines, Out of This World, and Sheffield Film Festival just to name a few.
While Sheffield is often referred to as the Steel City, it has adopted the nickname of the ‘Green City’ in more recent years. There are over 250 parks in the wider city area, making it one of the greenest cities in Europe. Check out Weston Park for a prime picnic spot, or get active on two wheels at Lady Canning’s Plantation.
If shopping is more your thing, Sheffield has you covered. Take advantage of your student railcard and hop on the tram to Meadowhall Shopping Centre. Here you’ll find popular high street shops, plus a bowling alley and cinema. If you’re in the mood to explore more of the city, look out for the award-winning Industrial Quarter. It’s home to some of Sheffield’s best bars, bakeries and night market, plus the amazing industrial museum.
Sheffield is a bustling city, full of diversity, style and friendly people, making it an excellent place to call home for international students. Novel provides accommodation for students close to the major universities in Sheffield. You can experience the comfort of brand-new student accommodation with unrivalled amenities, from free weekday grab-and-go breakfast options to excellent wellness facilities, created for students to have a home from home in their chosen university city.