10 Reasons to Study Abroad in Bristol, England

So, you’ve decided to study abroad, but where will you go? If you’re reading this blog, chances are you already have your sights set on England, but do you know which program is best for you? Between our four programs in England – Brighton, Bristol, London, and Reading – it can be tough to decide. Fortunately for you, we’ve done the hard work and have put together our best reasons to study abroad in Bristol. Situated on the ocean and home to a top university and loads of festivals and cultural events, this city might just be your dream study abroad destination!

#1. You Get to Study at one of the Top Universities in Britain

As one of the top 10 universities in Britain, the University of Bristol is comprised of more than 40 academic departments and 15 research centers and offers many areas of study ranging from Arts and Humanities to Sciences and even Law. There are plenty of opportunities for STEM students in Bristol, as well. Whether you study abroad in Bristol for one semester or a full academic year, you will be studying alongside locals and other international students.

Study abroad the the University of Bristol
Study abroad the the University of Bristol

#2. You’re only 90 Minutes from London

Bristol has its own international airport for easy access to the rest of England and beyond, but it is also only a 90-minute train ride from London. Even though you will have the opportunity to visit London on the included overnight city tour, we’re willing to bet you’ll want to spend another weekend exploring the famous city.

It's common for students to take individual and field trips to London
Spend the weekend with friends exploring London

#3. Chocolate Bars Were Invented in Bristol (and Other Random History)

In 1847 Fry’s chocolate factory molded the first ever chocolate bar in what is now the Odeon cinema. But that’s not all. The first ever bungee jump took place from the Clifton Suspension Bridge, and the infamous pirate Captain Blackbeard had a hideaway under a local church. Bristol is full of quirky, interesting history, making it the ideal place to study abroad if you’re looking to educate yourself on England’s unique past.

#4. Bristol Celebrates Individuality

The University of Bristol is home to students from more than 150 countries, so it supports equality and diversity of all kinds. It was named one of the 20 best cities in the world to live in for the LGBTQ+ community last year and ranked 4th in the UK. This accepting community fosters creativity and is a safe place for students to explore and express themselves. This attitude contributed to Bristol being named the best place to live in the UK in 2017.

#5. You’ll Never Go to Bed Hungry

Bristol has arguably the best food scene in the UK thanks to the city’s diversity and hunger for creative expression. From food markets serving late-night street tacos to Michelin star restaurants, the city offers more than the quintessential English bangers and mash or Sunday roasts. Ask a local about their favorite spots or do a bit of Googling and grab your friends for a self-led culinary tour.

#6. You Can Participate in a Variety of Field Trips

Explore Bristol and more of England on a number of field trips offered by USAC and the International Office. As mentioned in #2, an overnight field trip to London is included in your program fees, but you’ll have the opportunity to participate in more field trips to places such as Bath and Stonehenge, Cardiff, and BBC Bristol Studios.

Field trips will show you around England
Field trips will show you around England

#7. There is Always Something to Do

Bristol is the perfect program for students who want to stay active. This city is known for its music scene, street art (Bristol was once home to the famous artist Bansky), and outdoor activities like rock climbing and sailing. Bristol is filled with parks and gardens, ideal for soaking up the sun on a clear day. The summer months are jam-packed with festivals every weekend, including the Love Saves the Day music festival and the Balloon Fiesta (oh yeah, Bristol is the birthplace of the hot air balloon).

Bristol is known for it's lively music scene
Bristol is known for it’s lively music scene

#8. The Campus Has Everything You Need

The University of Bristol owns more than 900 acres of land around Bristol, and the Student Union Building where the International Office is located, houses all the amenities you’ll need. Here you can find a swimming pool, two theaters, a café, a game room, a launderette, a radio station, a dance studio, a computer lab, and more.

Dean of Bristol Gardens at University of Bristol
Dean of Bristol Gardens at University of Bristol

#9. You Can Join a Club (or two or three)

USAC students are encouraged to participate in any of the hundreds of clubs affiliated with the University of Bristol student union. You’ll have the opportunity to join clubs ranging from academic and civic focuses to sporting activities. Joining clubs is a great way to meet other students and immerse yourself in the university and Bristol’s community.

University of Bristol Welcome Fair
University of Bristol Welcome Fair

#10. The University of Bristol Offers Scholarships

Bristol awards scholarships to 2-3 USAC students per year, ranging from 500-1000 GBP. STEM majors are preferred, but all students will be considered. Application deadlines follow USAC’s scholarship seasons, making March 15 the deadline for summer/fall programs and October 15 the deadline to apply for spring. You can learn more about all scholarship opportunities on our website.

Ready to head to Bristol? Apply for a semester or yearlong program today!